Guest post by Scott Bishop, director of social influence for Bozell.

Is your business out there navigating on the web and the social stream blindly?

Not sure what I mean…ok, do you ever find yourself scrambling to find things to tweet about or post on Facebook that ever receive engagement back? Are your metrics increasing? And for the final gut punch…is your business’s social media activity working? By how much and, if not, by how little?

These questions need definitive answers. See what I mean about navigating blindly.

Don’t panic, if you’re like at least 99 percent of other businesses out there engaging in social media marketing, not only do you not have an answer if your efforts are working, you don’t have the ability to conjure up even an educated guess.

What’s worse, you probably aren’t even sure what “winning” would look like. The sad reality of the digital landscape is that the majority of brands are completely blind when it comes to their marketing on social media. Don’t fall into this trap.

Maybe you’ll luck out like Columbus and hit the promised land by mistake. Most likely, though, navigating blindly will lead your social media marketing efforts to the land of Nobody Cares.

Flying blindly forces you to post random content to a social network you think you need to be on. Flying blindly confuses activity with progress. Flying blindly leads you to follow “social media gurus” who sell you snake oil like your business needs to be in social media because “you can’t afford not to be.” Flying blindly eventually leads management to pull the plug on your social media experiment because it didn’t work.

Brands that navigate blindly think social media is more or less a guessing game, a craps shoot. I assure you, there is little room for guessing. Guessing costs time. Guessing costs resources. And it rarely works.

If this sounds like you, congratulations, admitting you have a problem is the first step. It’s never too late to see the light.

Begin by setting measurable objectives that align with corporate or team goals. Then assign metrics to track progress. These numbers help provide clarity for a thoughtful strategy. A thoughtful strategy will provide answers for what kind of content to produce, what networks it’s most effective on, who it’s targeted for, and how that response is driving corporate marketing objectives.

Social media is just an extension of marketing, and marketing is designed to achieve measurable results. Your navigating may continue to be a little rocky, but by defining a few objectives, at least you know you’re headed in the right direction. Happy sailing.

Scott Bishop likes unicorns and nachos, and he hates social media snake oil. He is the director of social influence for Bozell, where he helps brands succeed on the web. He takes up passion projects via his company, Crave Engine, and helps social media marketers suck less via his blog.