Steve Jobs often recalled his father’s passion for quality, even if it wasn’t something that would ever be seen.

Paul Jobs was a man of great manual skill, with an eye for craftsmanship and a desire to create objects that would stand the test of time.

When touring his biographer around his childhood home, Jobs stood admiring a fence that his father had built half a century prior. “He loved doing things right,” Jobs noted. “He even cared about the look of the parts you couldn’t see.”

As businesses get more serious about measuring the impact of their social media on their business objectives, it is critical to heed to lessons put forward by Steve Jobs. Focus on the craftsmanship of your social media accounts, even if the average member of your audience has no knowledge of your efforts.

1. SEO And Social Media Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Google’s updates continue to place more emphasis on social signals. This isn’t news. However, there are steps that can be taken to improve the standing of your brand’s social channels.

Take care to optimize your social pages just like you would a traditional web page. Your bio must be carefully designed. Images that you post should have proper alt text. Links should be shortened and tracked, with some traffic being driven back to your website.

What makes this such a challenge is the lack of ubiquity when it comes to each network. Facebook continues to roll out  updates for pages. Google+ encourages the use of semantic microdata markup to create rich media snippets. Twitter is promoting the use of meta tags for graphic displays in cards.

Social media isn’t a job for the intern because it now rests somewhere in the intersection of marketing and technology. SEO knowledge is a must.

2. Content Isn’t A Crapshoot

There is a misconception of the social media manager. They do not haphazardly post articles without deliberation (at least they shouldn’t anyway.)

Good social community managers utilize the data at hand. The best time of day to post is an easy one, but there are other basic metrics afforded to anyone who runs a social page, particularly a Facebook page.

Check out “Engagement Rate” in your Insights dashboard. This shows the percentage of users who saw a post who clicked, liked, shared or commented on that post. This will help you find the most effective content for your audience.

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Scroll down and click the “Engagement Rate” option to see what percentage of users took interest in any given post.

Social media marketing is just as much reactive as it is proactive. You may glean insights and advice from countless sources, but your social media audience is very different from mine or that of anyone else.

Identify the patterns that your audience creates. Your content posting strategy should bend and flex to accommodate the numbers you receive regularly.

3. Keep Your Private Affairs In Order

Quite literally, your audience doesn’t see the private message sent by users. These messages are a brilliant opportunity for your business.

First, community managers should salivate over the thought of complaints being levied privately. It offers a chance for thoughtful dialogue and fixing their problem – without the entirety of your social following being aware it is even happening.

Online reputation management is something big brands are investing a great deal of time in. GM employs 18 to keep an eye on conversations across nearly 100 sites. JC Penney has been applauded for their ability to resolve issues on social media without directing customers to other channels.

While the clothing retailer only sends 2% of users to another channel, brands like Lowe’s send those disgruntled customers away nearly 25% of the time.

If your brand is fortunate enough to have a customer open up a direct, closed line of communication to complain, be sure to handle it swiftly and – most importantly – be sure to actually handle it. 

A high quality business has a high quality social presence. There are few segments of your business more customer-facing than your social channels. From top to bottom, inside and out, they need to be expertly constructed and carefully staffed.

Your audience might not see it, but you can’t afford to neglect it.