The power of social media is immense and can have a fundamental effect on the attitudes of customers and consumers towards a business.
You only have to look at the effective social media marketing campaigns from brands like National Geographic and its NatGeo Your Shot campaign or interior design company Wayfair’s much-lauded Instagram approach in the last year to see how effective a good strategy can be.
In comparison, campaigns such as SnapChat’s insensitive posts about popstar Rhianna or the US Army’s light-hearted tweets about drone attacks have had a disastrous effect on the organisations that posted them.
The press often focusses on the failures of businesses, when their social media strategy backfires, but there a number of steps that businesses can take to improve their chance of success.
To get you on the path to success, here are 10 top tips for your next social media campaign:
- Study your competition – Some owners wouldn’t like to admit it, but they can often be concerned or jealous about their direct competition, so it pays to learn more about how they interact with their audience over social media. There may be something that you can learn about their success or what faux pas to avoid. Ultimately, you should come away from your research with a greater appreciation of your target audience and their tastes.
- Set a goal – You might approach a new social media campaign focused on multiple goals. It would be nice to think that you can raise your profile, gain new followers, enhance SEO, capture new leads and drive engagement all in one go. However, it pays to instead focus on one goal at a time, as it will affect how you approach your campaign.
- Decide on an audience – Now you have a goal, it is important to target specific audiences. Think about who you are trying to share your message with. A post for those retiring is going to be very different to one for a young entrepreneur, so don’t just generalise.
- Create a message or common theme – Your campaign should focus on a single message and then create a variety of content around this theme. Do not continue to replicate the same post time and time again or else your feeds will become boring and unengaging.
- Get visual – The days of sharing 140 characters on Twitter with nothing else are gone and when it comes to Instagram you won’t be going anywhere without an engaging image or graphic to accompany your post. Try using infographics, videos, and images to capture your message, but make sure they are bold and attention-grabbing.
- Social media is all about being social – A common mistake with any campaign is to post away about you and your business without thinking about the bigger picture. Make sure you are taking part in the conversation, by sharing information relating to your message or responding to users who liked or shared your posts. This may require a lot of work but will pay off.
- It is all in the timing – By studying your competitor you will hopefully learn what times your audience is most active on social media. For example, if you are targeting construction then you might find that they become more active at 3pm due to different working patterns, while working parents may be more likely to log on after 09:30am once the school run is over. Once you have studied these patterns you can make sure that content is going out at the right time.
- Hashtags – Almost all of the social media sites now use some form of hashtag – even LinkedIn has become far more focused on these in recent months. You need to come up with a unique hashtag that can guide your audience to your content. However, try and keep it short and sweet to make it easier for people to share.
- Live streaming – This is a growing area amongst all the sites and if you aren’t taking advantage of it, you’re missing a prime opportunity. Make use of your expertise by hosting live Q&A sessions – what better way to demonstrate your specialist knowledge. If you don’t have time for live streaming, maybe consider podcasts or videos instead.
- Monitor and adapt – As with any form of marketing, it is important to continually monitor the performance of your campaign. However, thanks to the wide variety of analytical tools on offer it has never been easier to review click-through, impressions and other key performance indicators. By reviewing these data points on a regular basis, you can check on whether a campaign is working and then change it, within its set parameters, until you achieve your goal.
Managing a social media campaign can be very time-consuming but can pay dividends in gaining new leads or building a firm’s profile online.
Due to the burden that it can create, it may make sense to outsource the creation of a campaign and its management to a dedicated social media marketing team.
If you would like to learn more about how our specialists can help you create and manage a successful strategy, why not contact us.