Whether you’ve previously embarked on the social media journey for your business or not. There are some key steps that you need to take when creating a social media campaign to ensure it’s successful.
Social media can be everything you want it to be or don’t want it to be. But it takes hard work and dedication to get it right. We all see those social media accounts with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers and may envy them a little. But what we don’t realise is all the hard work that has gone into them in order to get them to that point. The best social media campaigns out there have been precisely planned and executed.
Planning and preparation are key to a successful social media campaign. The best social media campaigns out there are supported by strategy, and probably a whole team!
Social media is a great way to build brand awareness and build a following.
It gives you a way of becoming a subject matter expert and therefore builds trust with your audience. If your audience trusts you then they will come back time and time again, which means that you’ll be at the top of their list when they’re thinking of purchasing a product or service.
But like any other campaign your business undertakes, a social media campaign needs to be strategic and needs to be taken seriously.
There’s an art to creating a successful social media campaign, it’s not just a random collection of images or videos slapped together.
Businesses put a lot of thought into the process and every detail is meticulously planned. So, if you don’t have the resources or the drive to put in the effort up front, then you won’t see the results down the track.
Another thing to remember is that whilst social media gives its users an instant fix, it is not an instant way of becoming successful online. It’s a long-term strategy that could take months or years to perfect. If you’ve dabbled in it previously and did not see instant results, you may need to change your perspective. Having patience is key when it comes to social media, like everything else in life, you get out what you put in.
We understand your frustrations; you might be seeing your competitors have a lot of success when it comes to social media, while your social media presence isn’t growing.
If you’re having trouble getting started and you’re not sure what you should be doing, then use this step by step guide to create your first or next social media campaign.
Here are 7 Steps to creating an effective social media campaign:
1. Decide what you want
Understanding the goal of the campaign is key to a successful social media campaign. Think about what you want to achieve from your campaign, and this will dictate the actions that you take.
Do you want to promote an event? Are you launching a new product? Or is this a social giving campaign?
Whatever the campaign, you need to understand the end goal.
You need to think about what action you want the user or follower to take when they view your campaign or part of it.
Social media is used to sell products and services, but in a more indirect way than other forms of advertising. If you go for the hard sell you may lose credibility with your audience.
Having an end goal of increasing sales for a certain product is absolutely fine, but it’s the execution that matters. Building credibility and becoming a subject matter expert will ultimately increase sales in the long run. Don’t be impatient, stick it out and you will achieve your desired result.
2. Decide the “How”
Now that you know what your end goal is, decide how you want to reach that goal on each social media channel.
It’s a no brainer that you need to put video content on YouTube whilst you can only put photo and video content onto platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
Think about which type of content will portray your message in the right way. And which type of content is best suited to the social media channels you’re going to use in your social media campaign.
Which type of message will best achieve your goal? Do you want to go down the pay per click route? Or do you want your blog post to rank highly on Google?
How you convey your message needs to be platform specific in order to have an impact.
3. Create a content calendar
Your social media marketing calendar will be your best friend when it comes to your social media campaign. The content calendar will put all of your how “on paper” in an organised way.
With all of the platform automations these days, having a calendar allows you to create content ahead of time so you aren’t rushing around last minute. Campaigns should be strategic, not put together in a rush.
You can also ensure that you keep important dates in mind like major holidays, sales periods, etc., and plan your content around those events, making it specific to those events if they’re part of the overall plan.
It acts as a fall back, if you’ve already scheduled your content, and something comes up, then it’s all in place, no stress.
You need to think about:
- What days of the week and at what times will you be posting content to your different social channels?
- What messaging and creative copy should you use to generate engagement?
You need to get down to the nitty gritty and set up an outline of what each day looks like for the whole campaign. The more detail, the better. If everything is set up at the start, then you’re guaranteed to execute the campaign as planned. Things may come up along the way, but if the fundamentals are in place then your social media campaign is more likely to be successful.
4. Create your content
Putting the how into action can be tricky.
With social media, you’ll need both written and visual content. If you aren’t an expert in the field then hire someone else to do it for you. There are heaps of freelance websites out there, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If you decide to do it yourself then do some research online. Platforms like YouTube have endless guides on how to create engaging video content. The world wide web is your friend when it comes to researching “how to’s” online. There are endless how to videos and articles out there, so research as much as possible.
If you have a team that are experts and will do it for you, then that’s even better.
Visual content is becoming more and more important on social media these days. It is more important than written content on certain platforms like Instagram.
Whatever your content type, you need to ensure it’s unique, engaging and specific. Generic content won’t get you anywhere on social media. Consumers won’t even glance at your content if it isn’t thoughtful and targeted. They’re bombarded with messages day and night, so why should they pay attention to something that has just been slapped together?
If you want to show your customers or potential customers that you value them, then you need to create interesting content, whether it’s visual or written.
5. Schedule your posts
Now that you’ve completed all your content, and your calendar is in place, you can start scheduling the content.
Social media platforms make this part easier for you. With all the automations, you can schedule posts in the future, exactly when you want them to be published. There are loads of social media management tools out there like Hootsuite, so consider this as an option. It may make your life a lot easier.
6. Monitor your campaign
As mentioned, social media campaigns aren’t a set and forget. Monitoring your campaign and responding to your audience are all part of the campaign.
Social media has created an environment where your customers can engage with you 24/7, so if you’re not present, they will get frustrated and disillusioned with your business.
Create a personal connection. If you’re responding to comments and queries as they pop up, it’ll build your relationship with your followers.
There are different theories when it comes to engaging with trolls and those that make negative comments on social media. You can either engage, ignore or delete, that’s up to you. Whatever your choice, you need to have a strategy when it comes to complaints and negative comments on your different social media accounts.
7. Analyse & make adjustments
This is a key step that many may overlook, but monitoring the performance of your campaign is critical. With all the advanced analytics on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, there’s no excuse for not analysing a campaign.
This is where a lot of organisations fall over when it comes to social media.
You need to allocate the necessary resources into this phase to capitalise on the flexibility of social media, and to ensure that your campaign is a success.
Analyse every post, comment, share etc. to see how your campaign is tracking, and make the necessary adjustments. Everything is done automatically for you by the platforms, you don’t need to do anything yourself.
If you are struggling to understand what all of the stats mean then do your research. Understanding what every stat means, will give you a greater insight into the adjustments you need to make.
Even if the stats aren’t as expected, learn from your mistakes and make the necessary adjustments to improve going forward.
That’s the beauty of social media, if something doesn’t work, you can immediately make the necessary adjustments. You get stats in real time any time, so utilise these resources.
Social media can be great or not so great, but that’s up to you. If you plan ahead, put effort into it and adjust as you go, you will succeed. When it comes to any form of external communication, there needs to be thought that goes into it.
Social media is a great way of communicating to your audience, but if you’re sending the wrong message then it will have consequences. Make sure your social media campaigns are executed well to give them every chance to succeed.