A common misconception among businesses is that social media marketing will be easy; that all it takes is some posts and promoting to gain views and reach a broad audience. But social media marketing is much more involved than viral posts would have us believe. It’s not enough to rely on one great post to carry your marketing efforts. You’ll need to create and execute an entire social media campaign.
These campaigns must be strategically designed and implemented to connect you specifically with new users, build relationships on various platforms, and encourage long-term sales. Great campaigns take time to create, but with the right support, you’ll be able to produce and launch a successful social media campaign. Here at Anthem Software, as a social media marketing agency, we have created a cohesive system to help businesses thrive, and our goal is to help you reach new clients, serve their needs, and create a loyal customer base.
Keys to a Successful Social Media Marketing Campaign
1. Determine a Campaign Goal
First and foremost, you need a goal for your campaign. Collaborate with your team to decide on the particulars of your efforts. Will you be promoting an event? Offering new literature or downloadable content? Partnering with a non-profit for a social giving campaign? Whatever your particular task is, it’s important to understand the end goal and decide on the overall message you are looking to communicate.
Decide what actions you want the user to take when they come across your post. Be sure the goal is clearly identified while still being attractive, entertaining, and share-worthy. In what ways will you measure the effectiveness of your campaign? Articulating these important details will give you and your team a clear idea of what direction you need this campaign to take.
2. Research Competitors
Knowing who your competitors are and researching their businesses is a crucial step that many marketers overlook. By studying your competition, you can discover what’s working for them and use that valuable insight to adapt and enhance your own campaign. Look specifically for how the competition broaches certain topics and the type of content they create. Check out posts with the most interaction, noting the type of post that seems to gain traction, such as tutorials, or Q&A sessions.
What time of day are they posting? How regularly are they uploading content? What tone are they using? Do subtle posts or more aggressive posts get more response? Deciphering your competition’s strategies will help you create a stronger brand. It will also help you determine what to avoid based on what didn’t work for the competition, saving you time and money.
3. Decide Content for Each Channel
Every social media platform is unique in the way its users interact with social media marketing vs content marketing. And while your overall message must be clear and consistent, the way in which you present it will need to adapt based on each individual platform you will be utilizing. Short videos do well on some channels, while images do better on others. Use your research of the competition to help gauge which types of promotions are most successful and which to avoid.
Understanding the purpose of each channel will prove to be important, as not all content is created equal. Advertising on social media is critical in encouraging people to view and interact with your posts. Experiment with social media advertising tools to find the format that works best for your content and audience, and make sure it is easily understood and easily shareable.
4. Create a Content Calendar
Promoting your campaign on the fly is not an effective strategy for gaining an audience. Determining the days and times of your posts will be a crucial part of increasing visibility on social media. When researching your competition, did you take note of the days and times that the most popular content was posted?
When is the majority of your audience using that social media channel and are most likely to view your post when it’s fresh? Is there a particular day that your content would benefit from being viewed? How often should you post so as not to overwhelm the audience or create more work for yourself? Setting up a basic outline for each day of your campaign will keep you on track.
5. Balance Promotional and Non-Promotional Content
Algorithms are tricky, and if you’re not careful you could end up with too much of some content being promoted and not enough of another. Striking a balance between types of content will help your users become engaged but also translate into action. Sharing only promotional content will cause your social media users to become uninterested and they may stop following you. However, sharing only entertaining, non-promotional content will not culminate in the results you’re looking for.
Using reliable, external sources is a great way to boost your business’s credibility with your audience. Sharing content that is not written by you lets your audience see posts that they may have otherwise missed and will aid you in building relationships with other experts in your industry. Users are more likely to respond to your social media account when the content varies and does not become stagnant.
6. Create Visual Content
How you create your visual content is up to you; some businesses choose to hire graphic designers and some choose to do it themselves. But however you create your unique images, quality will be of the utmost importance. If the content is low-quality or unattractive, it won’t receive the interaction or response your campaign needs. When determining which visual content you will use for each post, ask yourself if it is shareable and contributes to the overall goal of the campaign.
More so than just attractive imagery, unique and trending content will also prove to be necessary. Find trending topics or strategies that are currently having success among social media users and put your own spin on them. Using what people are actively talking about will make your content relatable at that moment, encouraging interaction. Your business and your product can only succeed if it is seen as equally relevant and distinctive.
7. Schedule Posts
Creating a plan for when to release fresh content is a great starting point, but utilizing social media’s ability to schedule posts will prove to save you time and lower stress. Take advantage of scheduling software to streamline your posting process.
Create all of your content in advance and schedule posts to be published on specific dates and times. This will greatly reduce the amount of time you’ll spend jumping back and forth between platforms to upload content, freeing you up to focus on engaging with users.
8. Listen and Engage
What good is quality, scheduled content if users are not engaged? Once your posts are set to publish, begin listening, monitoring, and responding to your audience. Social media is a well-oiled machine and while all may be running smoothly thanks to advanced software, you’ll still need to get involved and interact. A large part of managing social media accounts is simply being present to your followers.
When they can rely on you to answer questions, share opinions, and make them feel heard, you will build a rapport with them that results in advancing your goals. Set up alerts on your phone or email so you will know when a user has contacted you and you can respond quickly. Use posts as an opportunity to see what questions people have about your industry, brand, or product. These questions may even offer valuable ideas that inspire fresh content.
9. Create Unique Hashtags
Hashtags are proving to be powerful entities among social media users. They can drive engagement and help track the results of campaigns. Unique, branded hashtags allow for easy monitoring of user-generated content and track engagement, even if users don’t remember or realize they have tagged your brand directly. Common hashtags are important to continue using alongside your branded hashtags, as they are used more consistently and for longer periods of time which maximizes reach and trackability.
10. Follow Up Between Campaigns
When users can rely on you to remember them even after your campaign has ended, they are more likely to engage in the next campaign as well. If your promotion was based around an event or the launch of a new product, follow up by posting photos or an update, engaging the users that supported you, and piquing the curiosity of those who did not.
If it was a contest or giveaway, share photos of the winner or statistics about how many people participated, encouraging more people to participate next time. Recaps and client appreciation go a long way in building a loyal customer base.
Every social media campaign will be different, and we will help you determine the nuances that will make yours great. Your social media activity must be tightly integrated with the overall marketing plan, being careful not to lose sight of your business’s end goal. Contact us at Anthem Software today and let us show you how we can improve your company’s performance and sales through our proven strategies.