Create a Successful Social Media Marketing Plan (SMMP): The Seven-Step Program

Create a Successful Social Media Marketing Plan (SMMP): The Seven-Step Program


Create a Successful Social Media Marketing Plan (SMMP): The Seven-Step Program 

by: Aliza Sherman


Start with questions Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

She uses these questions to start her plan.


1. Why? We live in a fishbowl and people hop to different fishbowls all the time. 

If the goal is to make money, you are likely to fail. It isn’t anything more than trying to make money off a handshake.

If the goal is branding, good opportunity to expose people to the brand.

If the goal is loyalty, great for current customers and getting new customers. You can now identify “superfans”. Using the fans will help market for you.

If the goal is feedback, just like early web days of responding to inquires. Not extra burden but additional channel to communicate. Customers want to engage “talk”.

If the goal is Word-of-Mouth (WOM), plays really well in Social.

Social Media misperceptions

1. Viral is a strategy – people only share something if there is value (socio-economics)

2. I can control it – you have to learn to operate w/o control

3. I can buy friends – buying empty numbers that are meaningless

4. Bought friends will listen to me

5. I can just buy an ad – not the only thing but FB social adds can work

6. I’ll put all my eggs in the SM basket – just cause you see good results doesn’t mean you can ignore the other mediums

Why you might Fail

1. Wrong objectives – needs a proven marketing objective, not direct sales tools

2. Wrong target – have to examine and adjust audience to make sure message is effective

3. Wrong messages – Careful, strategic but conversation speaking with/amongst people not talking down

4. Wrong Chanel’s – be selective about channels that are destinations

5. Wrong tactics

Why do you want to use social media?

That’s where the people are, making connections, ask questions, help people feel like you(company) really care

2. Who? 

Demographics suck, in social media- We have the real opportunity to reach our customers and may not fit any demographics

Psychgraphics rule – people willing to engage in a brand in social media are perfect for providing more information about who they are

Who are you trying to reach?

Think about who specifically you are trying to reach rather than broad generalization and start with the goal then define the audience.

3. Where? 

Evaluate the assets you have already. Photo sharing, blogs, social, wiki, RSS, video, etc.

Other assets – Location, people, stories, images, video, audio, words ex: Cheese lady at Whole Foods

Website – everyone has a website, but not everyone is including social networking tools on their site

Blog – you have to think of a blog as a way to share stories, get people that can be effective at writing

Social Tools – Other tools can really get people engaged and leverage your content (don’t overuse multi channel messaging tools)

Integration with RSS – Feeds can be used all around via RSS (

Where are you going to reach them?

4. What?

Grow FFF – Friends Fans Followers don’t get fixated on the quantity but look for quality of the followers

You have to reach out, ask questions, engage customers and grow your base otherwise plans will fail

Increase WOM – one of the most powerful opportunities this is not astroturfing (pose as someone you are not or hide who you really are). Put interesting and valuable information out there for customers so that they will want to share, but not at the expense of transparency.

Encourage Sharing – It is okay to ask for retweet or share. Don’t overuse. Ask questions

Stimulate Conversations – Controversy(tread lightly)

Drive Actions – the plan should include your actions but also those of other people should take, (buy is implied). Sales don’t happen directly most of the time, it didn’t work with your banner ads, why would it work here? 2 or 3 are good to start with.

What are you going to do with social media tools?
Comments, product improvements, campaign direction, crowdsourcing (get lawyers involved for IP reasons)

5. How?

How much?

The measurement tools. ( also Biz360( and ScoutLabs( – pay solutions

SocialMention( and Twitter Analyzer (

Nothing exists today that can do it all, you have to use different tools to get the complete picture.

Numbers Centric – carefully understand the impact of you followers, fans, friends

People Centric – you want superfans to continue sharing with their connections

Relayed example of Super Fans – 20 super fans get free handbag, 10 accepted brand ambassador get updates on all new dev and other inside info

How are you measuring?

Free and paid tools are important for leadership

How much is enough?

Keep the conversation going which will translate into loyalty

Start with the “low hanging fruit” so you can get started and then build up from a solid base

Blog – post more information text, audio, video, pictures, etc. At least weekly but more is better

FB – ad tools are great,

Twitter – Near realtime ability to flow, traffic attention

You have to have a Social Media Calendar that details when and where you are going to talk

Never rely on fully scheduled message, you have to be human


Keep social media marketing out of the IT group, it should live with people that can write and build community

When hiring candidates should have their own FB, Twitter and Blog accounts and do it well


For Twitter you have to leave room for people to retweet

On Facebook tweets are not the same and people have different expectations with content.


Step 1: Objectives

State your objectives  and they must be attainable, marketing and measurable


Step 2: Audience
They must be online, participating and primed

You need to lead people to your social efforts


Step 3: Assets

Locate assets and see what is currently used and find opportunities to expand

Review existing assets

Integrate the assets in multiple channels


Step 4: Tactics

Appropriate, manageable and sustainable

Blog weekly, Tweet daily and FB somewhere in the middle but you must respond


Step 5: Big Ideas

Risky is okay, but don’t go too crazy where you risk significant money, but look for opportunities

Rewarding and repeatable so that there is value and consistency


Step 6: Measurement





Step 7: Rinse, Repeat





This is the first steps, the rest takes time to learn. You fans, friends and followers will help guide the direction.





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