How To Create a Social Media Campaign in 9 Easy Steps
So you need to create a social media marketing campaign? Fun! No, we’re not kidding. There are few things more instantly gratifying than a digital marketing campaign—plan, launch, and watch the results and traction of your efforts roll in!
Of course, there’s a wee bit more to it than that. We’ll cover all the steps here so you can benefit from one of the most impactful, cost-effective marketing efforts any business can undertake.
Step 1: Define Your Social Media Campaign Goals
We’ll take a leap and presume you want to launch a social media campaign for more than just kicks. It’s more likely for sound business reasons, like promoting a new product or an initiative that’s part of your overall marketing plan.
Whatever your reasons, successful social media campaigns start by identifying specific campaign goals. Below are some examples of specific campaign goals:
- Heighten brand awareness
- Increase website traffic
- Generate new customers
- Boost sales and revenue
- Inspire customer engagement
- Build or strengthen your brand’s community
- Get customer feedback
So, what are your goals beyond promoting a specific product or initiative? Define your goals in writing so you can refer to them as you formulate the rest of your social media marketing strategy.
Step 2: Identify the Social Media Channels You’ll Use
Now that you have your goals defined, focus on how to achieve them, starting with which platforms you’ll use to run your campaign.
Some of the most popular social media platforms and channels include:
- Facebook and Facebook Live
- Instagram, Instagram Live, Instagram Stories, and IGTV
You probably already have a good sense of where to reach your target audience and loyal brand followers, and which social media channels will help you reach your goals. If you do, turn to those channels. Also consider branching out, especially since it doesn’t cost anything to post on multiple platforms.
If you don’t have a well-established social media presence or need guidance to understand the benefits of one platform over another, read about the top social media sites.
Step 3: Plan Your Social Media Campaign Strategies
Once you’ve determined your platform(s), outline the types of campaign content you plan to create for each social media channel.
This goes beyond deciding that you will craft social media posts, videos, or both. It’s also about determining specific types of posts or videos that feature key messaging and visuals to support your goals.
A few examples of goals and content tactics include:
- Building your newsletter audience by hosting a giveaway on a digital platform that collects the email addresses of entrants.
- Building the number of social media users who are following you by hosting an Instagram giveaway where entrants need to follow your brand and tag a friend.
- Getting feedback from loyal users by crafting an Instagram Stories poll.
- Generating revenue by promoting a sale, discount, or special offer.
Remember to always tie your concepts and messaging back to your goals, so you can go to the next step.
Step 4: Choose the Metrics You Want To Monitor
One of the coolest things about social media marketing programs is that pretty much everything is measurable.
Look at your goals and selected social media platforms and decide what metrics make sense.
For example, if your social media campaign strategy includes Facebook with a goal to inspire consumer engagement, make one of your measurable success metrics revolve around getting likes, comments, or shares.
If you want to leverage Instagram for customer feedback, consider running an Instagram Stories poll.
Aiming to broaden your newsletter subscriber base? Your metric is the number of new subscribers you get through your campaign!
Even things like Tweets and retweets become easily tracked if you assign your campaign a unique hashtag—search for the hashtag at the end of the campaign and the number of results that come up is your metric!
Step 5: Create a Social Media Content Calendar
Successful social media campaigns have a start and end date, and a detailed calendar of what happens in between. This is your content calendar. It’s also your roadmap, so make one, and make it detailed!
Your content calendar should outline:
- Deadlines for creating the content you plan to feature on your social networks during your campaign
- When and where all of your content will appear
Don’t hesitate to create content for all your social media accounts that promotes your campaign—even if your campaign is running on only one or two of them. For example, if you’re running an Instagram giveaway, why not promote it on Facebook and include a link that drives traffic to your campaign.
If you’re supporting your initiatives with a social media advertising campaign or scheduled posts by social media influencers, you can include those coordinated marketing initiatives in your content calendar too.
With this master plan in hand, it’s time to move to the fun part: design!
Step 6: Design Your Marketing Assets Using Free Online Tools
Once your plans are in place, it’s time to design compelling marketing assets and content that will win eyeballs and hearts. Text-centric Twitter aside, the only way to do that in the social media world is through spectacular visuals.
There’s more good news here. Today’s online tools make crafting every type of digital post so easy, you don’t need a design background to create pro-level campaign banners, logos, posts, videos, and more.
Tap on any of the following free templates to customize your own:
Free, Customizable Social Media Banners
Custom-designed banners on your social media sites and website can be your campaign billboard.
Free, Customizable, Social Media Post Templates
Free online design tools allow you to select a post size to match your platform, choose a design theme and font to fit your vibe, add your own images (if desired), and download so you can post!
Free, Customizable Instagram Stories Templates
You can quickly engage customers through polls, surveys, and more and stay totally on brand with free customizable Instagram Stories templates.
Free Online Video Editing Tools
Thanks to smartphones, it’s easy to create quality videos without investing in a special camera. But editing, not so much. Unless you have free video editing tools! These allow you to trim, resize, and add text, narration, and music to your videos as well as create video slideshows that are perfect for your social feeds on YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram Stories.
Step 7: Schedule Your Content Using Social Media Management Tools
Before beginning your campaign, you can again leverage online tools to make your job easier. This time, it’s with social media management tools, like Hootsuite.
These smart tools practically manage your campaign for you, starting with scheduling your posts to publish at specific dates and times—upload your content, schedule the publishing dates, and you can practically kick back, eat bonbons, and watch your campaign flourish. (We say practically because of the few things you’ll need to do in real-time in the next step.)
Be sure to schedule your posts for when your community is more active on your social media accounts. If you’re not sure when that is, check out some industry standards.
Bonus: these management tools can also track engagement, including shares, likes, retweets, and more, which will be very helpful when you need to note and evaluate metrics during and after your campaign.
Step 8: Manage Your Campaign
Remember the bonbons? You’ll have to put them aside for a bit longer because an essential part of great social media campaigns is managing the campaign as it goes.
If your plan is working as you hoped, your efforts may focus on engaging with users and customers. Answer questions and “like,” comment on their comments, and so on.
But this is also the time where you should monitor engagement in real time and adjust your strategies if necessary. If you’re not getting the response you hoped for or are seeing more success on one channel or campaign initiative than on another, you can pivot your social media strategy for better results.
Step 9: Analyze the Results
Half the value of a social media campaign is in the ROI associated with your goals. The other half is the insight you’ll glean from the experience. Once your campaign is over, evaluate what worked, what didn’t, what you learned from your customers, and what you would do differently next time. This insight will help you with your next social media campaign and all of those that follow!