8 steps to social success

A beginner’s guide to effective social media campaigns

You’re not a social media neophyte. You’re on Facebook every day, and you know how to hashtag on Twitter and apply filters to your Instagram and Snapchat photos. But there’s a difference between being a casual consumer of social media and using it to run a strategic marketing campaign for your business. Here are a few tips to help you make that leap.

  1. Have a goal. It sounds basic, but before you get started, take some time to think about what you want your campaign to achieve. Goals are best when they’re specific and measurable, so “gain 50 new followers” or “get 100 people to register for an event” is a better goal than “create awareness of our product” or “promote our business.”
  2. Know your audience. Are you trying to reach existing or potential customers? People located in your immediate area or outside it? What problems do they have that your business can solve? Knowing the answers to these and other questions will not only shape the tone of your ads and posts, but also help you set parameters if you choose to use paid social media (see below).
  3. Offer something. This is especially true if you’re asking people to take some sort of action, like following your page or filling out a form. You can give away content, such as an e-book or infographic, or something more tangible, such as a free product or trial of your service.
  4. Know the rules. Social media platforms have different policies about how you can run a contest—for example, Facebook prohibits requiring people to tag their friends or share your post on their personal pages to enter—so be sure you know the rules for the platforms you’re using.
  5. Spend some money. It’s possible to run an organic social media marketing campaign without spending a dime, and if you already have hundreds of thousands of followers, this may work for you. If not, consider investing in some paid social media to increase your reach and your chances of success.
  6. Automate, automate, automate. Management and automation tools like Hootsuite can be a lifesaver, especially if you’re operating a campaign across multiple social media platforms.
  7. Monitor, test and analyze. Multivariate testing—creating and deploying ads with multiple different elements—lets you see what your target audience responds to best and adjust as needed. You can also use UTMs to determine which social platforms are the most successful at bringing in traffic.
  8. Follow up. After the campaign ends, look at what you’ve learned. Analyze your metrics to apply to future efforts, and be sure to follow up promptly on any leads you’ve collected—people who took the time to fill out a form for more information will be annoyed and disappointed if their request disappears into a black hole.

Have you run a successful social media campaign? Feel free to share your own tips in the comments. Or, if you’re just getting started and need more help, why not contact us?