Nearly 3 billion people around the world use social media on a regular basis and plenty of these users have more than one social media profile. Facebook alone has 2.41 billion users while Instagram users have skyrocketed from 800 million to one billion in the last year.
This is great news for business owners everywhere. It means that a successful social media campaign could generate some serious global exposure for your company. It’s a great way to advertise your business, promote your brand and broaden your list of clients.
But how do you run a social media marketing campaign? With more and more businesses using social media, it’s extremely important to create a campaign that will stand out from the pack.
So before you do anything else, check out this handy guide to running an effective social media campaign!
What Are the Benefits of Running a Social Media Campaign?
As we’ve already mentioned, a lot of people use social media. And this means that it’s a vital platform to use to promote your business.
You can use it to advertise your services or boost sales. Or you can simply use it to increase people’s awareness of your brand.
But one of the great things about social media campaigns is that they are cheap to run. You can kiss goodbye to expensive billboards and magazine ads. In fact, most social media accounts are free to set up.
This means you can invest your money in creating high-quality content for your social media pages. The better the content, the more social media interaction you’ll get. And the beauty of a social media campaign is that you can see massive returns on your work because users will also help to spread your campaign.
Let’s say, for example, you create a great hashtag to go with your campaign, which other users start tagging in their posts. This means that the number of posts linked back to your brand will quickly multiply without you having to lift a finger.
All of this will only work if you run a successful campaign. So let’s take a look at exactly what to do in order for your social media campaigns to really take off!
When it comes to any type of business marketing, planning is key. While it might be tempting to simply sign up for your social media account and start sharing, this isn’t the most effective way to run a campaign.
To start with, you need to decide exactly what you want to achieve from your marketing campaign. There are a couple of things you could focus on. These include:
- Boosting sales
- Increasing the amount of traffic to your business’ website
- Connecting with your audience
- Promoting awareness of your brand
While these are all linked, it’s important to put one of them at the center of your campaign. This will ensure that your campaign has a clear message and will create continuity throughout the campaign.
For example, if you want to boost sales using social media then it’s a good idea to team this with some sort of promotional deal. In contrast, if you want to connect with your audience then you need a campaign that puts them at the heart of your business. In this type of campaign, things like hashtags and photo sharing can be really effective.
Planning your posts in advance will also help you to create an overall campaign that people will engage with. While every post should be individually interesting, all your posts need to work as a whole. So don’t throw them out randomly and at the last minute.
Planning your posts ahead will also help you keep on top of your campaign so that it runs smoothly.
Finally, you should earmark any specific dates, events or seasons that might be important for your company. This will help you to create content that is relevant throughout the year.
Create a Cohesive Message
Any successful social media ad campaign needs to have a cohesive message at the heart of it. Without this, it becomes confusing for anyone who encounters it.
Your audience needs to understand what they’ve seen and why they’ve seen it. So all of your social media posts should reflect this.
For example, if you’re a restaurant promoting your new, seasonal menu then your posts should focus on this. Posts that aren’t in line with this will dilute the campaign’s effectiveness.
But the topic of your campaign isn’t the only way to make it cohesive.
Choosing a hashtag for your campaign is absolutely vital. This should be the same across all social media platforms and will link your campaign across them.
It also means that people can share your campaign themselves using the hashtag. To make this easy for them, make sure that it’s something memorable and difficult to mistype!
You can also create visual cohesion in your social media campaign using a color scheme throughout. And aim for a similar format across all your social media platforms. If you’re sharing videos and writing in bold fonts on Instagram, then do the same on Facebook and Twitter.
Do Your Research
Don’t jump the gun when it comes to creating your social media content. There are several things you should research before you start sharing.
First, take a look at your target audience. What social media platforms do they use most and when do they use them?
You need to share your content on the best social media sites for your business. Knowing when people use these sites will help you post with maximum impact. There’s no point in posting at 3 am as most of your target audience will almost certainly miss the post.
You should also check out your competitors’ social media pages. It’s important to create a campaign that will stand out from them. You don’t want someone to confuse your campaign with your competitors and take business their way!
Finally, have a look at some successful social media campaign examples.
Starbucks’ 2017 Unicorn Frappuccino campaign is a great example of running a short campaign to boost sales. It ran for a week and is helpful if you want to learn how to advertise using Instagram. Since it first ran, it has generated more than 155,000 Instagram posts!
Billie’s Fighting Sexism in Shaving campaign is a great example of how to run a campaign across multiple platforms. It used Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube alongside the company website.
Lastly, take a look at Dove’s #RealBeauty campaign. This campaign started 15 years ago and demonstrates that a social media campaign doesn’t have to be about short-term promotion. It promotes a brand message which has a global reach.
This is a great way to get an idea of the dos and don’ts of running a successful campaign. It might even give you inspiration for your own posts. After all, if it worked for them it could work for you too!
Don’t Click Share to All
Social media profiles will often let you link accounts, which is great for creating a cohesive campaign. But be wary of hitting the ‘share to Facebook’ or ‘share to Twitter’ buttons on your Instagram account.
This might feel like it will save time but the formatting that each site uses can vary. This means that a post can look great on one page won’t work on another.
For example, clicking ‘share to Twitter’ from Instagram often means that your caption will post as a tweet. But the actual image will only appear as a link to your Instagram page. This is hardly eye-catching content!
So take the time to format each post to suit the site you’re using.
Utilize Each Platforms’ Tools
Social media is a totally unique way of advertising, so make the most of its assets.
Hashtags, stories, and identifying trending topics are all great ways to build your brand. You can even save stories to your Instagram page in order to build your bank of content. Or, if you have a big announcement to make, why not try live steaming to share your news?
Tagging relevant people in your content or using relevant hashtags also increases the number of people who will see it. Just make sure that your tags make sense, otherwise, this can be off-putting for users.
Most social media sites also offer you analytics to run on your pages. These will tell you about the reach of your content and how many people have interacted with it. So make the most of these!
Invest in Your Social Media Campaign
As we mentioned earlier, running a social media campaign is a lot cheaper than most other types of advertising campaigns. So don’t feel like you have to scrimp on your campaign. There are a couple of things that are really worth investing in.
One of them is automated-sharing software. This saves you time sharing your posts across social media platforms. You simply write and upload the posts in advance and set the dates and times for each post to go out.
This means that you don’t have to plan your days around sharing a particular post. And it means you can have an entire campaign set up to go way in advance!
You might also want to invest in services that help you to boost your followers, likes, and shares. The more likes and shares your content gets, the higher it will rank on social media sites.
And this boosts how many people will see it. If you can get your content trending on social media then you’re away!
Finally, you may want to consider hiring a social media agency. These companies specialize in running social media campaigns so they know all the tricks in the book.
Hiring in outside help isn’t for everyone and it often depends on your company’s social media budget. But it can be great if you’re a small company that needs more staff to support their social media campaign.
Track the Results of Your Campaign
Speaking of analytics, keep an eye on what’s happening with your campaign. This is the real way to see how successful it is.
Extra likes or follows on your page are great and will boost brand awareness in the long-run. But they don’t necessarily mean that people are engaging with your campaign in the most effective way. Things you should really look out for, which signal a successful campaign include:
- Sharing content from the campaign through shares or retweets
- Clicking through the content onto your website
- Staying on your website or social media profiles for long periods of time
This is a great way to pinpoint what has brought potential customers to your site. It lets you identify what elements of your campaign are really working. And if you find some parts aren’t, then make sure you reassess them.
You should also keep an eye out on how people respond to your campaign. Use your hashtag to search for responses from social media users and, where appropriate, respond to these.
There’s nothing people love more than feeling heard by a company. And this is something that social media can really help you to engage with.
The Bottom Line
A successful social media campaign could make the world of difference to your business. It can promote your brand and boost sales. So it’s time to start running yours!