By Mackenzie Whitfield, Assistant Account Coordinator
Looking to capitalize on social media for your business? Planning a social media campaign can be a daunting task, but it’s key to building your reputation and raising awareness.
Social media increases visibility and improves customer service, allowing you to gain feedback on products and foster loyal relationships with clients and potential customers. The content should be informative, relatable and motivate the audience to interact, reward your audience by providing them with useful information.
Planning a social media campaign requires being both a content creator and an online storyteller. To begin the process, start by defining your key themes:
- Consider the essence of the brand and focus on the target audience.
- Determine the goals and objectives of your campaign. Keep the goals specific, measurable, realistic and timely.
- Reflect on the company’s values to create the content themes, categories and key messages that will be shared with the audience.
Before you launch into the online world make sure you do research and create a strategy:
- Determine which platforms your target audience uses most and which of these platforms are appropriate for you to engage them on.
- Research your client and their competitors, listen to what’s being said about them.
- See what the competition is doing on social media and note what works and what doesn’t.
- Gauge the online environment to learn what to expect and be prepared for anything.
- The strategy should determine how you will use the themes and content on the different platforms to engage others. What you have to say and how you’re going to say it, on your profile and others, to get people talking.
Key platforms to consider:
- Use Twitter to build reputation and increase visualization. The fast pace of the platform requires timely and relevant interactions.
- Facebook is great for communication, posts can be longer and more personal.
- Tell a story with photos on Instagram, which is best for portraying a lifestyle or experience.
- Establish yourself as an expert or influencer on LinkedIn by providing informative content and participating in discussions. *In the links above, we’ve included links to the best in the business of social media.
Once the themes, strategy and platforms have been determined you’re ready to start creating content. Great ways to shape your content include:
- Create an editorial calendar. It’s helpful to generate a social media or “editorial” calendar where the posts can be planned out for a week, month or longer in advance. This ensures regular posting and that posts stick to the campaign themes and strategy.
- Create a spreadsheet. Using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets is an easy and clean way to format the calendar. Label the columns date, day, copy (text), visual assets, target audience, category/theme and platform.
- Use imagery. It’s best to include a photo with each post as people are more likely to read a post that has an aesthetically pleasing photo.
- Include relevant links. Be useful to the audience by generating links and making it easy to find the product discussed in the post.
- Shorten those links! Use websites like Bitly and Ow.ly. The link should not be the greatest portion of the post, especially when it’s limited to 140 characters.
- Brainstorm unique hashtags. Create different hashtags for different events, products, promotions or contests.
- Post in a timely manner. Spread out the time between posts, especially if posting more than once a day. No one wants to be spammed.
- Check your tone. Make sure to stay positive and be real, you want to be relatable to your audience.
Social media campaigns require lots of strategizing and creativity, but are also rewarding and a lot of fun. Once you find your voice in the online community your company’s opportunities for visibility are limitless.