Since social media debuted, marketers have worked against a constantly shifting landscape to wrangle social data and apply it for maximum impact. What strategies are most important now, and why?

Here are five best-practices, using examples from the NetBase Social Media Best-Practices Guide 2016: Restaurant Brands for context.

1. Increasing brand awareness via social promotions

This tactic might sound obvious, but the most effective approach may not be. The social landscape isn't about brands, so promoting yourself is tricky. Any outreach that doesn't have consumers' desires firmly in mind will fail.

To identify those desires, you must use social listening. Dissecting the data may uncover multiple audience segments, each after something different, that require unique targeted messaging and promotions for each segment.

Brands to watch: Ben & Jerry's saw mentions skyrockets six times the norm, and Krispy Kreme enjoyed major positive buzz during #FreeConeDay and #FreeDonutDay respectively. As long as that's the case, they should continue these special annual promotions and their use of hashtags to stand out on social.

2. Monitoring social reactions in real time

Consumer opinions change rapidly, and a single negative post can start a viral chain reaction and cause damage to your brand's reputation. The only way to stave off such consequences is by keeping on top of social reactions in real time.

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image of Paige Leidig

Paige Leidig is CMO of NetBase, a developer of natural language processing technology used to analyze social media and other Web content.

LinkedIn: Paige R. Leidig