This article has been contributed by Michael Georgiou.
Facebook has 1.35 billion monthly active users and Twitter has 284 million of them. These massive figures are reason enough that all businesses irrespective of their size should be using social networks for marketing their products and services.
When it comes to marketing, you need to go where the audience is and the audience is on social media. But, where there are customers, there will be competition.
The problem is that on social media, you are not only competing with your direct competitor but also every other business aiming to attract consumer attention. This means simply being actively present on these channels is not sufficient. To leverage the potential of these channels, you need to implement some effective marketing campaigns.
Social media campaigns are a crucial marketing strategy for effective branding and advertising. But developing, designing and executing an effective social media campaign is not an easy task.
Let’s take a look at a few social media campaigns to understand this:-
A) A Social Media ‘Campaign’ that went Viral
Oreo’s tweet during the Super Bowl black out is the best example of a successful social media campaign. Although not a campaign in the strictest sense of the term, it resulted from taking advantage of an available opportunity (and knowing this was an ideal opportunity to market its product). This is known as real time marketing.
B) A Failed Social Media Campaign
McDonald’s Twitter campaign in 2012 is an example of a social media campaign that failed miserably. #McDStories was a hashtag created by the brand to engage Twitter users in a conversation. But this hashtag instead turned into bashtag when customers started to use the hashtag to highlight their horror stories.
– “Dude, I used to work at McDonald’s. The #McDStories I could tell would raise your hair.” (via Twitter)
– These #McDStories never get old, kinda like a box of McDonald’s 10 piece Chicken McNuggets left in the sun for a week (via the LA Times)
To ensure, you don’t make such mistakes with your social media campaigns, here are some of the key components you should consider before taking the social media leap:-
1. Set Strategic Goals
When it comes to social media campaigns, the age old adage rings true:
“Failing to plan is planning to fail”
The success of a social media campaign depends on having clearly defined goals that can help you best implement your plan. There are many factors of the campaign that play a role in its success- clarity of message, perfect timing, picking the right social channel to target audience, and more.
Identify the short-term and long-term goals you are planning to achieve with the social media campaign. Use short-term objectives as stepping stones to meet long term business goals.
- Is the goal to bolster brand awareness?
- Do you want to improve your conversion rates?
- Are you looking to boost brand mentions?
- Is your goal to boost sales?
- Do you want more followers?
- Are you looking for more engagement from your followers?
- Do you want to drive traffic and generate qualified leads?
Ensure your social media campaign goals are aligned with your business goals.
2. Implement Strategies & Tactics that Support Your Goal
Once you have set goals for your social media campaign, you are ready to build inbound campaign strategies that will help you achieve those goals. Setting detailed strategies for your marketing campaign(s) is as important as having a solid business plan.
Strategies and tactics you should implement depend on the goals you aim to achieve with the marketing campaign. To achieve the desired results from your campaign, you need to pitch your campaign on the appropriate social channels.
As an example, if you are aiming to get more engagement from your audience, you could hold a photo contest and gather entries using one hashtag over the social channels that support hashtags, such as Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
3. Promoting the Social Media Campaign
The key to effectively marketing your social media campaign is building anticipation in your audience. In the weeks leading up to your campaign, contact your followers and customers get them involved in the campaign, whether it’s just an early heads up or a pre registration.
Send emails to your subscribers to join your campaign. Leverage all appropriate social channels as well, by sharing content related to your upcoming campaign regularly.
As an example, if you were holding a Facebook only competition, don’t just promote it there, but create content for all the other social networks and point them towards Facebook.
4. Encourage Engagement
Engagement should happen all through the campaign – before launch, during the campaign, and after its run course. Social media works on dialog, not monologue. So, engagement is absolutely crucial for any social media campaign to succeed.
But how can you foster engagement? Let’s check out a few examples:
Pre-Launch & Launch
Engage with your current following to get them excited & consider entering.
The above tweet from Domino’s Pizza UK is a good example of how a brand can set the stage for the launch of a new social media campaign. They offered cheaper pizzas in return for a Tweet.
Updates are a great way to keep your campaign’s supporters engaged and motivated. You can share information about how your campaign is progressing by tweeting or posting recent updates of the campaign. You can live feed your Twitter stream on your website for your site visitors.
The above tweet from Starbucks during their ‘Tweet-a-Coffee’ campaign shows how they interacted with their followers and supported them through the campaign.
Engaging consumers post the campaign is your best bet for customer acquisition, brand building and fostering customer loyalty.
Evian, a brand of mineral water engaged with their #AmazingBabyRescueMe campaign participants, post campaign, by offering them gift vouchers.
Following up with your already engaged audience will ultimately lead to higher conversion rates.
5. Analyze Your Metrics
The best way to understand whether or not your marketing efforts were successful is by evaluating your campaign. One way you could do this is by analyzing posts related to the campaign. Analytics on posts will reveal data about how many actions the post inspired and the number of times it was viewed, shared and liked. You then can compare this to your original goals. You did set goals right? (See step one)
Take note of these findings and use this new insight for your next campaign. What posts got the most engagements? What didn’t?
However, knowing the number of shares or likes is just one part of social media analytics. You must track all online conversations triggered by your campaign to get a clearer picture.
Is the buzz about your campaign positive? What is the amount of buzz created around your brand since the inception of the campaign? Who were the key influencers? Social monitoring tools like Radian6, Beevolve help track such conversations and also the tone of these conversations that surrounds your campaign on social channels.
The Bottom Line
Social media is a great platform for connecting with customers and getting measurable results. If your social media campaigns are planned with precision and are well executed, chances are your campaign will go viral and help your business achieve the desired results. The key components mentioned in this article will stop your campaign from failing and turn it into an effective top line growth machine!
Michael Georgiou is a dynamic business professional and entrepreneurial guru associated with Imaginovation.