If you work in digital marketing, at some point you’ll need to run a social media marketing campaign as part of your overall digital marketing efforts. However, coming up with a specific campaign can be a daunting task. Rather than opening up a spreadsheet and randomly piecing a strategy together, a better approach is to take it one step at a time. Below I’ve put together a 7-step checklist that’s easy to use and will ensure you cover all the various aspects that are needed for an effective social media marketing campaign.
Step 1: List out campaign objectives and goals.
Before you begin writing campaign copy or designing custom graphics, you need to understand the why behind your campaign. What are you looking to accomplish? How will this campaign contribute to your business goals?
Some possibilities include:
- Increasing brand awareness.
- Promoting an event.
- Driving engagement with your targeted audiences.
- Generating leads by offering a piece of premium content.
- Generating buzz (and sales) for a new product.
Only you can decide which goal you need to hone in on, but every marketing campaign should have at least one objective. And the more specific, the better. Here are two examples:
- Weak goal: Generate more leads.
- Strong goal: Increase leads generated by 15% in Q1.
Step 2: Outline KPIs.
With objectives in place, you need a way to measure your campaign’s success. Think through some KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to help you determine if your efforts are paying off.
- Are you driving enough traffic to your website?
- Are sales rising?
- What’s the reach of your social posts?
To answer questions like this, you need to have a process to track and analyze the data. One way to track your results is by adding UTMs to your social posts. Another great strategy is to set up a conversion pixel on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (yes, all three social platforms have these now).
Once you have the two preliminary pieces in place, you can move on to tackling the campaign itself.
Step 3: Brainstorm.
This is the area where anything goes. No idea is a bad idea. Jot down as many options as you can think of, including the types of content, the social channels you’ll use, whether you’ll run any ads, and so on. You’ll want to refine your list, but for now the goal is to get it all down on paper so you have a framework to build from.
Step 4: Set a timeline.
No campaign, no matter how brilliant, should keep running forever. Your audience will at some point get exhausted, so plan accordingly.
Your campaign should have a set start and end date. For example, if you’re releasing a new product, you could run the campaign for a week before the product has launched, in order to build momentum, and then continue for the next 2-3 weeks post-launch.
Step 5: Lay out your content plan.
Here come the more nitty gritty tasks. It’s time to get a campaign calendar prepped and begin working on content. And it’s not necessarily as simple as whipping up some posts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
When looking at the content you could create, consider the following:
- Blog posts. If you have a blog, write a few posts that integrate with the campaign. These can also turn into additional social posts.
- Social posts. You’ll definitely want to post to each of your social outlets multiple times.
- Video. Depending on the type of campaign, creating a video to share may work well.
- FB Live Video. This would be another great piece to incorporate, especially if your campaign surrounds a live event such as a conference or workshop.
- Premium content. If your campaign is for a product upgrade, you could create an infographic or short eBook highlighting the benefits of the upgrade.
- Graphics. Will you create campaign-specific graphics to accompany your campaign? Doing so is a great way to differentiate the campaign from everyday content, as well as unify the various campaign pieces.
Once you have your content types sorted out, determine your posting cadence. You’ll want to post regularly, but be wary of overwhelming your followers or sounding desperate.
Additionally important is the timing of each individual post. For example, if your goal is to take people through the sales funnel, you wouldn’t want to start your campaign with a post about getting a free demo and end it with a high-level blog post. Having a calendar will help you organize each post in a way that flows smoothly and makes sense.
Step 6 (optional): Determine your spend.
How much money will you allocate toward advertising? It can be difficult to see the value, and for smaller businesses especially, parting with those precious funds can be painful.
With the amount of content being produced on social media by brands, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to reach an audience through organic means. You don’t need to spend thousands to see results, but building some spend into your campaign plan can be well worth the dollars spent.
Step 7: Execute.
Once the pieces are in place, the last remaining item is to follow through.
If you chose to run some ads, this would be a good time to implement a test strategy. Allocate some funds toward running a few tests, pinpoint which posts perform the best, and use the remaining budget to promote those posts.
Congratulations! You now have a checklist for your next social campaign. By implementing these steps, you’ll be well on your way to running a killer campaign.
What tips do you have for running a social campaign? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!