In January 2022, 4.62 billion people were active on social media.
Not only are social media channels a global market where all of your potential customers are, but they are also a great platform for boosting customer advocacy. Responding to a comment on social media increases customer loyalty by 25%!
Businesses everywhere can ill afford to ignore social media or post content without any plan or strategy since it is now a primary touchpoint with existing and prospective customers alike.
In this guide, we will share how to create a social media campaign that will elevate your brand on multiple digital touchpoints starting with the importance of setting up realistic key performance indicators (KPIs). We will also discuss a thorough, 9-step blueprint for creating a social media presence that wins over the consumers.
Lastly, read on to find out the overall benefits of setting up a social media campaign in this highly digitalized era.
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What is a Social Media Campaign?
A social media campaign is a marketing initiative to achieve business objectives via social media channels and platforms. They have specific goals and focus, as well as measurability, KPIs and user targeting.
Companies leverage social media campaigns to improve their organic reach, engage their audiences, promote their products and services or achieve any other specific goals that improve their bottom line.
Before You Start: Set Measurable Social Media Campaign Goals and KPIs
Marketers who set goals for their social media campaigns are 367% more likely to be successful.
Therefore, the vital thing to do before setting out to create your own social media campaign strategy is to define your goals.
Answering the question of why you plan to run a social media campaign will establish the steps you will take to create and run the said campaign. Some of the social media campaign goals include:
- Acquiring leads
- Boosting brand awareness
- Increasing sales
- Acquiring customers, etc.
When setting any or each of these goals, the most important thing to do is to be very specific: how much do you want to increase your website traffic? How much would you like to boost your user engagement? What level of brand awareness would you like to achieve?
In other words, you should set goals that are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-specific.
Social media strategy should be data-driven, no matter what industry your business is in. It is, therefore, also important to define the metrics that you will use to measure the effectiveness of your campaign.
Apart from the above-listed goals and metrics, social media metrics that matter and data that can align directly with your objectives can be:
- Reach: This signifies the number of unique social media users that saw your post in their feed.
- Clicks: The total number of clicks on your content or account, essential for understanding what drives your customers to buy.
- Engagement: The number that signals the total number of social interactions that is divided by the number of impressions, signifying the willingness of your audience to interact.
- Organic and paid likes: Interactions attributed to paid or organic content, signifying what source your likes come from (ads or organic engagement) so you can determine the budget and time you spend on each.
- Sentiment: The metric showing how the users react to your content in general and what type of sentiment users associate your campaign with.
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How To Develop an Effective Social Media Campaign in 9 Steps
Setting up a social media campaign strategy comes with certain nuances that depend on the business and the industry it operates in.
However, these are the nine fundamental steps in developing a social media presence that yields result in any niche and market.
Step #1: Conduct a Competitive Analysis
In order to come up with a winning social media strategy for yourself, you must first understand what your competitors are up to. The way to know this is by conducting a thorough competitive analysis that should reveal the following:
- The channels your competitors are using
- Which channels work for them and which don't
- The tone of their voice on these channels
- The frequency of their audience engagement and social media channel posts
- The type of content they share
- The results they generate
Pay attention to both what they're doing right and the mistakes they're making. You can exploit both to get an edge over your direct industry competitors
Step #2: Create Your Buyer Personas/Customer Profiles
Before you even consider making social media content and thinking of social media campaign ideas, you need to very accurately define your target audience and its specific segments.
After all, if you are not targeting the right people with your social media campaign, no matter how good it is, it will fail to achieve your objectives.
A buyer persona is a representation of your general target audience's defining traits, both demographic and psychographic.
It is a blueprint to your customer profiling containing all the extensive details that can help you create messaging that resonates with them, which eventually builds trust and convinces them to take action.
Your buyer persona should include your audience’s:
- Online behavior
- Preferences and interests
- Pain points
- Favorite social media channels
- Interests, etc.
Step #3: Choose Your Most Important Social Media Channels
Focusing on just a few social media channels is likely to yield better campaign results. The buyer persona analysis you conducted previously can tell you which social media channel to focus on since it shows you where your most valuable customers like to spend their time online.
The choice of your social media channel will also depend on the type of business you run and the type of products and services you provide. For B2B companies, LinkedIn gains the best results in terms of customer acquisition and lead generation because business decision-makers use this platform.
For B2C businesses, such as retail and specific service companies like tourism or hospitality, Facebook or Instagram may be a better option since they reach their customers directly. Companies that cater to younger audiences and Gen Z-ers may be most successful on TikTok, for example.
Another way to decide which social media you should focus your efforts on is to look at past results on your website analytics. Look for a social media platform that has sent the most visitors or leads to your website in the past year.
Depending on the channels you decide, your campaign's best practices may differ across each. Each social media channel has a type of messaging, tone of voice and content type that works best on it. So, your brand presence on each platform should be tailored to the habits and expectations of each channel's users. Simply put, the kind of posts that work well on Instagram may not work on Twitter and vice versa.
Step #4: Make a Social Media Content Calendar
Next, you should plan out your social media content schedule using a proper calendar. This is where you define the days of the week and the times of the day when you will post content to your social media accounts.
Think about the creative copy and messaging you will use to engage with your audience. Also, think about the different post types and try to mix a little bit of everything: video posts, image posts, links, textual content, etc. However, take note that the trick here is to find a recipe that works best for you and your audience, even if it means utilizing only one type of post.
Set up a basic outline of what each day of the week should look like on your social media channels and remember to be consistent with your posts across all the channels that you use.
Step #5: Create Engaging Social Content
Arguably the most important part of social media campaign development is coming up with the content — the texts, images and other creative media that you will post on your channels and present to your existing and prospective customers.
Having defined your objectives, KPIs, target audience and preferred channels, you should have a better understanding of the type of content you need to publish.
Here are some social media content ideas and trends that are proving the most effective in 2022 and are likely to continue going strong in the years to come.
Time-sensitive posts and stories
Ever since Instagram launched Stories (the type of posts that expire and disappear after 24 hours), other social networks started to follow suit. This feature taps into the followers' Fear Of Missing Out and entices the feeling of urgency — the two essential elements of every successful marketing.
This kind of content pops up first in your followers’ feeds, is interactive and unmissable. It helps your business stay fresh and relevant with each new story daily. It can also help keep your followers updated by simply pointing them to the main posts on your page that they might have missed.
For more than half of digital marketers, video is the most effective content type for achieving their goals on social media. With the advent of Instagram Reels and TikTok, social media videos have been booming — especially the engaging short-form, bite-sized videos that can educate, entertain and inspire.
Creating this type of video is increasingly affordable and convenient — it only takes a phone or laptop camera, a decent mic and a very low-budget production to make something that the audience will love.
Personal and relatable content
A cornerstone of contemporary content strategy: personable, relatable content that showcases your business’s humane side. This is resonating particularly successfully with younger audiences that request more authentic and responsible communication from brands today.
Step #6: Use the Suitable Tools
How to run a social media campaign successfully? Use the right tools at certain stages of planning and implementation.
The certain types of tools you can use – and aspects where those tools are useful – include:
Tools like Facebook Audience Insights can pull useful audience details from Facebook's massive user database.
Tools like Canva (for images) and Animoto (for videos) can take your visual content game to the next level. Visuals have become an integral and vital part of social media marketing, making it imperative to help you get more clicks, shares and even boost your conversion rates.
Social media management
Scheduling posts, sharing updates, social listening and other tasks can be performed faster and with more precision using social media management tools.
These tools are a convenient one-stop-shop that can help you manage all of your social media from a single dashboard. Some examples include the likes of Agorapulse, Hootsuite and HubSpot, among others.
Social media analytics
Since you have identified your campaign KPIs and goals in the earliest stages of campaign preparation, you need to verify and track them via social media advertising analytics.
Tools like Cyfe, Sprout Social, BuzzSumo and others can help you get an insight into how well your campaign is performing, what needs adjusting and what you should replicate in the future. In a nutshell, they're a must-have for optimizing your campaigns and maximizing your results.
Step #7: Schedule Your Posts
Although we've mentioned scheduling posts in the previous section on social media tools, it is worth reiterating the importance of this step and putting together your social media calendar and content into one.
You can, of course, schedule your post manually and adhere to the calendar and timing you set out to follow. Most social media channels have the option to schedule posts upfront and publish them automatically at specific dates and times.
These dates and times should be considered very carefully. Find out when your audience is most active on each social media platform and try to plan your posts around those times (more on this in the next step).
As we've said before, using tools is also a great way to schedule and automate your posts on all channels from a single dashboard.
Step #8: Create a Timely Social Media Presence
For marketers, timely activity is a very important consideration on how to make a campaign successful. It's not enough to "just” produce fresh content – you also need to be aware when you're putting it out there.
In order to maximize your schedule and timeliness, consider these three aspects of publishing content on social media.
Post and communicate at ideal times
Even though there are certain times of the day that experts recommend as the best times to post social media content, adhering to this may mean very little if you don't have anyone manning your social media channels. This person in charge should also communicate with the audience.
Hence, make sure your social media managers are available at the "hottest” timeslots when you publish new content, so they can answer any product questions or concerns in the post comments or direct messages.
Respond to your followers (almost) immediately
Directly related to the previous point, your social media managers should strive to respond to your followers as soon as possible. Customers today want fast and efficient responses, as 47% of them believe that customer service is the basis of the best social media branding.
Responding quickly to your followers is the critical element of community building — ensuring engagement and conversation opportunities are not missed. Social customer care is also important to increase audience awareness and gain respect and trust as a brand.
Step #9: Analyze Your Performance
The final step in conducting a successful social media campaign is going over your analytics to evaluate the overall performance: see what worked and what didn't.
This will give you a detailed insight into not only the general metrics such as the number of clicks, impressions and comments but also into what type of posts perform the best, what time of day is the best for your posts and so on. You can use these pieces of information to adjust your next campaign's strategy accordingly.
The Benefits of Creating a Strategic Social Media Campaign
While a majority of businesses utilize their social media channels without any strategy in place, your company can benefit greatly from having a laid-out blueprint that plans every aspect of your social media presence.
Other notable benefits of creating a thorough, well-planned social media campaign include:
- Establishing brand recognition, awareness and authority
- Achieving business objectives on social media channels
- Being able to accurately measure your performance
- Boosting sales and conversion rates
- Connecting with your audience more meaningfully
- Improving customer satisfaction
- Boosting brand loyalty
- Increasing inbound traffic
- Telling your brand story
- Remarketing to your target audience
Final Thoughts on How to Create a Social Media Campaign
Creating a social media campaign matters for your business because it can help you boost your brand authority, raise awareness of your products/services, improve customer satisfaction, boost inbound traffic and connect with customers in a more meaningful way.
Also, you can hire the services of professional White Label Social Media Management companies that can deliver a custom-tailored social media campaign for you.
In general, a well-thought-out social media strategy consists of these steps:
- Performing competitive analysis
- Creating buyer personas
- Choosing the most important social media channels
- Making a social media content calendar
- Creating engaging social media content
- Using suitable tools
- Scheduling posts
- Working on a timely social media presence
- Analyzing the performance
The list above presents a very good basis for any business on social media. But remember, your social media activity should be integrated with your overall Inbound Marketing plan, so don't forget that the visits, leads and customers you get from your social media channels should support your larger goals.
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