Running a social media campaign may be at the forefront of many brands’ minds, but creating an approach to ensure it is a success is even more important, especially as the social space becomes increasingly populated.
Social media is now being used by many brands and companies, and the variety of platforms to choose from means that no matter what a brand represents, there is likely to be one to meet its needs. As they account for the highest number of users, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ tend to be seen as the giants of the industry, but others, such as LinkedIn and Pinterest, can also be used.
There are a variety of ways to run a successful social media campaign, from developing creative content and launching competitions, to measuring data and strategic planning. In order to effectively run a social media campaign, these are the top ten tips for success:
1. Keep content interesting – Encourage users to engage, by creating content that’s interesting and relevant to the brand’s messaging. Assets, such as imagery, links, and videos, can all help to enhance posts and make them all the more attractive.
2. Trial and error – There’s no harm in testing a variety of post styles when launching a new social media campaign, as this can be an effective way to scope out what the audience wants and what they will engage with. Try a selection of posts and see which one performs best, and then use this information to determine the style and scheduling of posts going forward.
3. Be creative – In addition to the above, don’t be afraid to be creative with content. Testing the waters will help decipher what fans want, and thinking outside the box never hurt anyone. Look for inspiration from similar brand pages. This can help when writing content because it gives an idea of which type of posts works the best for specific audiences.
4. Introduce content calendars – Planning ahead with content helps with organisation, the creation of an overarching narrative, and makes it easier to schedule posts. Create a week-by-week calendar with all the posts scheduled to go out, and then keep a selection of ideas for the rest of the month, including any specific dates or events happening that the brand could piggy-back on for maximum opportunities.
5. Include calls to action – This isn’t essential for all companies, but including calls to actions such as “Hit LIKE if you think this is a great way of doing this”, as well as questions, can help encourage fans to engage, as well as establish a conversational nature.
6. Measure your results – Creating weekly measurement reports, where data from each post is gathered and collated into a document, is especially useful as it offers a simple insight into seeing which posts performed better than others. In addition to this, examining the top-performing posts each week to see what made them work should help for future activities.
7. Research best practice – Social media best practice can be key when running a campaign, whether it is new or has been live for a while. Researching similar brands, including competitors, to see how they engage with their audience, or to discover interesting ideas that could be adapted, can help develop successful content.
8. Launch a competition – Competitions can be used as a way of driving acquisition. Retweet competitions are the easiest to use, are free of charge (excluding the price of the prize), and can be promoted through the use of relevant hashtags, such as #competition and #win, and @replies. Competitions can be launched on other platforms, as well, but usually a third-party tool is required. These tend to come at a small cost, but can be designed to the brand’s preferred style using eye-catching imagery, and also come complete with analytics, which is great for measurement purposes as well as data capture.
9. Integrate other services – Campaigns are more successful with the integration of other services, including PR. Events, stunts, and news stories can all be promoted through social media, as can coverage sharing and contacting journalists. Make sure the social sharing tools and icons are also visible on the brand’s website, as well as newsletters, email signatures and even TV advertising if applicable.
10. Introduce community management – Responding to those who interact with content suggests the brand is efficient and reactive, especially when it can be seen by others. This also helps continue a conversation with followers and can lead to new ideas for content by seeing what the audience wants to see more or less.
This guest post is written by Jessica Ward, an account executive at Punch Communications, an integrated PR, search and social media agency, with the client base from start-ups to global brands. If you are interested in services such as social search, or seeing what an integrated approach can do for your business, call Punch on 01858 411600.