If you’re like many people, when you launched your social media campaign, you probably worked backwards. By that, I mean that you launched the tactical elements (e.g., Facebook page, YouTube channel, LinkedIn Group, etc.) before you sat down and developed the goals and strategies for your program.

That ready, fire, aim approach to social media causes a lot of stress for people because they quickly realize that their campaigns aren’t set-up properly. The result is that their campaigns under-perform and have to be re-built from the ground up.

One of the things we discuss in the 60 Second Marketer community is how to set goals, develop strategies, create tactical plans and execute a program in a step-by-step fashion that’s more likely to meet with success.

With that in mind, here are 37 steps you can take when setting-up, launching and running your social media program. I’ve written these with the small- to mid-sized business in mind, so the suggestions won’t work for every company. But no matter what size company you work for, these suggestions should give you an idea of how to run a successful campaign.

Ready? Here goes.

The Preliminaries:

  • Conduct a review of your company’s business and understand its mission, goals and objectives
  • Conduct a review of your company’s sales program and understand how a prospect is brought into the sales funnel and converted into a customer
  • Conduct a review of your company’s marketing program and understand what role the marketing program plays in the overall success of the company
  • Review the strategies, tactics and tools involved social media and understand what role each of those tools plays in a well-run program
  • Ask yourself “Is social media right for my company?” (In some cases, it may be better to spend your time and money on other, more traditional marketing programs.)
  • If you’ve decided that social media is right for your company, move on to the next step

The Competitive Landscape

  • Review the overall strengths and weaknesses of your company’s top 5 competitors
  • Review the sales and marketing efforts of your top 5 competitors
  • Analyze the specific social media campaigns being conducted by your top 5 competitors
  • Create a list of social media strategies and tactics that your competitors are using that appear to be effective
  • Create a list of social media strategies and tactics that your competitors are using that appear to be ineffective
  • Join your competitor’s LinkedIn groups, Facebook pages, YouTube channels, Twitter accounts and other social media member sites
  • Set up Google Alerts so you receive notifications any time your competitor, your industry or your company is mentioned in blogs or articles online

Setting Yourself Up for Success:

  • Assemble a social media team to help you execute your program. (Your team can be as small as 1 or as large as 100+)
  • Establish S.M.A.R.T. Goals  (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timebound)
  • Review your S.M.A.R.T. goals with your team and encouraged feedback and input
  • Conduct an in-depth analysis of your target market so you have a genuine understanding of who they are and what makes them tick
  • Set-up your social media campaign so that it can be measured
  • Establish goals for your social media campaign (e.g., “To drive 15% more qualified leads to our landing pages resulting in a 10% higher conversion rate for our sales team.”)
  • Establish the strategic approach for your campaign (e.g., “To create a sense of community around our brand by providing excellent customer service via social media.”)
  • Develop a tactical framework for your campaign (e.g., “Leverage Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest in the first half of the year and leverage YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ in the second half of the year.)
  • Develop an executional framework for your social media campaign (e.g., “Launch a new Facebook contest on the 1st and 15th of every month.”)
  • Align your social media campaign with your branding campaign so that they’re essentially one-and-the-same

The First 30 Days:

  • Commit to the following goals for the first 30 days of your social media campaign (this assumes your a smaller business rather than a huge corporation):
    • Update your company’s LinkedIn profile once every 2 weeks with news and information about my company
    • Visit LinkedIn.com/Answers and answer 1 to 5 questions each day
    • Update your Facebook page several times a day
    • Share highly-visible, easily-digestible content on Google+ and Pinterest
    • Send out helpful, interesting Tweets anywhere from 10 to 20 times a day
    • Write 2 to 3 blog posts a week (none of which will be about our company Holiday party or our CEO’s trip to the convention)
    • Comment on 5 blog posts a week with a relevant, insightful comment
    • If you have video capabilities, upload a series of YouTube videos designed to provide value to your customers and prospects
    • Upload content to SlideShare once or twice a month during the launch of the campaign
    • Respond to any and all comments, re-tweets, Facebook posts, etc. as quickly as possible

Measuring Your Success:

  • Install Google Analytics on your website so you can track inbound traffic and analyze when and how a prospect converts to a customer
  • Generate weekly and monthly reports that highlight the success of your social media program
  • Continuously test your social media program so you can improve the results and generate an increasingly robust return on investment

These steps are designed to help you understand how to set goals, think strategically, develop your tactics and execute a program that should meet with success. These steps won’t be perfect for every business, but they should give you a clear sense of how to approach things.

Good luck. Keep me posted on your progress. And let me know if I’ve missed anything you think should be added to the steps above.

Jamie Turner is the Founder of the 60 Second Marketer and co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile.He is also a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.