Ask anyone these days, and they’ll tell you that a social media campaign is an answer to every marketing question you could possibly think of.
That sounds great… but if you have no idea how to get started with social media marketing, it doesn’t make it any less daunting than any other type of marketing. Fortunately, while there is a learning curve to social media marketing (as there is with everything), it is one that can be mastered relatively quickly.
Even if you have no idea how to create engaging content, build relationships with your followers to turn them into fans and then customers, attract qualified followers and then drive them to your website, you can master these skills.
Social media is the ultimate method of getting inside your prospective customers’ homes, phones and computer screens, and that makes it one of the marketing methods with the best ROI, so it’s worth doing just that.
We’re going to give you a quick and easy breakdown of the how, why and what of social media marketing planning, and since everything in business and in marketing begins and ends with planning, let’s start by looking at how to create the ultimate social media campaign plan for your company.
Why You Should Plan
No matter what business you’re in, you probably plan everything.
You have financial plans, growth plans, production plans and all sorts of other plans. You do this because planning things helps you get them straight in your head, and gives everyone a roadmap, so they’re all heading in the same direction, with the same stops along the way.
Your social media campaign plan is the same thing. It helps you to identify who you want to reach (your target market.) It helps to establish a posting schedule and calendar, so you can be consistent in your posting. (Because a flurry of activity followed by nothing won’t win the social media game!) It helps you to decide what type of content you will post, and how you will use it to drive visitors to relevant parts of your site.
Because just getting more people liking your social channels is not the goal of social media. The goal is to send them to your site and turn them into paying customers. Finally, it gives you something to measure, and in marketing, like in business, tracking and measurement is everything.
What Is a Social Media Campaign?
A social media campaign is a series of posts on your social channels that share similar appearance, branding or content, that is used to promote a specific event, product, service or element of your brand.
A good example of this would be a social media campaign to celebrate the launch of a new product line, or a sale to mark your company’s tenth year in business.
All of the posts and content you create and share will be centred around this idea, with the end goal of sending fans and followers to your website, app or your physical store.
Define Your Ideal Customer
As with everything you do in marketing, the first and most important thing you need to do is define who you are trying to reach.
If you already have buyer personas for your typical customer, you could use those, or if you are trying to reach a new market, you may want to generate new personas before you start.
You should know how old your customers are, where they live, what matters to them, whether they are on a fixed budget or more flexible, whether they are male or female, and so on. The more you know about who you are marketing to, the more detailed and accurate your social media campaign plan can be.
Choose Your Channel(s)
The next thing you need to do when planning a social media campaign is to choose your channels. A big part of this step will depend on who you want to reach.
B2B customers? LinkedIn and Twitter are probably your best bets.
Local community? Facebook’s targeting options put it ahead of the crowd!
Looking to reach young, trendy customers? Instagram and Snapchat are a must!
Consider who you are trying to reach, and where they are most likely to be found, and then narrow your campaign plan to include one to three channels at the most. If you spread yourself too thin, you won’t get the same results!
Decide What Your Goals Are
Not all social media campaigns are designed simply to gain followers.
In fact, most campaigns should have some other goal, since you are trying to grow followers all the time anyway, rather than as a targeted campaign. Good examples of goals would be:
- Getting subscribers for your email newsletter
- Signing up for a free trial
- Registering for an event
- Market a new product
- Promote a new website or location for your business
Whatever your goal is, it’s important to be specific, so that you can measure the results of your campaign later on.
Write down your goal in measurable terms, using figures or percentages, and assign a time frame to it, for example: Generate 100 new newsletter signups every month for the next three months.
Even if you don’t reach your goal, it will help to know exactly what it is, so you can gauge the success of your campaign, and build on that next time.
Now that you know where you are going to reach your target market, who they are, and what you want them to do after they see your campaign, it’s time to start brainstorming your concept.
Great marketing campaigns aren’t complicated. They’re short, simple and memorable.
Identify your ideal customer’s problem and build your campaign around offering a solution.
When to Post
But there is. Since you already know which networks you’re going to be posting on, all that’s left is to decide how long your campaign will run and to work out how many posts you need to create to run a campaign of that length.
Remember to take into account your budget (if you’re using promoted posts or paid advertising), and also work backwards from any fixed date (like a store opening) to determine when you would need to start your campaign to meet that deadline.
Decide how many posts you will be using on each platform, and then use that to create your posting schedule – but don’t forget to take other posts you might be taking into account. You don’t want to flood your platforms with too many posts either!
Once you know what you are promoting, what you hope to achieve, who you want to reach, and how and when you’re going to reach them, all that’s left is to put it all together.
Start creating your content.
If you will be incorporating blog posts or landing pages into your campaign, make sure they’re ready to go.
You want everything to be ready to go well before the start date for your campaign – because we all know how well last-minute efforts go! Keep it simple, use relevant hashtags to get found more easily, and wherever possible, try to include images or graphics that are relevant to your content and campaign – particularly if you can use custom graphics for your campaign.
It’s always a good idea to look at campaigns that have succeeded in the past too.
While you can’t copy them exactly, you can get some great ideas!
Of course, even with the steps laid out like this, planning a social media campaign might still be a daunting task, and if you’re busy enough to need to launch something new, you might be too busy to learn as you go. Hiring professionals like Polkadot Communications to create and implement your social media campaigns on your behalf is the quick and easy alternative that can keep you focused on what you do best, and still get the results you want.
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