10 Steps for a Social Media Campaign

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1. Plan Ahead

Planning is key for all decisions but you need to determine your goals for your social media campaign.  Ask yourself why you should become involved with social media?  Is it to build brand awareness?  Open up customer relationships?  Or are you trying to promote a new service or a special offer?  Knowing the answers to these questions will mean you can better focus your efforts meaning you get maximum efficiency.

2. What Resources Do You Have?

Social media is an umbrella term for a lot of different activities which require a lot of different skill sets.  Who is going to maintain the conversations that arise from your social media efforts?  Will it be you or someone else?  Can anyone in the team afford to devote the time to sustaining a social media campaign?  One of the most important aspects of social media is communication.  Setting up a great campaign and then keeping up with the conversation from it will mean that it’ll inevitably fail.

3. Who Are You Talking To?

Who Are You Talking To?The Internet is a huge place and there are online communities for everything.  Furthermore, these communities all act in different ways and spend their time doing different things.  Knowing who your target audience is, what they enjoy doing online and genuinely being able to engage with them will make all the difference.

4. Create Epic Content

This is definitely the most important aspect of all social media interaction.  Offering your customers and potential customers something interesting, engaging and worth sharing will mean they keep coming back for more and also send your content on to their friends.

5. Integrate Resources

Good social media marketing campaigns utilize lots of resources.  Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and so much more.  Using them to cross-promote your campaign will mean greater traction and more interaction.

6. Schedule Social Media

Schedule Social MediaAs mentioned earlier, the nature social media requires you to continually interact with other people in order to get the most of your campaign.  This can be hard to sustain if you have a million other things to do.  Create a schedule of when to check Twitter or when to post Facebook updates.  Set aside 5 minutes in the morning, at lunch and before you leave to monitor your campaign and sustain the conversation.  You’ll gradually get into the habit and it’ll become second nature like checking your emails.

7. Devote Your Time Properly

So much about social media is being a genuine contributor – endless self-promotional will get you nowhere fast.  Devote approximately 80% of your time to communicating without self-promotional and then the rest of the time feel free to plug yourself.

8. Quality Over Quantity

It can be tempted to judge the success of a social media campaign purely on the numbers.  However, quality is more important than social media.  Having an engaged audience of 1,000 people is better than 5,000 people who do not engage with you at all.

9. Allow Your Audience To Lead The Communication

It can be tempting to want micromanage your social media campaign, unfortunately this is practically impossible and is also not something to be encouraged.  The nature of the Internet means that it’s difficult to control what people will say about you.  The advent of blogs and micro-blogging means it’s now easier than ever for people to say what is on their mind.  Many companies will want to limit any negative conversations about their brand which is understandable.  However, instead of trying to silence them – engage with them to learn from any criticism.  This will is great for public relations.  As the old saying goes, the only thing worse than bad publicity is no publicity.

10. Learn and Refine

As with everything, you can always learn more.  Continually devote time to learning new tactics and ways to engage with people.  You can then go back and refine your campaign strategies and continually grow.

Social media shouldn’t be something to fear.  Learning to interact with online communities can appear daunting but it is something that will ultimately improve customer relations, boost brand exposure and can be enjoying to do.  What is becoming clear is that companies need to embrace the online social phenomenon and those that fight it are quickly getting left behind and have to play catch up.

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