You don’t need to be a brain surgeon to put together a social media marketing plan. But you do need to make sure you’ve got the right stuff to make it work. Creating a successful online marketing plan takes bright ideas, good hearing, a big heart, fast hands, a funny bone, and stamina.

Bright ideas
Before you get started online, you should develop objectives, goals, and strategies for your marketing efforts.

Good hearing
Don’t make a move until you listen and monitor what’s happening online in your market, including following all mentions of your company or brand, your competition, and industry keywords.

Big heart
You should plan on sharing your passions and company culture as part of your online outreach. And be as helpful as possible by sharing your expertise and knowledge with others.

Fast hands
Be prepared to put your writing skills to the test by creating plenty of valuable online content. Make sure your content creation strategy includes a variety of media: articles, videos, case studies, and more.

Funny bone
Make sure what you share is interesting and funny—and be prepared to take a ribbing for your ideas once you join in online conversations.

Any social media marketing program takes a long time to bear fruit, so be prepared to keep the energy up in the long run.

For more information on planning a social media program, check out “5 steps in a social media marketing plan” and read how to get started with Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.