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There’s more to writing a social medial marketing plan than simply setting up a Facebook page; especially if you rarely contribute to it.

In fact, the act of sitting down and writing your social media marketing plan is often more important than the strategy itself. The strategy-writing process forces you to develop and define your brand identity, identify your most likely client base and determine the best way to connect with them. Traditional advertisers talk at people. Social media marketers engage, and talk with them.

1. Set up Your Company Website and Blog

Surprisingly, many people miss this important social media marketing strategy step when writing a social media marketing plan. Instead, they put all of their marketing endeavors on their social media pages. This is a big mistake. Your website, and its accompanying blog, help you create your brand identity. Everything, from the colors you use, your font style and your content establishes “Brand You.” This is a key step in creating a social media marketing plan.

2. Create Personal and Professional Social Media Pages

Although the rules of social media networks are constantly changing, most websites will only let you have a professional page when you have a personal page. That’s actually a good thing. Once you make personal connections with people, you can refer them to your professional page without feeling like a spammer when creating a social media marketing plan. Start with the major networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+.

3. Link Your Blog Content to Your Social Media Pages

However don’t just link to the article. Write a paragraph to introduce the topic, and ask questions that will spark discussion. Warning: You turn people off when you only post about your business. Write a list of other types of topics your connections would enjoy. You’ll find this to be a beneficial part of your social media marketing strategy.

4. Identify Your Audience and Build Your Tribe

Notice the words “audience” and “tribe” in lieu of “customer.” Your audience might simply enjoy your writing style, and the topics you choose to discuss. A tribe – one of the newer social media buzz words – is a group of people who share similar interests and passions. Neither your tribe nor your audience may not start out as potential clients, but they might have associates and friends who require your services. If, in the future, they do need your product or services, they will be more likely to turn to someone they know.

5. Find the Favorite Social Media Sites of Your Tribe and Audience

Although you should create an active profile across all social networks, when writing your social media marketing plan, create a spreadsheet and note where your tribe and audience members spend most of their time. This is where you should aim your major marketing focus. Your spreadsheet should also include which topics encourage the most conversation. This reveals a good deal about your potential clients. One social media marketing blooper to avoid: Don’t put most of your energy into a site that contains most of your real life friends. They already know you. Meeting new people is the essence of social media marketing.

6. Use All Types of Media to Create Informative Content

Keep abreast of new research and development in your business sector, and share it with your connections. Don’t stop at simple written content. A world of photography, video and podcasts is at your disposal. Accumulate ideas that will trigger discussion, and arrange online webinars, podcasts and chats.

7. Set Up a Klout Account and Make a Note of Your Score

Check the page regularly, and make a note of your Klout Moments. These posts, which engage the most discussion, show you the topics that your readers find most interesting. Then, check the left-hand column on the Klout Page. This shows what people perceive as your topics of expertise. If your business specialty does not appear in the column, you need to change your strategy.

8. Set Up a Disqus Commenting Platform On Your Blog or Website

When writing your social media marketing plan, you need to consider the people who have no interest in creating Facebook or other social networking profiles. That does not mean that they do not want to comment on your site, other blogs and relevant news websites. Disqus is a commenting platform that works across different online websites. Once you create a Disqus identity, your comments on other sites are stored, with a link back to your business website and social media profiles. If people like what you say, you might inspire them, and make it easy for them, to patronize your business. In an age when everyone is concerned with privacy, while criticizing businesses for their lack of transparency, a Disqus profile shows that you have nothing to hide.

9. Create a List of Related Websites

And of course, use your Disqus profile to comment on them on a regular basis.

10. Sign up for a Service that Monitors Your Success

Or lack thereof. Collect analytics and site statistics, and check them regularly. Many free services allow you to track visitor traffic, determine where it came from, and the amount of time visitors spend on your page.
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