7 Steps to the Perfect Social Media Plan

social media perfect planDo you dream about the perfect social media plan? The perfect social media template? Many business leaders wanting to get social dream about it.  They think they need it. The social media magic template. The one that includes the perfect strategy, tactics and themselves as the social hero of their company and social superstar of their market niche!

You know the social media template I am talking about.  The one that will help you see a positive return on investment where everything is measurable and justifiable to stakeholders. The one that will make the boss scream with delight and as a result result enable you to keep your job or even get a promotion!

The question is does the perfect social media template or strategy for your business exist?

A perfect strategy or template, well probably not! A good template and structure, yes!

Do you want the answer? Are you ready for the top 7 tips to develop a social media strategy that will make your ROI zoom?

Here ya go….

Step 1: Do your own research on how to best leverage social media to meet business goals and objectives.

Step 2: Develop a business and integrated marketing plan inclusive of goals and objectives. Be sure to focus clearly on your target market segments with a goal of knowing them and getting in their head the best you possibly can.

Step 3: If you don't have the skills and knowledge of social media internally, hire the agency or consultant to help you integrate social media into your business. Be sure that they understand integrated marketing, the importance of setting goals and objectives and can help you develop and execute a plan to meet yours! Refuse to accept a list of random acts of social media (RAMs). If the plan is not integrated then the RAMs will eat your ROI for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Step 4: Integrate social media into your business plan with a focus on leveraging social media to support biz goals and objectives. Your business plan may need to be adjusted based upon your new findings and research of the social media landscape.

Step 5: Develop an integrated social media strategy, approach and plan that best supports your business goals and objectives.

Step 6: Execute the integrated marketing, social media and business plan.

Step 7: Continuously analyze, measure and refine your approach, strategies and tactics based upon achievement to goals and objectives.

perfect social media plan 7 stepsDo you see any theme here peeps? There is no magic blue carpet tweet ride to skies of social ROI.

The best way to see results is to get focused, integrated and execute!

I am shocked at the number of different consultants that preach one strategy over the other.

The only agency or consultant that will be able to deliver you a successful template is the one that is able to customize it to you and your business.

Quit wasting time and money searching for the magic blue carpet. Instead focus in on your audience, market, and how your business can help your future and existing clients achieve their goals. Focus on developing a business plan that provides value for your community at every turn.

Social media should be an extension of your marketing. It should be integrated into everything you do from an event to an email blast. Social media is not a band-aid for a broken business, a magic carpet to get you out of trouble.  It is simply another medium for you to communicate with a broader audience than you would be able to do otherwise. A medium that will enable you to connect with people across the globe more easily than ever before. A medium that will enable you to nurture relationships organically and keep a natural pulse on how they respond to your messages, tone and offers.

Take the time to set goals and objectives. It's business and marketing 101 peeps. Take the time to plan and get to know your audience. Invest in building real and meaningful social relationships up front and you can't go wrong.

Did you read this post and get frustrated that I didn't give you a perfect template. Sorry folks, it doesn't exist. If somebody tries to give you one, it's a hoax and you'll be taken on a carpet ride to who knows where. The purpose of this post is to communicate a point that you must do your research, take time to plan and get to know your audience. There is no short cuts that will work long term. Yes, there is smart marketing, smart social media and smart plans. Yet, they don't happen overnight. Most importantly you won't find them while taking a free magic carpet ride!

Your Turn

What are your thoughts? Have you been searching high and low for the perfect plan? Have you thought that maybe the answers are mostly within the walls of your company and in the heads of your audience? If you are a consultant or from an agency are you seeing clients willing to invest in the planning phase or are they wanting you to jump right into the tweeting and Facebooking and take them on a magic social ROI ride?

See this post syndicated on Social Media Today


About the Author:

CEO / Founder Marketing Nutz, full service social media, digital marketing, experiential brand, conversion optimization agency. Ranked by Forbes as Top 10 Social Media Women and 10 Social Media Power Influencer. Keynote speaker, author, strategist, consultant, coach, & trainer. Helps businesses of all sizes integrate social media into the DNA of their business, connect with target audiences to nurture authentic customer relationships. 15+ years experience working with Fortune 500, Franchised corporations with 4000+ local franchises to entrepreneurs and startups.


  1. Morgan Barnhart May 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    This reminds of me of all those people that want INSTANT gratification when it comes to their social media strategy. Just like the “perfect” social media plan, there is no such thing as INSTANT gratification in social media. It takes time, effort, a lot of education and research. You could see good results in a short amount of time, but as far as reaching your goals, it’s best to be realistic and realize that social media is a continual process.

    Most definitely I truly believe that the answer to social media is within the walls of the company. Any company is usually filled with culture and a story to tell. It’s important to take aspects from within and turn them outward in a fun and engaging way.

    Very cool article, Pam!

    • PamMktgNut May 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm

      You hit a good point Morgan. “Every company has a story to tell.” The funny thing is everyone thinks their story is boring. The truth is usually that it’s not if they have the guts to share it. 

      Thanks for stopping by again. Love your insight! Have a wonderful weekend! 

  2. Jan Wong May 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    This article brings many back to earth – there’s no fixed success template to social media. In fact, what worked for me may not work for you at all because of the audience, platforms and environment. The only thing in common should be: Listening & Engaging. That, I believe is the only common success template or criteria 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, Pam!

  3. Anonymous May 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Great post, and I agree with everything, especially the part about an integrated marketing plan. Too often companies think about social media as separate from their other marketing programs – maybe because social media is mainly being run by PR and marketing is run by marketing. But it has to be an extension of what you’re doing.
    That’s why we built Arkli Social Campaign Manager – to integrate email, videos, blogs and social media into a single integrated campaign that can be easily measured.

    CEO, Arkli – Your Social Campaign Manager

  4. Connie McKnight May 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    You’re probably exactly right, but I still keep looking, that’s why I read your post. I love your suggestions.

    What I just realized this week that if you do exactly as you said, and keep doing it and stay focussed, it will happen. It takes time. If they happened any sooner, you wouldn’t be ready for them.


    • PamMktgNut May 27, 2011 at 5:06 pm

      Connie – I know, it’s our human nature. Templates, structure and outlines do help.  I am always continuously looking for frameworks to leverage.  Never stop seeking information. It will fuel your success.  

      Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comment! 

  5. Lynn Brown May 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Your 7 steps are great tips and advice.  And we are in agreement Pam….. I don’t think social media is a one size fits all.  In fact, that is what I love about social media and what it can offer up-and-coming entrepreneurs, small businesses and large businesses.  Whether you are turning a hobby into a profit making business or promoting your restuarant, the fact is all these steps should be considered when setting up the plan that is right for your business. 

    There really are no short cuts as you mention.  And it does take time.  But I have to say that since I have been on the internet (1995) it has been much easier and faster to build a list, make connections with others, build alliances and build awareness about your business — that is what social media marketing plan will do for you.

  6. E.G. Sebastian May 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Social media can be a pain in the bunky – it’s addictive and if you don’t do it right, you are just wasting precious productive time…

    After years of frustration with several of the media, I finally limit myeslf to automaic Twitter posts – for my blogs and radio shows – FB to stay in touch with friends and some business connections [though I check it only when I get something comming itno my email]; and I focus my time on LinkedIn where I created several succcessful JVs in the past and got some fair results in getting some business …

    Great points above… I’ll need to digest them and “perfect” my social media activities/plan.

    Thanks for the great post!

    • PamMktgNut May 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      Glad you liked them. I agree it’s addicting. Time is our greatest asset. We must use it wisely or risk never seeing the good side of the ROI equation 😉 

      Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comment. 

  7. […] Specifically, I’ve been reading an article posted by her called the 7 Steps to the Perfect Social Media Plan. It’s an interesting read with some really good points. She points out something important to understand: you must adapt. There must actually be a plan, with goals and everything, for your social media plan and you must adapt the plan to the business. No single plan is going to work for every company, as much as people would love to believe it to be so. Each plan must be adjusted for the company you’re making it for, and the plan of the company may need to adjust as well. I suggest checking it out: https://www.pammarketingnut.com/2011/05/7-steps-to-the-perfect-social-media-plan […]

  8. PamMktgNut May 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Thanks for your comment Lynn. I agree with you. It’s amazing how much tech, communications and our ability to connect with people has changed since 1995. I can remember working at GE and training Fortune 500 Mortgage and Insurance employees how to use a mouse so they could adopt our product. Wow, someday we’ll probably look back at Facebook and Twitter the same way. We’ll laugh at how manual it was to build lists, deal with the quirks of Facebook etc. 

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  9. Jo June 2, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Love it Pam! Made me smile and your thoughts actually make this feel easier rather than harder – Keepin it Simple!

  10. guest June 7, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    your “print friendly” button does not generate a print at all – great article though

  11. Mike Culberson June 8, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Great aticle, and maybe the perfection of it lays in its simplicity. A qoute I often heard when selling advertising was “we are dealing with Rocket Science” but people (for some weird reason) seem to want to make things harder than they really are. Thanks for sharing this as it will allow others to see how to use social media marketing as a part of the overall plan and not the end all to be all!

  12. watsonrew July 21, 2011 at 1:56 am

    This blog containing the communications and our ability to connect with people has changed since 1997 And with the help of the social media people is going to easily connected with the
    communication line and the conversation.

  13. Anonymous September 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I love the realness of this post.  I find that some people have a book launch for example and no true investment in building relationships prior to the launch and now want to blast it on the various networks without true planning or goal setting let alone leveraging time or the investment of themselves in developing the relationships.  I think your plan will lead us to creating our own template in a very succinct way.  Thank You! 

  14. JaneSchneider October 22, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Hi, Pam.

    Great article for those with large budgets and a lot of marketing training. I’m working with social media beginners and would like to know if you have any basic elements that they could start with. I know the social media goals have to support the marketing goals, so I am having them write the plan based on 3 to 4 marketing goals. I know they need to create awareness (though I don’t know how they’d measure it), and somehow measure engagement. If you have any thoughts, I’d really appreciate hearing from you.

    Thank you.

    Jane Schneider

    • PamMktgNut January 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      @JaneSchneider Hi Jane. These same steps apply to big or small business. Proper planning and setting of priorities is just as important if not more important in small business as the budgets are smaller and there usually isn’t “wiggle room” to start over. It sounds like you are starting on the right track by focusing on goals and objectives. Specific methods to promote and engage depend 100% on the audience and goals. Every biz and every audience is different so there is truly no cookie cutter.

      We’ll be launching a new training program soon which also caters to both small biz’s as well as consultants helping small biz. The best way to stay updated is to subscribe to stay updated as we offer new classes. We’ll also have some free webinars. Be sure to check out my Facebook page at http://www.pamsfanpage.com as well. I answer questions there almost 24/7 it seems!

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