Social media has the power to make or break a brand. Today, more than 71% of all adults online use Facebook, and over 250 million people use Twitter. Yet, as powerful as social media is, many people still underuse or misunderstand it.

If you manage your company's social media accounts, however, you're on the frontlines of brand communication and have the ability to help your company drive its overall marketing goals.

Want to effectively build relationships, educate audiences, and incite action online? Then take a page from some of today's most successful social community managers.

Here are the seven habits of highly effective social media professionals.

1. Focusing on Strategy

Social media content isn't a strategy in and of itself but rather a tactic that feeds into a larger marketing goal.You need to understand how different platforms fit into your company's larger strategy and to define the tactical goals of your social media campaign.

For example, if your company is looking to create thought leadership opportunities, you might consider suggesting regular blogging and creating longer format posts on LinkedIn. If the goal is to drive business leads, consider posting Twitter content that direct followers to compelling content on your website that can only be downloaded when they share their email address.

To increase the effectiveness of your social media community management, focus on strategy. Use the platforms that are going to help you best reach your target audiences in a way that will help your company meet its broader goals.

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image of Avi Levine

Avi Levine is executive director of the Digital Professional Institute (DPI), a Chicago-based programming and digital marketing school affiliated with Tribeca Flashpoint College.

LinkedIn: Avi Levine