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Run it like you mean it - Inject some success into your social media campaign

Posted: 09 September 2015

Social media has become somewhat of a buzz phrase these days. We know what it means, we know it's important but we're usually pretty relaxed about the how and why part. Essentially, many folks today feel like they've ticked the social media box if they have an up-to-date profile. Due to our familiarity with our social avenues and the nature of media itself, there's a tonne of businesses and avid users that presume creating and running a SM campaign is a breeze. As you'd imagine, they learn pretty quickly that there's more to it than they thought.

That said, a social media campaign doesn’t need to be an expansive chore to conquer. One of the main reasons so many fail royally is that they don’t get familiar with the foundations of what success means in a social media context. What makes a social media campaign successful? Even better, what makes YOUR social media successful? We get bombarded with a ‘more is more’ message everyday so it’s not exactly a surprise that many jump in feet first with the promoted posts, over-saturation and conversion hungry tactics. Just. Slow. Down.

No two campaigns will be the same but the principals of good practice unite them all. When you look at your social campaigns as a short term means to an end you only see numbers. It only takes a small step back to see the role that a successfully run campaign can play in the big picture sense. So, how can you run a successful social media campaign? What’s the winning formula? Well, here’s a few staple tips that might just straighten out that very bumpy road.

  • Define successful.

Don’t touch a single ‘Post’ button until you have a tight understanding of what success means in the context of this campaign. It’s no secret that every business or content endeavour needs to be anchored by an aim, what’s yours for this campaign? Do you want to convert like crazy? Do you want to introduce a new product/service? Do you want to establish and nourish your community? Obviously we want it all when it comes to results but get basic with what you want, this is the only thing that can drive your campaign. And it’s the only things that gives your measuring a purpose and meaning later on down the road.

  • Hoard.

Before the big kick off, you need to have a wealth of good and focused content ready to go. Your campaign could be centred around anything from a specific event to company culture so do your homework and make sure you have a wealth of good stuff to hand or planned out properly. Start good habits by establishing a campaign Trello board - it’s a great way of collecting together any ideas, inspirations, content types or even sharing a list of key social influencers for everyone to look out for.

  • Keep your strategy agile.

No one is saying it needs to be set in stone but it does need to be in existence and accessible to all who will use your social channels. Your campaign strategy is as much about creating a rule book for how things are communicated as it is for the what aspect. Yes, have a solid idea of what you want to achieve and how you will do that but leave room for adaptation. Keeping your strategy agile is the best way to make it successful. Feedback is so important to its success so make sure there’s enough flexibility there to change courses if need be. Get your tone of voice and style down first, it’s things like this that truly determine a brand’s social success.

  • Be more social.

You’re a human being, act like one. It can be easy to let the medium rule you but remember that those little icons and handles are people. Instead of just reaching for retweet as a gesture of thanks, spend a little extra time putting meat on the bones. Talk to people, after all a campaign can’t be successful without community. It’s not desperate to ask people to follow you, it’s not pathetic to ask people to help you spread the word. People like to help people so tap into the real life aspect of why people engage with one another. Social media is just the platform you’re using, you are the real weight behind the campaign.

  • Don’t be tool shy.

There’s a ridiculous amount of free and paid apps and tools out there that will help you. If you don’t have TweetDeck, get it. If you don’t use Wildfire, why not? These are the building blocks that make your life so much easier.

  • Log it.

The amount of valuable connections and content you can come across in one day of social shenanigans is unreal. Why not multi-task and while you’re running your campaign, start or add to your contact database. Make your online efforts mean more and use this time as research into everything from how your consumers make decisions to the best social influencers to reach out to. A simple spreadsheet, or use your Trello board, of the worthy and wanted is a priceless brand asset.

  • Recruit ambassadors.

Your brand foot soldiers are your social fans. Make your connections mean more by actively involving and rewarding them. Promote your biggest fans and influencers to your social ambassadors, and most importantly reward them properly! Pay them, don’t just offer them a FREE something or other. Get serious about valuing the social word and recruit, not just reward, those who have a real knack for it.

  • Avoid empty attention seeking shots.

Attention is a hard thing to grab so make sure you have something to sweeten the deal with when it happens. Your campaign needs to be more than offers of free white papers, tiny discounts and weak content. Simply giving something of real value is enough to set you apart from your competitors. Whether it’s an expertly made and inventive video that sets your brand values up or is a landing page that unlocks a hidden surprise, don’t get lazy with your attempts to make that attention swap purposeful.

By now you’ve no doubt noticed that the basic stuff done well is the greatest recipe for social media success. Of course you can pay for promoted posts and it may well work for you but the key to real success is to look beyond the short-term sale. Create a culture and attitude behind every success that’s driven by values, whether they be business or best practice related. The most rewarding campaigns are run with reason and realness. Tricks and tools can help with the delivery but it really is what’s underneath that matters.

Do you like this stuff? Then join over 21,000 other awesome people who get tips on improving their employer brand, recruitment, marketing and the odd spot of career advice delivered directly to their inbox from me! @markbevans