Do you have a social media marketing plan or are you just winging it?  Are you using the “throw-stuff-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks” method?

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes that isn’t a bad approach.  But many times the tracking and measuring gets lost in that approach.

As we  start into the New Year, many people begin to map out goals and strategies for their business.  Your social media sites also deserve a concrete plan – a blueprint.  You need to know if social media is worth the effort you put into it.

If you are working on your social media marketing plan, take a look at these 5 steps to help you along the way.

#1 Find your purpose

Why are you doing social media?  Even if you think you know, write it down in one statement.  Your purpose may have even shifted over the past year. Here are some of the reasons that social media can benefit you:

  • Sell more products
  • Raise awareness
  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Showcase my expertise
  • Grow my list

Pick one main purpose so that you can always keep that as your focus.  If the other stuff comes along with it, fantastic.

#2  Set reasonable goals

Goal trackingNow that you have your main purpose, set some goals around that purpose.  If you goal is to grow your list, write down exactly how much.  10%?  50 new subscribers in February?  Write down concrete steps you are going to take achieve that goal.  Chunk it down.

Make sure you have the measurement systems in place.  If you have a goal but you can’t measure your progress then you won’t know if you are successful.  If your goal is to sell more products with social media, how are you tracking that?  Maybe you have special Google Analytics tracking that you need to put in place.  Or maybe you just add a question to your shopping cart checkout process that says “How did you hear about us?

You may also want to set growth goals for your social sites.  Maybe 200 new Facebook fans in January.  Yes, it’s not all about the numbers but by connecting with new people, you are still raising awareness around your brand.  And if you are successfully converting those fans into e-mail subscribers or customers, then growing your fans is a good goal.

#3  Lay out your Activity Plan

Social Media Activity CalendarOnce you know your goals and the steps to complete those goals break everything down even further by listing the specific posts and activity that you need to take on social media to make those goals happen.  Plan out your daily, your weekly, and your monthly activity on each social site.

First of all, this will greatly reduce your stress.  You will be able to hang this schedule up in your office or plug it into your Google calendar or your Google tasks so that you can have a social media system.

#4  Add Tracking Metrics

Social Media Statistics trackig sheetMake sure you are tracking your progress.  Do some projections based on your goals and your activity of where you think you will be each month based on your activity.  I highly recommend AgoraPulse and Sproutsocial (affiliate link) for social tracking metrics.  (Both very affordable but if you want something even more affordable, see the end of this post)

Tracking your metrics doesn’t have to be hardFacebook Insights are a great place to dive in.  Using free sights like Crowdbooster to look at your stats can also help.  But make sure you monitor them month after month so you can see what is working.  Track the metrics that are meaningful to your goal.

#5  Review and Adjust

Social Media Results trackingTake some time each month to watch your progress.  Make some estimations on what kind of growth your activity should result in and then compare that to the actual results.  Then you can make adjustments on your activity or decide that it didn’t work for you.  Yes, a little throw-stuff-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks method.  But now you have it in writing.  When you set up this tracking at the beginning of the year, you will be able to easily see your progress over time and celebrate your success at the end of the year!

Now, for some exSocial Media Success Planning Kitciting news – a tool to help you!  If you are looking for a step-by-step system that will help you make planning, goal-setting, and tracking your social media success a snap, then you need the Social Media Success Planning KitFinally have a system in place that will make social media easy.  These are the tools I use to help my clients plan and track their strategy and goals.  Find out more here:


How about you – do you plan your strategy and track your goals?  Are you looking forward to a great year in 2013?  Let me know in the comments below!