Engagement and consumer interactivity are the main buzzwords associated with social media. However, these two words carry very little value on a company’s balance sheet.

It is essential to take an active part in your company’s social landscape. Create a social roadmap to success—align social with prioritized business objectives and strategy before all else. It’s marketing, not merely social media marketing, therefore, it is important to always integrate social into company values and culture.

So how can you make sure your social media is working for you? You want to connect your brand to consumers through conversation, advocacy and community.

1. Social Reach
It’s all about the friends, the followers and the connections. Social media is a community—get involved, don’t just sit on the sidelines. Share valuable content, and take advantage of automatic sharing tools. These make lives easier, and ultimately save time.

Right now you probably have an existing network, leverage that to build your reach. Do you have a company newsletter? This is the perfect place to rally new fans to like you on Facebook, follow you Twitter, connect on Linkedin and so forth.

2. Maximize Your Content
Create a content calendar as part of your social strategy. Know what’s trending, what your audience wants to hear. This will help keep them engaged, and sharing your content. You want to have a balance of social media links that you are sharing. This should include not only links to company landing pages and your blog, but also valuable third party links.

Leverage the use of slide share. Share slides in which you imbed your company’s URL, this will drive traffic back to your site.

3. Connect Conversations
Sharing links and getting involved in conversations is great. But social is ultimately a marketing tool, and it is crucial to your efforts and your company that you place call-to-actions everywhere. You want to drive your audience to take some sort of action—whether it’s polls, links or advertising.

These call-to-actions will also help you see what’s effective and ineffective. If you’re not seeing very much traction on a particular effort, this is the time to focus those efforts elsewhere.

At the end of the day, investing efforts in social media is not merely about buying leads. It’s a way to buy customers.