How to Run a [Successful] Social Media Campaign

What is the difference between a good social media campaign and a good traditional marketing campaign? The answer is, not much. It has become popular for so-called social media experts to brandish social media as an elevated form of marketing, one that does not require accountability or measurable results. The reality, however, is that you can, and must, measure the impact of your social media campaigns. Following are steps to create and follow through on an accountable social media campaign.

Choose ONE Platform
Start simple and focus on one platform in your first social media campaign. By starting simple, you will be able to focus on getting to know your online community. Take this time to set metrics that will measure your campaign’s effectiveness. Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are generally the best platforms for an initial campaign.

Write Out a Plan
Set specific revenue-related goals for your campaign. For example, determine to sell 1,000 more widgets, pick up 5 new customers, or increase your monthly sales by $25,000. Write out a plan of how you will leverage your social media account to achieve this goal. This is a great time to win internal support for your campaign. Work with your co-workers or employees to write a plan.

Build Up a Base
Amazing tweets and fabulous Facebook posts are meaningless if no one is listening. Identify your target market and then build up a base of followers. Focus, not just volume, is key here. You do not have to acquire a following like Justin Bieber to have a voice, focus on your niche.

Use your account to interact. Ask users questions, listen to their concerns and ideas, and tap in to conversations about you or your products. Twitter users can follow specific topics, or keywords, using TweetDeck or Hootsuite. Interactive Facebook posts include polls, contests, and videos. Online interactions with your social media community give you a foot in the door to invite offline purchases, so get active.

Give Away Free Stuff
You can give away anything from free products or services to free content or breaking information. Maintain your company’s standards of quality in your giveaways, but do not be scared to include small prizes if your budget is tight. Give others the motivation to actively follow you and the incentive to interact with you by contributing to the community.

Small and medium sized business owners have seen many of their colleagues take their eye off of their company’s ROI, and are hesitant to make the same mistake. If you can make your social media campaigns prove a positive contribution to your company, social media will become a new and powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. Remember that while the tools of marketing success may have changed, the principles remain the same. So have confidence! Start your social media campaign today!

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