The average marketer spends more than 11 hours per week on social media, while small business owners typically invest 6 to 10 hours. What seems like a staggering amount of time is actually time well spent.

It costs five times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones, according to Forrest Research. Plus, 80 percent of your company's future revenue will come from a mere 20 percent of your existing customers, according to Gartner.

Having an effective, achievable and actionable social media marketing plan increases your customer engagement and retention rate.

Engaged customers buy 90 percent more frequently, spend 60 percent more per transaction and are five times more likely to indicate you as the only brand they would purchase from in the future. In one year, these customers deliver three times the value to your brand than others, according to LoyaltyOne.

Keep your customers happy and loyal by engaging them through social networks. Create a social media marketing plan in five steps.

1. Set goals

Social media marketing goals should be SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound.

Below are a few of the most common social media goals and objectives written as SMART examples:

  • Grow brand's online community by increasing followers by 20 percent within six months
  • Develop a stronger relationship with customers by following 20 percent of brand followers and commenting on three posts each week for the next year
  • Increase online visibility by boosting post reach by 10 percent in two months
  • Increase visitor to buyer conversion rate by 5 percent in three months
  • Drive 1,000 social media visitors to website each week for the next four months

2. See where you stand

Perform a social media audit before you begin to see how powerful each social network is to your organization. This audit is easy and simple, and it takes only an hour to complete. Nice!

Open up a spreadsheet, and note the following on each social network:

  • Profile name and consistent brand messaging
  • Number of followers
  • Average weekly activity (3 posts, 15 likes, 10 shares, 100 views, etc.)
  • Average click-through rate of posted links
  • Total amount of traffic to website
  • Conversation rate

Your brand may not have the time to invest in every social network. Instead, focus on the top three networks that are most effective.

3. Find out what works

Keep that spreadsheet magic going!

Add a new column, "Our Best Posts," and link to three top-performing posts, and detail why. Then spend 15 minutes on each network analyzing successful industry and competitor posts. Put them in a new column, "Others' Best Posts," to discover new content and post formats for your brand, too.

4. Create (and stick to) your editorial calendar

In your social media editorial calendar, break up each month. For now, focus on broad goals for three months out like the ones above. Only build out one month of editorial content at a time.

Then, detail the following:

  • Network of post
  • Numbers of posts per day, week and month
  • Specific post, image and corresponding link — shortened links work best
  • How to differentiate similar content on different networks
  • Date and time of each post
  • Person who will write and/or post each piece of content
  • Performance of each post — garnered one day later

5. Test. Learn. Adjust.

Track your weekly and monthly success, and add this to your calendar. Then, allow the analytics to influence future content.

After all, you want to do more of what works and less of what doesn't to keep your customers engaged!