October 23, 2016

Starting Your First Social Campaign? Check These Best Practices First


Social campaigns can provide a huge boost to your business in a number of different ways. But the idea can be a bit overwhelming if you’re just getting started. If you’re thinking of running your first social campaign, check out the list of tips below to make your first campaign as successful as possible.

Social Media Campaign Best Practices

Set Clear Goals

If you’re going to start a social campaign, you should first have a reason for doing so. You need to not only set a general goal, but also set measurable objectives that you’d like to reach by the end.

Cameron Uganec, director of global brand at Hootsuite said in an email to Small Business Trends, “Successful social campaigns start with a clear goal. Are you trying to build awareness? Generate leads? Grow your community? Choose one or two campaign goals early in the planning cycle and let those be your north star as you map out targets and tactics. This will help you align your campaign with business objectives, communicate clearly with everyone involved, and show clear results at the end.”

Find the Problem(s) Your Customers Face

Clearly, you want your social campaign to help your business in some way. But no customers are going to pay attention or participate if you don’t also help them. For that reason, you need to do some research beforehand, either through surveys or gathering customer feedback on social media. Find out the common problems that your customers have related to your business or niche, and provide something that can help them solve those problems.

Uganec says, “In today’s noisy online world it’s more important than ever that your campaign be grounded in customer insight. Many social media campaigns fall flat because they’re product-centric rather than highlighting the pain you can solve for the customer.”

Provide Value

Aside from making your content itself valueable, you can also benefit from offering some sort of incentive for your followers to participate. For example, contests with relevant and valuable prizes can really draw people in.

Stay Away from Straight Marketing Messages

Today’s customers are very aware of when they’re being marketed to. And while your campaign is ultimately a part of your marketing plan, you shouldn’t treat it as just a platform for you to share whatever marketing messages you want. Instead, make it a two-way street where you genuinely interact with and provide value to customers.

Post Where Your Customers Are

There are several different platform options for your social campaigns. So it’s important that you choose wisely. If the majority of your target customers are on Facebook, that’s probably a good choice. But you could also focus on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or some combination of those platforms.

Commit to a Posting Schedule

To keep your campaign on track and organized, you need to commit to a regular posting schedule. Maybe you’ll share one new piece of content a day. Or you’ll offer different contests at certain points throughout the week. Just make sure that you’re consistent and that your customers and followers know what to expect.

Include an Engagement Strategy

But your planned posts are just part of your campaign. If you’re not also interacting with people on social media, you’re really missing out. So before your campign, Uganec also suggests coming up with a plan for how you’ll respond to people who interact with your content in some way.

Promote on Different Platforms

Although your campaign is ultimately an avenue for promoting your business, you’ll also need to come up with a promotional strategy for the campaign itself. If you just create posts, then the only people who will see them will be the people who already follow you. One option for promoting your campaign is to share about it on other platforms. So if it’s a Facebook-centric campaign, link to it on your Twitter account or in your email newsletter to gain more visibility. Or you could try out advertising to build your audience.

Allow for Outside Sharing

Another easy method for gaining some visibility for your campaign is to let your customers do the work for you. Build in a sharing aspect by giving customers some kind of incentive to post about the campaign. For example, if you’re hosting a contest, allow for extra entries when customers share with their friends.

Make Participation Easy

Even if you have valuable content and prizes, people aren’t going to participate in your campaign or interact with your brand if you don’t make it easy for them. So you need to limit the amount of steps that it takes to participate and clearly outline those steps where customers can easily find them.

Use the Right Tools

There are plenty of tools you can use to make running your social campaigns easier. For instance, Hootsuite offers a Campaigns product that lets you run your campaigns from one dashboard.

Include Relevant Images

Images can also be helpful in your campaigns as a way of getting people’s attention. Uganec suggests using a platform like Canva for creating engaging graphics to include in your content.

Gather Feedback to Adjust Your Content

Though you should stick to the main goal of your campaign throughout, it may be necessary to adjust your strategy over the course of your campaign. You need to pay attention to the feedback you receive from customers and consider whether that feedback might warrant some changes.

Uganec says, “The immediate feedback you receive from social media allows you to adjust the messaging and direction of your content, often multiple times during the course of a campaign. My team at Hootsuite reviews campaign content daily and often rewrites the next day’s posts and ad copy based on the performance we’re seeing.”

Utilize Analytics

Uganec also suggests using Google Analytics or a similar platform to measure the traffic and activity that your campaign is bringing to your site. This can help you determine the actual impact that the campaign is having on your business.

Learn from Your Experience

Once you’ve completed your campaign, you’ll need to look at the impact that the campaign had and compare it to the goals you set beforehand. Look into what factors you think worked well and which ones were not as effective. Then use what you’ve learned to develop an even better campaign the next time around.

Social Media Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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8 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    Social media has the word ‘social’ for a reason. It is because it is a two way street. Too many business owners are using it as if it is their personal broadcasting agency for all of their pitches. Engagement should be give first priority before anything else.

  2. Thorough and far reaching – great article Annie!

  3. Good points Annie. I think a lot of people underestimate the amount of work that goes into making a healthy social media relation. Unsurprisingly, like Aira said above, it is this “social” part that most of us miss. Interaction is key to connecting with your audience.

  4. Great points. I appreciate you pointing out that social media marketing should be a two-way street. As consumers evolve, so should the marketing practices of businesses. Nowadays, a lot of solo entrepreneurs and small business owners use social media to promote their services and products. It will be great if they can practice the tips above so their feed will not look like an announcement page and in turn, create meaningful relationships with potential clients or intended audience.

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