10 Ingredients to a Successful Social Media Campaign
On 31.03.2017, by Contributing Guest
Social media marketing campaigns can lull you into thinking that as a marketing vehicle, it is a quick fix.
You read stories of companies whose businesses have been propelled into the stratosphere with a Facebook marketing campaign or an Instagram promotion. What you assume is that all it takes is a few posts here and there, utilizing a scheduling program and success is yours for the taking because customers will come flocking.
That Sinking Feeling
Many businesses sink when it comes to social media marketing campaigns because unlike other online and offline marketing tools, they don’t figure out the ‘why?’ before they plunge in, feet first.
If you are serious about creating a vibrant marketing campaign via social media, no matter which platform or platforms you choose, you need to do identify marketing goals. And then create a plan and a persona that achieves success.
A social media marketing strategy should run in tandem with your overall business plan and overarching marketing plan.
Like any other marketing campaign, you need to set your parameters for success. What means success to one business is not for another.
There are common objectives, such as:
- Increase traffic to your website – want people to connect with your website? A social media marketing campaign can be the ideal solution to driving up website visitors.
- Increase sales – wouldn’t it be great to hear the cash register ring more? It would and ‘social selling’ may be the way to do it.
- Increase newsletter sign-ups etc. – permission-based newsletters, emails and so on are great tools for when people have already come across your marketing message. Social media can be the perfect vehicle for connecting with ‘warm prospects’.
- Connect with people – social media is a fantastic way to start conversations with your customers because marketing is no longer just about ‘sell, sell, sell’.
Now that you defined the parameters for social media marketing success, you can create a strategy that works for you and your consumers, fans, and followers.
Key Aspects of Social Media Strategies that Work
Think all it needs is flinging a few posts out into the ether? Think again…
#1 ALWAYS Be Human
The clue is in the name – social media. Any campaign that uses any social media channel should be genuinely interactive by inviting conversation with your consumers, potential consumers, fans and followers.
Scheduling tools and programs are great for putting out tweets and posts but for a social media campaign that is popular and successful, you need to have a combination of both automated and human posting so that consumers see your social media platforms as lively and vibrant, and clearly run by humans.
#2 Distinguish Between Channels
There are several social media channels, from Facebook to Twitter, and photo and video-rich platforms of Instagram and more.
A common mistake is to treat all of them the same and put out the same content across them all. The truth is, different channels require different shape and form of content.
Twitter, for example, needs brief and succinct tweets, posted several times a day whereas Facebook posts can be fluffier and longer, but LinkedIn updates are crisper and business-like. Why would you post the same across all three?
And that makes social media posting a bigger job, more time and content consuming than what you think. That is why getting your social media right on one or two platforms where you know your audience is at, is better than spreading yourself too thin over every social media channel there is.
#3 Customer Interaction IS a Priority
Social media campaigns are about converting followers into brand ambassadors. Thus, customer interaction is a priority.
And that means not leaving any single comment or interaction, good or bad, unanswered.
Initially, when someone tweets or posts to your business, you need an instant ‘first response’, a ‘thanks for talking to us, we are listening and we’ll get right back’ kind of thing.
And then you need your team to respond directly to each person who has taken the time and energy to contact your company.
You wouldn’t leave the phone ringing unanswered so why are you leaving tweets unanswered?
#4 You MUST Measure Success
Even if numbers are not your thing, if you don’t measure the impact of your social media how do you know whether it is a success and if there has been worthwhile interaction?
An opportunity to examine the numbers can be a monthly task. Data and analytics impart a whole range of information from the best time to post, the kinds of posts and tweets that gain more traction than others and so on.
It provides an opportunity to identify successes over the last month and a chance to capitalise on them in the coming month.
#5 Keep an Eye on the Competition
Just like any other marketing campaign, it pays to know what your competitors are doing on their social media channels. You can assess what is and what isn’t working, as well as taking notes on what they handled well and what they didn’t.
#6 Get a Great Team Behind Your Social Media
Many businesses use their employees to work their social media channels, and this is fantastic for adding character and personality.
There are a few pitfalls, thus it pays to have a policy in place about what happens when complaints come in via Twitter, or someone takes offense on Instagram.
You also have to be realistic – it is tough for one person to do it all. Social media is not just scheduling tweets and posts – there is content to be written, client interaction to manage, a content strategy to create and so on.
Outsourcing social media management is one solution, in its entirety or in part, as well as using scheduling tools too.
#7 You Need a Content Strategy
What are you posting? Why?
These are questions that need clear answers. A content calendar is a great tool – there are loads of great examples online – that help to organise your content.
You will need this as a checklist for creating different shapes and format of content across the different channels you use, as well as scheduling infographics for use or video, images and longer form pieces that are increasing in popularity.
A content strategy also promotes consistency – this avoids posting to Facebook and Instagram ten times in one day and then nothing for several days.
#8 Paid Advertising AND Organic Reach
Us both paid and organic strategies on social media can pay dividends IF you know who you are targeting.
Neither requires a massive budget, with the most modest of social media advertising budgets driven by the right data with the right content making great strides in the right direction for your business.
It isn’t a case of what comes first – paid or organic – but paid advertising can be a great kick-start to an online campaign that supports growth in your organic reach.
#9 Focus on the Right Channel
In the beginning, find out where your customers are. If it’s Facebook, make a strong appearance and ongoing presence on that channel and then move on to others.
It is important to become established on social media and do it right – poor social media campaigns spell disaster for a brand, taking some time and effort to bounce back from.
#10 Get the Branding Right
Your social media profile, from the banner image to the profile pic, etc., needs to be consistent with your brand. Don’t leave the generic banner in place, assuming no one will notice.
Your consumers and followers will notice, giving them the impression you are ‘playing at’ being a social media savvy brand – it really does look like you can’t be bothered.
A successful social media campaign takes thought and organisation. Your presence, updates, and posts need to be consistent and appropriate. You need to show a human side, and above all, you need to respond and interact with the very people you are seeking to connect with.
About The Author
James Trotter is a Marketing Assistant at online print and design agency, Colour Graphics. Connect with James and the rest of the team to follow the latest trends in printing technology and design on Twitter @colourgraphics and on Facebook @colourgraphics.