How to Develop Your Winning Social Media Plan in 7 Simple Steps

It’s easy to think of Social Media as just another Internet fad that has no connection to business. So simply by joining the likes of Facebook and Twitter you find people that you know and invite them to “follow” you or “like” you with absolutely no thought about whether you can use it for business or not.

Well I’m here to tell you that you can, and with this article I will share with you some insights and techniques on How to Develop Your Winning Social Media Plan in 7 Simple Steps.

How to Develop Your Winning Social Media Plan in 7 Simple Steps. Step 1.

1. Defining the Term.

So understanding and defining exactly what Social Media is all about is the first piece of the jigsaw. Lets examine what happens to content on the Internet: Attention is the name of the game here, after all why do you advertise on the Internet, or anywhere for that matter if it is not to gain the attention of your target audience and there are 4 ways you can do this, they are:

a). Buying attention. More commonly known as advertising.

b). Begging for attention. Public relations exercises etc.

c). Or you can get your attention with one to one selling.

d). You can earn your attention. You can do that by using Social media to promote your own unique content FREE. So create a Blog, or a Facebook page or account, post some photos, share a video you have made, publish a special report.

So the explanation contained in d) above quite clearly is saying that social media is not just simply taking part in social networking, but is actually saying that you need to earn your attention by creating original content and building you social communities around it.

How to Develop Your Winning Social Media Plan in 7 Simple Steps. Step 2.

2. Become Familiar and Understand The Essentials.

Understanding the essentials of each of the different elements is to bring this knowledge to your business which in turn will allow you to utilise each element to it’s fullest potential.

You need to familiarise yourself and gain an understanding of the following terms:

a). Microblogging;
b). Video;
C). Social networking;
D). Photo sharing;
E). Audio;

There are a host of other terms and applications you should also consider, but that is outside of the remit for this article as I want to keep this as simple as possible. Take a look at some of my other blog posts to find out more.

But, as you familiarise yourself with each element it’s definitely worth taking the time to consider the possible applications for each different element within the confines of your own particular and unique business.

How to Develop Your Winning Social Media Plan in 7 Simple Steps. Step 3.

3. Discover Your Social Media Niche.

The third step you should take is to begin an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses’ in relation to each of the separate Social elements. This should also give you the opportunity to establish any potential threats that may arise.

Once you have completed this exercise you should be in a position to identify which particular Social Media to focus on. This will now also allow you to begin the task of building your like minded communities of people and associates who share the same interests and participate in the same discussions as you.

How to Develop Your Winning Social Media Plan in 7 Simple Steps. Step 4.

Step 4: First Hand Experience.

You are now at the stage where you will be experiencing each different social media element and beginning to understand the role each one can play in your business. So you now need to get your hands dirty, and begin to use some of the not so well known tools available which will allow you to determine which tools are the best fit for your business. Again because this is such a broad subject, this article cannot possibly cover all of these elements, but the good news is that most of my students who undertake my training programs can learn all this at their own pace.

How to Develop Your Winning Social Media Plan in 7 Simple Steps. Step 5.

Step 5: Your Social Media Success.

For people to see you as an expert in your niche (and for you to see yourself as an expert as well) you need to complete some research. So follow the next steps in the process as follows:

1). Identify your target audience. So start to understand your audiences behaviours, their values and beliefs, and any needs they currently have.

2). Find your competition by asking yourself the following questions:

a) Who is already catering to your target market?
b) What kind, and how much interaction is taking place in their communities?
c) How good is the interaction?
d) What ideas can you take and improve upon to make your own?

How to Develop Your Winning Social Media Plan in 7 Simple Steps. Step 6.

Step 6: Take a Step Back.

This next step in the process requires you to take a step back and evaluate where you are right now with your business social activities. So you can begin at this point to organise your resources and really engage with your plans, and from there you can identify your starting point.

Having the right strategies at the very beginning is a variable, not only dependent on your own particular situation, or your own level of competence, but also on the varying skills of the people and contacts you are now beginning to associate with. So choosing the right market gains some significant importance at this stage.

How to Develop Your Winning Social Media Plan in 7 Simple Steps. Step 7.

Step 7: Beginning the Implementation Process.

The first six steps in the process are now complete, so you should now be at the stage where you can begin the 7th and final stage of the process, which is the implementation of your social media plan.

So with your planning now complete, you can start the implementation process and roll-out, and this will involve things like:

• Building your web visibility and brand with your websites and Blogs.

• Developing trust, building trust visibility and engagement using tactics such as RSS feeds, Search Engine Optimisation, Social networking.

However as these topics are all individually massive subjects themselves, they are well outside the scope of this article and are covered by other articles within this series which can be found on my blog.

So, there you have it, I have tried to keep this article as brief as possible and hope you find the tips and strategies I have covered, useful to you and your business, and as you can more than likely see, there is so much more to social media marketing than simply opening a Twitter or Facebook account, but by utilising the steps above you will soon learn How to Develop Your Winning Social Media Plan.

4 Steps to Calculate Your Social Media Return on Investment

This guide will offer substantial suggestions for developing a practical approach to measure your social media marketing return on investment (ROI).

You begin by posting to Facebook and Twitter to interact with your fans and followers. You think your actions are OK, but are not sure how to determine the impact of your efforts and the ROI.

Counting how many Twitter followers and Facebook fans you have is a way to jump in and start measuring your ROI. A slightly more advanced method is to measure Facebook likes and Twitter retweets. A better approach to ROI measurement that is goal-based will help you understand the “how” behind the “why” of the marketing initiatives you implement.

Many internet marketers will focus on acquiring contacts first, strengthening their brand, then how to create more sales. Any return on investment in social media marketing should be tied in with the goal of your social media messages and your presence online.

Survey Results

A typical purchasing process starts with becoming aware of a brand, then showing enough interest to become a contact, and finally, deciding to make a purchase.

Step One – Strengthen Your Brand

The total of all social interactions regarding your product drives your brands’ success. You need other people talking about you and your products with their networks so these interactions do not just involve your efforts alone.


Attention revolves around the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Potential customers have to be engaged with your brand. It is not sufficient to just have a large group of social media followers.


When you engage in social media, how many people can you reach to interact with? Your reach will grow as people want to hear more if you offer content that interests people and gets noticed. Marketers claim it is analogous to your brand reach which will be equal to your email marketing list size.

Every piece of your content posted should be so good your fans and followers will want to share it with their friends which is known as viral marketing. More people see your content when they do this.


What your audience is saying about your brand is known as brand engagement. Engagement includes both content engagement and brand engagement.


One way to measure content engagement is by measuring social media shares (i.e., likes or retweets) which shows how engaged your audience is with your content. If your content clicks with your audience you can better understand the level of your content engagement. In an example, were your visitors connected with your content well enough to share it with their group of friends?

Step Two – Acquire Contacts

Understanding your list of social media followers is critical. Measuring the growth in brand reach is a common way to accomplish this. It is likewise important you understand how all of your actions may affect the reach of your brand. A table or line graph are common tools to help you measure this.

Your actions have an impact on the resulting count of your Twitter followers.

Your latest product release and asking people for product feedback probably increased your Twitter follower count after sharing content about the product. Ideally, the type of content you publish and the subject matter resonated with visitors enough to push them past their inertia point so they will click the Twitter follow button.

It is not just how you say it and what you say on Twitter and Facebook that assists growing your following. The key is to analyze your overall social media actions and then tie them to the goal you are intending to achieve.

One example is, both your email and website contain valuable content; by including social sharing toolbars to both of them, it can increase the number of touch points available for visiting followers and fans.

Step Three – Generate Sales

How do you transform your visitors and contacts into revenue once you have an audience built from your hard work? The usual marketer desires to drive quantifiable results so their time investment is justified, but they remain difficult to measure entirely.

There are some things you can do to measure if your efforts are delivering results.

• Surveys – Survey your customers is one way to measure if your social media efforts had any impact on them. Ask which of your efforts added to their purchasing process.

• Social Media-Specific Offers – A second idea is to create a special offer or specific landing pages to promote via just your social media marketing. Using these pages you can track actions and traffic as these pages are specifically aimed to your social media efforts.

• Google Analytics – One can create social media-specific campaigns and tag those links and campaigns if you use Google Analytics, which is a free download for you. This can analyze how many visitors came from a social media source to visit a particular landing page.

• Different Links – To determine your traffic sources more accurately, employ different links in your social media for tracking information. As an example, use a different link for your Facebook post than the one you use for a Twitter tweet to determine which media source your traffic came from.

Other solutions can include engaging browser cookies to track the source from where a purchaser clicked a link and from which social media posting. If you want other methods to track your results you can research more solutions in a Google search.

Step Four – Gain Community Participants

If you’ve done all the above steps adequately, you should see your social media presence growing each week. Some revenues may be showing up now from your actions. How does one boost it up to the next level then?

In the world of social media, there is a neat trick called viral marketing which is having your friends, followers and contacts pass information or tweets about you and your products along to their friends’ social pages. This acts to distribute notice of your brand for you.


Your goals in social media marketing are tied to the purchasing process, which involves acquiring contacts first, then promoting your brand, eventually creating sales, and gaining brand followers. Whichever goal you have, to evaluate your social marketing efforts’ ROI, it’s important to use a goal-based approach. One will not know whether their social media campaign is working for them until they completely understand their final objective.

The Top 7 Questions Small Businesses Ask About Social Media

Presence on social media is gaining importance as more and more small businesses are realizing the benefits they can gain from it. They are increasingly using platforms such as Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, to mark their presence in social media.

Those who are not yet used to the effect internet has had on marketing, are daunted by the technology of social media marketing. They find comfort in doing business the traditional way, in the safety of a building.

Novelty seems intimidating in the beginning, until you explore it. Similarly, small businesses have concerns for which they require reassuring answers. More and more people are accepting social media and small businesses are realizing that its presence is not temporary.

The following are the most frequently asked questions of small businesses. Maybe one of the questions below will address any of your concerns:

1. What is Social Media Marketing?

Communicating with stakeholders through social networking platforms such as Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, is called Social Media Marketing.

You use the pages made on social networking sites to share information about your business, customer feedback, guidelines for using your products/services etc. By doing this, you not only allow the customers to get to know you better but provide a platform to them to share their opinions also. All this helps in building relationships with customers.

2. Why does my business need to get involved?

Business and marketing has become fast paced due to the increased access to information. Customers get real-time information through their smart phones and tablets. In today’s era, customers want convenience; therefore, they expect your business to be present online.

By having a presence your business will:

Be readily available online
Be able to introduce/promote products and services
Be able to strengthen bond with present customers
Be able to capture potential customers
Be able to enhance customer traffic through social interaction.

As your presence increases through your online interaction such as likes, posts, comments, tweets, it will have the added advantage of increasing your search engine rankings.

3. HELP! I don’t know where to start

Social media marketing works the same way as traditional marketing. Begin with a plan and chart out your goals and objectives for the campaign.

Losing focus is easy when you are marketing using social media. A well laid-out plan will assist you in concentrating.

4. How much time should I spend on each platform each day?

When you concentrate on the target, you need not spend excess time on social media marketing. It does not demand much time. As long as you remain focused, 10 to 20 minutes, twice a day would suffice in running a profitable marketing campaign.

5. When should I post?

Your timing should depend upon the schedule of your target audience. Research into the lifestyle of your target audience follows and post accordingly. For instance, if you were targeting business-people or the working-class, morning would be the best time to post. They mostly check updates on their way to work. Similarly, communicate during lunch-hour as well as after office hours, when they will be travelling back home.

You can post mid-morning, afternoon and evening if your target audience is the non-working or the retired individuals. As you learn more about social media marketing and your audience, you will become better at your timing. You will have to monitor the responses your posts generate (or do not generate) and see what timing generates the most responses.

6. Which platform should I use?

Out of the numerous options, keeping the usage in mind, Facebook is the apparent choice. It already has more than 1 billion users; and the number is growing daily.

Most of the people on Facebook are regular users, checking updates throughout the day. The diversity of users makes it a good platform for small businesses to be able to use varied advertising options. Tweets are gaining popularity. People follow tweets more than they follow the news, since it is faster. So that is another good option for you.

You need to be able to communicate effectively in limited words, because tweets’ characters are limited to 140. Considering the enormity of information people sift through online, the character limitation is in line with the short attention span of people. People do not read details, they just overview.

It’s worth mentioning 3 relatively platforms gaining popularity.

One of the visual platforms is Pinterest. It allows the uploading and sharing of photos concerning any possible subject. Starting off by capturing the interest of female audience, the platform has now started capturing the interest of male audience as well.

The second one, Google+ (Google+) is also in the phase of stretching its branches in social media. Google+ with the advantage of strong financial backing of its giant owner Google is expected to contest Facebook in becoming the leading social network.

The third one, LinkedIn is popular as a platform for professionals. It allows for business-to-business interaction and is brilliant for connecting with colleagues and building professional network.

There are other social media platforms present, but these are the ones on top of the list.

7. How much does it cost?

It costs in terms of time. So, even if you are a small business with no or limited marketing budget, no need to worry, all you have to do is take out time. However, if your budget allows for moderate spending on marketing, then you can spend on placing advertisements on social media platforms such as Facebook. This would increase reach of your business at an affordable cost.

Remember, this list is not exhaustive of all the possible frequently asked questions small businesses might have or the answers to those questions. Just like traditional marketing, successful social media marketing demands customization as per your business, degree of competition, target audience, industry, budget, time and other factors affecting your business.

Engage with customers and grow your audience… The sheer quantity of information available on the social sites requires you to be quick at disseminating relevant content to customers. Sharing of irrelevant information will fail in engaging customers.

All businessmen know the importance of image and reputation. Dissemination of information, views, feedback has become quick and easy due to the Internet. Customers can now post comments in real-time and other customers can read those comments and in real-time too.

Whether you are getting positive reviews or negatives ones, it is essential to be aware of the customer views so that you can respond appropriately and timely.

Make sure you keep the following in mind:

Encouraging your customers in spreading good feedback on social media about your business
Keep an eye on what the people are saying about your business on the different social media platforms
Manage your online reputation by responding timely and accurately to feedback, reviews and posts by the customers
Be active in responding to the positive reviews by customers so that relationship with them can be strengthened
Timely detect negative feedback so that they can be responded to as soon as possible
Appreciate customers giving feedback after using your products/services.

Hopefully, through this article we have proved our point and made you realize the value of social media marketing for your business.