How to Create a Social Media Marketing Campaign
If you’re looking for ways to build awareness of your business on social media, some basic steps can help get you started.
This article will explore what it takes to craft a successful digital marketing strategy through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and other platforms like Snapchat and TikTok.
It’s also designed to provide practical tips so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when creating your own social media marketing campaign.
This is particularly important if you’re planning to run paid ads. You need to know precisely who you want to see your ad before spending money on it.
If you’re advertising to “gain new customers”, you may not be targeting the right audience. Instead, consider asking yourself: “Who do I already have in my network that may not yet be aware of my business?”
You don’t need previous experience in any of these subjects, but knowing them will give you insight into how they all work together.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing (SMM) refers to using social media tools and tactics to promote products or services. The goal of SMM is to generate leads and drive sales by increasing visibility, boosting engagement, and strengthening relationships among audiences.
Marketers use various content creation, advertising, search engine optimisation, email marketing, video marketing, influencer outreach, etc.
In short, a social media marketing campaign combines traditional offline methods with new technologies like online media, mobile devices, analytics, machine learning, cloud computing, big data, etc.
How do you create an epic Social Media Marketing Campaign?
Your business needs social media marketing to compete with your current and potential competitors. For example, if you’re a real estate agent, then chances are you know that the majority of buyers start their home-buying process online.
And when they do, they usually decide based on the reviews and ratings that their friends post on sites like Google Business and Facebook. Understanding how your audience uses social networks to optimise your message for each platform properly is essential.
The following sections offer five essential elements any good social media marketing campaign should include.
1. Define Your Goals
Before launching into actionable tasks, you need to define clear objectives for all aspects of your social media marketing efforts.
This includes understanding which platform(s) best represent your target audience. For example, Pinterest would be most appropriate if you sell pet accessories since users tend to share images of their pets.
However, if you sell makeup, perhaps Facebook might work better because women often post beauty-related topics. Remember that different platforms will attract different audiences, and the purpose of each should be considered when choosing a channel.
When you focus on growing organic traffic, you’ll see a steady increase in conversions.
Once you’ve identified your ideal platforms, you’ll want to decide where you’d like to focus your attention strictly within those platforms.
You may consider focusing on specific types of posts (e.g. photos vs text), certain times of day, particular geographic regions, etc.
Suppose the target audience for your content is relatively narrow and defined. In that case, it’s usually a good idea to create a small number of targeted “lead” pieces that directly drive traffic to other parts of your site. This will help you track how many visitors each piece gets and allow you to see which ones perform best.
You can even tailor different pieces of your overall social media marketing campaign depending on whether they appeal to men, women, millennials, baby boomers, etc.
For instance, if you run ads during sporting events, aim them at sports fans rather than everyone who uses Facebook. Similarly, if one of your main focuses is attracting high school students, try running prom-themed contests on Instagram instead of posting regular updates.
When crafting your plans, remember that it’s not always necessary to pick only one platform as part of your entire social media marketing mix. Instead, think about combining several platforms into one cohesive strategy.
After all, it makes sense to spend time spreading the word across multiple networks simultaneously — especially if doing so helps increase engagement rates.
To avoid feeling like you’re being too promotional, ensure that none of your content resembles spam or exclusively pushes promotions.
If a blog post on your site contains information that might benefit your followers, such as improving their lives, publish a few excerpts on Facebook instead of the whole article. As with any form of advertising, though, you should avoid overdoing it.
2. Understand the Audience
Next up: understand whom you’re trying to reach. Take stock of your current customer base and demographics before deciding on a potential audience.
To do that, take advantage of free resources available from major social network providers. Alternatively, you could hire a company that specialises in custom research to gather information about your customers’ interests, behaviours, needs, concerns, etc.
By identifying your target audience, you can start thinking about why people would join your page and what things they would find interesting.
If you want to make sure the right people see it, consider setting up an opt-in form for interested parties. And if you want to get even more specific, hundreds of companies online specialise in this process (they use complex algorithms to determine who is most likely to join your page).
For instance, if you sell dog food, you might assume that parents are interested in recipes and nutrition facts. But if your target market consists primarily of tech professionals, you probably shouldn’t make assumptions about what kinds of posts they’d enjoy seeing.
Knowing what type of personas resonates with your brand will allow you to develop meaningful interactions with your followers.
When crafting your strategy, remember to give special consideration to younger generations who typically prefer communicating via text over phone calls or emails.
Also, consider making your profiles friendlier by adding emojis or GIF stickers. For example, I often see companies trying to be everything to everyone – and it’s a surefire way to lose out on the customers that can provide you with good business opportunities.
By doing this, you might try to appeal to customers who don’t know they want what you have but do like what other people in their industry are offering.
Finally, never forget that while knowing your demographic information is essential, not having fun interacting with others isn’t! So go ahead and interact with your audience without being too serious.
3. Choose a Platform and Launch Campaigns
One of the benefits of social media is its ability to connect us directly with our friends and family members. And no wonder — we usually feel much closer to someone after exchanging messages back and forth via texts, voice mails, chats, videos, pictures, etc.
But did you know that these same communication mediums play a massive role in helping companies establish credibility, trustworthiness, likability, authority, and popularity?
In fact, according to recent studies conducted by Harvard Business Review, “the tone and style used in social media posts can influence perceptions of leaders.”
As a result, choosing the right platform, topic, and format becomes significantly more complicated once you add emotions into the equation.
That means developing practical social listening skills is crucial to ensuring your posts reflect your brand identity and resonate with your audience.
And speaking of brands, here comes another critical factor to consider when determining which platform to launch a social media campaign on: does your product/service belong on that platform specifically?
While you certainly wouldn’t want to miss out on opportunities to engage with potential buyers, you mustn’t fall victim to false economies either.
Many small businesses choose to host social media accounts solely on free sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, etc. Still, the problem with relying exclusively on these platforms is that you risk becoming dependent upon them for traffic generation.
As mentioned earlier, social networking giants now control almost 70% of global internet usage.
So unless you already have significant organic growth, you won’t be able to compete effectively against bigger competitors who leverage paid promotions and SEO tactics to attract visitors.
On the flip side, though, paying for social media ad space has become increasingly popular among B2B firms due to the growing demand for targeted exposure.
By placing sponsored posts on popular hashtags and keywords related to your industry, you can quickly spread relevant information around the web.
However, just because you pay doesn’t mean you should ignore organic activities altogether. Consider sharing links to blog articles, white papers, press releases, podcasts, etc., on your website and other social media pages. A little bit of strategic promotion goes a long way.
Another thing to note: A social media marketing campaign is highly visual. Therefore, when designing your campaigns, ensure that you incorporate plenty of visuals throughout, including graphics, infographics, charts, photos, memes, etc. These items can boost readership by encouraging interaction and engagement.
4. Measure Results
Now that you’ve got everything else covered, I’d like to pass the last piece of advice along involves measuring results. Without proper measurement, you cannot improve your performance and learn from your mistakes.
While it’s tempting to jump straight into analysis mode once you begin implementing your campaign, taking a few minutes beforehand to outline metrics is worth considering.
What works for me may not necessarily apply to you, so it’s imperative to identify what measurements matter most. Here are the top metrics I’ve seen in my experience as a marketer:
- Conversion rate
- Response time and quality
- Reach (percentage of page views that convert)
- Bounce rate
- Time on site
- Number of Conversions
Perhaps you want to measure clicks on a link shared on social media, the number of likes or comments received on a photo, amount of shares generated via a promotional tweet, rate of retweets, #hashtag impressions, etc.
Or maybe you want to look at conversion stats, such as clickthrough rates, purchase percentages, lead numbers, etc.
Whatever approach you end up selecting, make sure you track your progress consistently.
Also, realise that social media monitoring software solutions automate tracking numerous social networks and analysing trends.
With these tools, you can easily see which posts performed best and which were ignored altogether.
5. Learn From Experience
Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask for feedback from colleagues, clients, prospects, and anyone involved in your social media marketing campaign.
Getting honest opinions from trusted sources can sometimes uncover glaring weaknesses in your approach that would otherwise remain hidden until something went wrong.
Remember, social media is a two-way street and engaging with consumers daily allows you to gain valuable insights into their preferences, habits, challenges, wants, frustrations and desires.
Additionally, gathering input from stakeholders provides invaluable insight regarding both positive and negative experiences associated with your offerings. Noticing problems early on allows you to address issues head-on, saving future headaches.
At the very least, asking questions on social media forums and blogs helps you stay connected with your community and shows that you care enough to listen.
Plus, whenever possible, respond promptly to questions posed by prospective customers to demonstrate transparency.
With that said, however, avoid going overboard with self-promotion. People generally despise overly self-serving behaviour and will likely tune you out faster than anything else.
On the contrary, try incorporating testimonial quotes from satisfied customers into your marketing materials to humanise your brand story.
Overall, it would help to balance providing helpful information and promoting yourself. Doing so lets potential customers know that you value their patronage and respect their intelligence enough to educate them about your expertise.
Ultimately, building trust through authentic conversations fosters stronger bonds between your brand and your audience. And that increases the chances of generating greater profits down the road.
In the words of an old saying, “You only have one chance to make a first impression.” This seems especially true in social media and sales contexts where it is often said that “a bad first impression can haunt you for a lifetime.”
To the extent I am aware of this aphorism (which has been around since at least the late 1800s), its origin is unclear. The idea that customers may be able to remember your name or face from just a single encounter seems unlikely to me.