A Test Plan for Social Media Marketing


Social Media ROI

Maintain What’s Working, But Carve Out Some Budget for Social

Unless you’ve suddenly received additional budget for social media marketing (insert laugh track), you’re probably stuck diverting resources from other marketing budgets to make social media marketing happen. Try not to touch the funds supporting your current effective strategies, instead drawing from the cost of under-performing strategies.

Since this is a test campaign, you should only allocate enough budgets to generate “statistically-significant” results that you can compare against your other marketing channels. This could require 10-20% of your total marketing resources, depending on the size of your budget. Companies like “Lion Marketing Group” suggest that 20% is a good starting point for business starting out in the Social Media Arena.

Create a Focused Strategy

Since you will be working with a smaller budget, it’s important to focus your efforts for maximum result. Instead of creating profiles and accounts the hundreds of social media platforms, start by identifying a couple of tactics to pursue, and metrics for determining success.

For example:

    Start a blog, and update it frequently with relevant topics for your audience. Goal: Increase website traffic by 20% and generate (insert your number here) blog subscribers.

    – Use Google Alerts and Tweet Deck to monitor the web, blogs and Twitter for mentions of your brand (negative or positive), and join the conversations. Goal: Increase customer satisfaction and positive online brand references.

    – Build your LinkedIn network of customers and prospects, and start or participate in a LinkedIn group focused on a topic of interest to potential referral sources and customers. Goal: Identify and create relationships with 10 new prospects or referral sources each month, resulting $X of new revenue.

    – Start a Facebook Page, and build your audience by distributing exclusive offers to “Fans.” Goal: Increase foot traffic to a store or restaurant, online purchases for an e-commerce site, customers for a service, or members for an association.

Analyze your Social Media Marketing Success or Failure

Now it’s time to sit down and analyze your results to determine what tactics worked and what goals were reached, and which were not. In addition to looking at the hard numbers, use anecdotal information in your judgment. For example, if one of the tactics didn’t reach the revenue goals, did it generate conversations that could lead to substantial future revenue? Did it make it on other sites like “SacTown Social Media

With your numbers and insights in hand, you’ll be able to identify which tactics you should continue to optimize and leverage for your business, and which tactics to drop.

The exciting thing about social media marketing is the constant appearance of new channels, platforms and tactics that may be helpful for reaching your business goals. Following the process above will help you remove much of the fear and uncertainty of testing these new tactics, and improve your overall marketing revenue and ROI goals.

Image Credit: Intersection Consulting

Article by Joshua Carnes

Joshua has written 1 articles.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Aluminum Cases September 15, 2010, 3:08 pm

    A test plan is a good idea. What works for one website or niche may not work as well for you. So you need to test the waters and see where the most potential is. I have not tested linkedin yet. So perhaps that is something I will look into soon.

    • Alex Dumitru September 16, 2010, 2:39 pm

      That’s what I do right now. I’ve restarted my personal blog and I’m doing a lot of tests 🙂

  • used tires September 15, 2010, 11:41 pm

    I’ve personally have been taking full advantage of Google Alerts for over 3 years now, and make sure you are ready to be bombarded with emails especially if your particular word is mentioned alot. It’s hard to keep up with it but it’s worth it! Also be sure to set your Google Alerts settings to up day you As it happens, and to select all the options available!

    Till then,


  • UK Webmaster forum September 16, 2010, 4:31 am

    The popular social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube which have more than five million visitors everyday are considered to be an important social media for marketing. Promoting your business using these sites is a very attractive business proposition since they offer a huge amount of steady traffic on a daily base everyday.

  • Alex@Jocuri September 16, 2010, 9:02 am

    You can never fail with social media marketing. First off all is free and you don’t have to pay to be exposed to more traffic and more opportunities to convert, all you have to pay is for someone(if you outsource) or can do it yourself for free, thus any conversion will be profit. Joshua Carnes idea to monitor the traffic and conversion is great, if you do this then you can see exactly what converts better and where so you can target specific website with specific link/offeers etc. Great one!

    • used tires September 18, 2010, 12:23 am

      @Alex, Yeah it’s free, in terms of using the social platform but you can fail… you put time and effort to get yourself out there on the social media scene.. and you won’t always get results, so you can definitely fail and nothing is guaranteed.

      Till then,


  • Car Rental September 16, 2010, 12:58 pm

    I think the more social media sites you get the more experiments you will make and waste money while experimenting on different things. I would stick two one or two sites at the start until I get some experience.

  • Dan Lew September 18, 2010, 4:17 am

    Good points, viral tactics are key when your budget is restricted. I can’t wait until Google Me comes out, they say it should be the next best thing apart from Facebook!

  • Software Development Company September 20, 2010, 12:19 am

    Good strategies for social media marketing. I use social networking sites but i don’t define any goal till now. Thanks for the idea.

  • Tej Kohli September 20, 2010, 4:33 am

    Social media now playing a big role in online marketing not only you can get traffic but also best means for branding . I am using Facebook and Twitter mainly

  • holistic cures for gout September 20, 2010, 6:04 am

    If you need to promote your business you have to use these social media sites Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube it is a very attractive business proposition.

  • evan schulte September 20, 2010, 10:47 am

    You are smart to set up a test plan. I have been working with one myself. Good luck and looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

  • smart metering September 23, 2010, 3:45 am

    Seems a very good strategy for social media marketing as social media marketing is nowadays very lucrative for gaining traffic and popularity of the site.

  • Phnoy Tv Pinoy September 27, 2010, 9:27 am

    Sometimes social media marketing affect little minds. Now, even a preschooler are addict to computers. They should have done something about it.

  • eCommerce Development October 1, 2010, 6:31 am

    Generally, people start social media but do not focusing on tacking and analyzing how it will be impacted. How many traffic it creates etc.

  • Home Gout Remedies January 1, 2011, 9:37 pm

    Will definitely try this for my business

  • top drops August 24, 2011, 1:10 am

    For the marketing community, social media is the newest, shiniest toy we’ve had in a while, and most of us are rushing to learn how to utilize each new social platform to our advantage.

  • Flex Developer September 20, 2011, 3:01 am

    Now a days Social Media is the new trend in people. Its really effective way of marketing. I think every one would have to try this way for their business. I recently start social media for my business and i get good result by this. My business traffic is increase.