Just as networking is challenging when starting off, so is social media. And to complicate things further, each social media tool has its own unique focus, interface, profile, and formats. No wonder so many business people push it aside. But, just as face-to-face networking success can bring about tangible business opportunities, so can a successfully executed social media marketing plan.

Here are a few tips to getting the ball rolling:

Start with baby steps.

Because each social media tool is unique in its focus and execution, it’s good to take on one social media channel at a time. Get to know it well, be consistent in your posting frequency, tone, and content. This will only happen through commitment. Once you are comfortable with that platform, you can consider adding another one to the mix.

Find the best fit.

Each business has its own unique audience focus and goals. The same is true for social media channels. A good marketing plan will map out how to best reach your target audience.

Keep an eye on the competition.

Investigate what your chief competitors are doing. Study what gets the best response rates and feedback. Understanding what works for them can help you jumpstart your own social media campaign.

Kick it up a notch.

Use your competition as a reference point but not as your playbook. See where you could place more focus to improve your position. Take your unique selling proposition into consideration and tweak your social media strategy accordingly.

Check out the big boys.

Look for social media campaigns run by large corporations to get some ideas. Because they are working on a much larger scale, they have a whole team contributing to its success.

An excellent example of a successful social media campaign is Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good. Each day five new organizations are featured and the public is asked to vote for their favorite. Each day the tallies are displayed from the previous day’s voting. The winners are awarded a new Toyota of their choice and the remaining 4 each win $1,000. Because of this ingenious campaign, 500 organizations gain free publicity and rewards and Toyota is able to reach a whole new level of brand recognition.

Although your social media campaigns will likely be on a smaller scale, observing how successful campaigns are created and executed will help you craft a unique campaign that will work for you.