6 Steps To Improve Your Brand's Social Media Campaign

07/26/2017 01:39 pm ET

These days many brands are using social media to run innovative and engaging brand campaigns. The competition to capture user attention is becoming increasingly fierce as brands work hard to take their campaigns to the next level.

Users are more inundated with messages and distractions than ever before, and with all the competition to capture their attention, designing a social media campaign that makes a real impact it can begin to feel like an impossible challenge.

It isn’t impossible, of course, it just takes a little planning and a healthy dose of creative thinking. Below are 6 things you can do to improve the effectiveness of your social media campaigns.

1 - Start with clear objectives

One of the biggest mistakes companies make with their social media campaigns is not entering into them with clear goals and objectives. It goes without saying that without documented goals in place, it’s impossible to know whether your efforts have been successful. Take the time before you begin designing your campaigns to outline what it is you hope to achieve.

  • Brand awareness goals are make sense for brands that are just starting out and looking to build up an audience. You can measure success against this goal through performance metrics like follower growth, brand mentions, and referral traffic from social media.
  • Engagement goals can include social interactions, amplification, shares, clickthrough rates, and website traffic. Engagement goals make sense for brands who want to promote a specific idea, product, or service, or are looking to generate a more loyal community of followers and customers.
  • Conversion goals include things like lead form submissions, mobile app installs, subscription sign-ups, and website purchases. You should focus on these types of goals if your objective is to use social media to drive sales, and if you’ve already built up solid brand awareness and user engagement.

It’s important to do this step first, before a campaign direction is established, because your goals should determine the shape and focus of your campaign.

2 - Share content that users will genuinely like

Your campaign should be built around sharing content that will actually interest your users. First things first, that means limiting overtly promotional content, which does nothing to engage users and is easily tuned out.

If you want to capture user attention, focus on creating content social media users enjoy consuming. Look at what kinds of photos, videos, and articles they share and come up with ideas for content that aligns to that.

A good example comes from the website gifgoat.party, which was created to get more young UK individuals to register to vote. The site was promoted via a series of posts that looked like GIFs of goats (also known as content social users really love), but, when clicked, the posts directed users to a site with information on voter registration deadlines. The campaign got tons of press and was a playful way to get people to engage with a serious topic.

3 - Engage with users

Hopefully this one is obvious, but you should engage with the users who participate in your campaigns. Few things make a user feel more valued than acknowledgement from a brand they care enough about to engage with on social media.

You can’t just create a campaign and expect the conversation to sustain itself. By routinely engaging with users, you’ll help sustain the momentum of the campaign and encourage even more loyalty from your followers.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with how you choose to reward your followers, like Netflix did when they ran a campaign designed to increase awareness for their original show, Chef’s Table. As part of the #mychefstable campaign, Netflix Asia created custom cooking-related trophies and sent them to influential food Instagrammers, generating engagement from a group of valuable influencers.

4 - Showcase user generated content

Another way to show your followers some love and get them more engaged in your campaigns is to promote the content they create (also known as user generated content or UGC). Seeing their content promoted by a brand makes users even more willing to share brand content and promote the brand through their posts. When other users see UGC getting rewarded this way, it further incentivizes them to get involved.

Urban Outfitters integrates user generated content across various platforms. They encourage customers to share images on Instagram that highlight their products, and then often use that content to build out the brand’s posts. Additionally, they’ve built a “UO community” on their website that highlights those photos, and calls out exactly which products are in the images.

In 2016 Adidas ran a Snapchat campaign aimed at engaging with the young audiences who are heavy users of the platform. They allowed users to use Snapchat to create their own Adidas designs by coloring over all-white outfits. The brand then selected a handful of winning designing and brought the young designers to their headquarters and worked with them to bring their designs to life.

5 - Cross-promote

In order to give your campaigns the best possible chance of succeeding, you should promote them as far and as wide as possible. Organic social reach is limited, so it’s necessary to put social advertising spend behind your effort. But beyond that, you should actively try to introduce your social campaigns to audiences on other channels. Promote your campaigns on your website, via your email campaigns, and even through targeted display advertising. Doing this will increase the reach of your campaigns, giving you more opportunities to reach new audiences.

6 - Start live streaming

Live streaming isn’t new, but it’s getting a lot more attention now that it can be done directly through both Facebook and Instagram. In April of this year Facebook stated that “one in every five Facebook videos is a live broadcast – and over the past year, daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has grown by more than 4x.”

Live videos are a great opportunity to engage users and they offer a means of showcasing your brand’s personality in a way that’s human and approachable. Live video isn’t a strategy in and of itself, but it’s a content tool you can add to your campaign to generate more user interest and engagement.

Doing social media right is a challenge for a lot of brands, especially those that aren’t digitally native. There’s no secret formula to running the perfect social campaign. At the most basic level, what’s really required to ensure success is doing the proper groundwork of researching what appeals to users and setting achievable objectives, and then continuing to put the focus on making users happy at every step of the way.

To learn more about social media marketing, visit Blue Fountain Media online.

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