Corporates are investing heavily into developing appealing social campaigns that will attract new customers and increase sales. According to latest statistics nearly 25% of the marketing budget in 2018 will be spent on social media campaigns alone.
Putting a lot of money into social campaigns does not guarantee success – especially if your strategy is off target. The video below shows you the latest social media endeavors of several big companies with admittedly less successful results…
The biggest social media misfires
Video length: 1:56 min.
Great example showing us that social campaigns don’t always turn out the way the marketing department intended. What can small businesses do in order to avoid these traps?
How to Create Successful Social Campaigns in 4 Easy Steps
Here’s how Heleena Weber – Social Media Manager at ZGM Collaborative Marketing – recently described these four steps on Business 2 Community:
Step 1: Scan
Before you get started, it’s important to have a solid understanding of a few things:
- Your Brand What are current perceptions of your brand? You can use free tools like Google Alerts, or splurge on more in-depth tools such as Alterian’s SDL/SM2 for a more in-depth analysis.
- Your Competitors What’s your competition doing, or what are the industry trends? By looking at what they are doing, you can gain valuable insights on what works, or what might not work.
- General Trends It’s a good idea to keep your finger on the pulse of pop culture, and new platforms. Follow relevant blogs related to your industry, marketing and social media using a tool such as Feedly.
Step 2: Plan
Now that you know the ins and outs of your brand and industry, you can start planning. You’ll want to consider:
- Objectives You have to know what you are working towards. What do you want your social efforts to do? Write it down. You’ll want to come back to this later.
- Feasibility It’d be great to push out great content on all of the hot new platforms, but the reality is that time is money, and time is limited. Pick and choose what you can do WELL versus trying to do everything.
- Audience You need to know who you are talking to. And then figure out what they are inclined to do online. Forrester has a great tool (also below) to help you define your audience and see if they create content, join, watch, etc.
- Content Plan While social media is fluid, you should have an outline of what you want to say, and when.
Step 3: Execute
Here’s where you get to the fun stuff and actually get to launch your campaign or plan. To help you do this effectively, keep a few things in mind:
- Social Management Tools There are a variety of tools that can help you schedule posts, track conversations, and review analytics. These can range from free tools such as HootSuite, to robust (aka expensive) tools like Spredfast, or something in-between, like one of my favourites, Sprout Social.
Here’s a quick video introducing a new feature – the AutoSchedule – to the free social media tool HootSuite…
- Polished Visuals + Messaging Just because social media is “free” doesn’t mean it should look and sound like a seven-year-old threw it together. Spell words correctly, limit the slang, and use proper grammar. Make sure your images are attractive and properly reflect your brand too.
- Engage So, you’ve scheduled in a bunch of posts but this doesn’t mean you can leave thing on auto-pilot and walk away. Social media is fluid. Engage with your fans, answer questions, and look for opportunities to be a part of relevant conversations.
Step 4: Review, Revise + Repeat
So you’ve just completed your campaign. Now what?
- Review Analytics Remember those your Objectives from your planning stage? Here’s where you want to break those back out and see how you did. Use things like Google Analytics, your social management tool, and Facebook Analytics to review stats and see how you stack up against your original objectives.
- Revise + Repeat What worked? What didn’t? Summarize and use this information for future campaigns and social efforts.
Marketing has everything to do with targeting the right audience at the right time with the right message.
Marketing is about motivating people to action, often into doing something they would not do purely of their own initiative. – Dan Kennedy
What was your biggest social takeaway? How do you intend to improve the impact of your future social campaigns?