Over 73% of small business users are actively using social media platforms to promote their products and services, build brand awareness and create deeper relationships with their prospects and customers. Why? Because, when executed well, social media campaigns work!
Here are just some of the reasons business owners give for using social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and so on:
OK, so you’re convinced, there’s a valuable rationale for creating a social media campaign. But, you’re still a little wary. And, in true warrior mode, you don’t want to just dip your toe in the water. You want to deliver such stunning and visually outstanding campaigns that blow your competition out of the water. Right?
Well, it’s definitely doable, no matter how small (or large) your organisation. With a clear strategy and exceptional execution, you can definitely leverage everything that all social media channels have to offer.
In brief, the process of creating a strong social media campaign that has been built for success can be broken down into five key steps.
Step 1: Goal-Setting
As with any business endeavour, it’s important to start off on the right foot. With social media campaigns, start by defining a clear set of goals. It’s a good idea to create a short document or mission statement that clearly maps them out – you’ll frequently refer to this document during the life of your campaign.
Include every goal your campaign aims to achieve, whether it is something specific such as “gain X new followers,” or a more general objective like “grow brand awareness.” The goals you set will undoubtedly vary according to your business’s size, age and focus, as well as the maturity of your social media capabilities. Here are just a few social media goals typical with small and medium sized business owners:
Step 2: Research
A successful social campaign is built on solid and thorough research. So, the next step in preparation for developing your social media campaign is a thorough amount of research.
Start by looking inside your own organisation. Look at your existing marketing material and communication collateral. Look at your mission statements, brand documentation, recent press releases, media kits (if they exist), customer emails, and image database. You’re looking for anything that will help in crafting your actual social media posts, things that will help set the tone of voice and develop a strong and unique creative style.
Next, analyse your target audience to understand who they are and how best to engage with them. Look at any past campaigns to see what has worked well with them and what hasn’t, and look at competitor campaigns to see what is working for them too. All of this information is invaluable for subsequent steps.
You’ll also need to identify exactly what tools and skills you will need to move your campaign to completion. Think about graphic designers, copywriters, video specialists, SEO specialist or even ad specialists. Which all raises the question, have you thought about your budget?
Step 3: Creating a Plan
After the first two steps have been completed, you should have all the information you need to create a detailed and specific plan for your campaign. If this has not already been defined in previous campaigns, think about the message you want to convey and the “personality” and style you want your brand to have.
Set a budget if one does not already exist, and define a specific delivery timeline complete with a schedule for specific tasks and objectives. Finally, assign responsibilities and accountability, and obtain approval (if necessary) to move forward.
Step 4: Putting your Plan into Action
With your plan drawn up, the only logical next step is to put it into action.
Start by preparing all content and other assets such as graphics and images. Compile and schedule posts for automatic publishing, and ensure anything you plan to post manually is fully ready to go.
As soon as you feel ready, launch your campaign, and once it’s out there, be sure to use your analytics tools to monitor performance. Watch carefully for posts that are working well (generating lots of positive engagement) and those that draw little to no attention. Don’t be afraid to tweak your plan mid-campaign, boosting items that work well and withdrawing those that don’t.
It is also important during the lifecycle of your campaign to make time to engage directly with your followers to boost engagement. And from time to time, give a shoutout to those who have engaged with you the most and thank all of your followers when you hit a significant milestone.
Step 5: Analysis and Reporting
When the campaign comes to an end, don’t forget the last important step left. Begin by taking a final, detailed look at the same metrics you monitored while the campaign was ongoing to see how it performed as a whole, which parts worked best, and what the final results were for your business.
Produce a report encompassing both successes and failures or areas that need improvement, and look at which tactics, messages, and methods worked best for your audience. Provide this report to appropriate parties, and use it as valuable fuel for improvement in future campaigns.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat
Running successful social media campaigns can be quite a challenge, especially if you are not a specialist. At Digital Gold HQ, we have a team of experts with vast experience in getting results out of social media campaigns. Why not contact us now to find out how we can add value to your business through social media.