Effective social media campaigns begin with strategy. Before you begin to think about channels, artwork or giveaways, it’s important to take a giant step back and consider the purpose and goal of your social media campaign. Specifically, how does the campaign fit into your overall marketing strategy and initiatives? What do you intend to get out of a social media campaign?
Once you’ve answered those basic questions, you can start to think about the scale of your campaign. Specifically:
• What channels do you intend to include in your campaign?
• What resources will you need?
• How will you market your campaign?
If you wanted to run a Facebook-only campaign, for example, you might need:
• A custom Facebook tab
• Campaign-specific imagery
• A static web page for contest rules and details
• Facebook advertising to drive engagement
• Additional marketing collateral, including an email and press release announcing the contest.
If you wanted to run a multi-channel campaign, you might need:
• A custom Facebook tab
• YouTube videos
• Strong, share-worthy imagery
• A Pinterest presence
• A “sticky” hashtag
• A static webpage
Once you had all of these moving parts in place, you would want to “launch” the campaign with:
• A press release
• A dedicated email
• Blogger / influencer outreach
• Additional paid advertisements to drive awareness / interaction
Consider, for example, Speedo’s brilliant Summer 2013 campaign, Get Speedo Fit. This campaign included:
• YouTube videos starring Michael Phelps
• A mobile App
• A hashtag
• Useful onsite content
• A printable PDF describing the program in detail
• Strong imagery that was promoted on both Facebook and Pinterest
• An advertorial
• A press release
Speedo’s content, and message, was further proliferated by bloggers and fans, who wrote about, and shared, Speedo’s content widely.
But the genius of Get Speedo Fit was not the depth and breadth of its content, but its overarching theme and purpose.
Here was an apparel company connecting its brand identity – and products – to user need (fitness). In doing so, Speedo was creating not just a single sale, like or share, but positive feelings in its followership that had the potential to last far beyond the length of the campaign.
Social Media continues to rapidly evolve. With a multitude of channels available, it can be difficult for businesses to keep up, let alone choose where to dedicate their time, resources and energy. It was not long ago, when companies had to be “convinced” that there were genuine benefits of social media and that a Facebook and /or Twitter company page was a legitimate opportunity to grow their business or brand.
Fast forward to the present; those two channels (or at least one of the two) have essentially become the standard. Today – if a company says they are doing Social Media, it is a safe assumption that they have a Facebook Page and likely Twitter, as well. Sure, there are some savvy businesses that not only see the value (and sheer necessity) of social media, they do it well and are active on multiple channels: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube, Pinterest, etc. Then there are those who feel as though Facebook and/or Twitter are more than enough to maintain. Whichever category you fit into, social media requires a considerable amount of time and dedication. Here a few critical components to keep in mind when it comes to ongoing social media maintenance, whether you have just one active channel or many:
Take a peak at a business to consumer brand that is doing an excellent job with their social media channels. Just a few of their active channels are listed below:
In addition, they responded very well during a major PR crisis back in March, which garnered a ton of negative posts, tweets, press, etc.
Social media truly is a full time job and requires ongoing maintenance and monitoring. Seriously. Go big or go home.
Social media is a great way for small businesses to find and connect with their core audience. Often, because of strained resources or a general lack of understanding, small businesses don’t make the most of their efforts in the social sphere. You can turn this around by adhering to some tried and true social media best practices.
Don’t Just Broadcast, Engage
One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make in social media is participating in a one-sided conversation. If you are on social media but simply adding content and creating updates, you’re only half way there. The next step is engaging with your audience.
You can do this by:
Go Where Your Audience Is
The instinct of many small businesses is to be everywhere. But in order to be effective in social media, it’s a better idea to limit your engagement to the channels where you’ll get the most benefit. For B-to-B businesses, this could be LinkedIn and Twitter; for B-to-C businesses, this could be Facebook and Pinterest. The idea is to be selective and to participate in social media strategically.
Promote Your Page to Grow Your Audience Fast
If you just arrived on social media, your followers are likely limited to your friends and employees. You can turn that around fast by employing some tried-and-true methods.
Track Your Social Media Marketing Efforts
If you’re not engaging in some form of social media measurement, you’re not making the most of your time and resources.
Many social sharing tools, such as Hootsuite, have some form of measurement tracking. You can also track your social media efforts where you track everything else – in Google Analytics. To learn how, take a look at this white paper on measuring social engagement.