The ultimate goal of developing a social media marketing campaign should be to connect with prospective and existing customers on a personal level. To this effect, business owners and brand managers should aim for positive brand awareness combined with clear objectives that can be measured through simple analytics.
Here are four steps that should be followed when setting out to build a powerful marketing campaign on social media channels.
1. Determining the Market Audience
Many business owners make a mistake of spreading their brands too thin on social media. There was a time when marketers believed that all audiences were concentrated on three major social networks, specifically Facebook, Twitter and Google+; however, it is now clear that social networks go through changes in terms of their user base. Google+ is no longer as popular; nonetheless, owners of brick-and-mortar businesses should still pay attention to this network due to its connection to Google My Business and its effect on SEO.
Certain brands tend to do better on some social networks; for example, online publications tend to do better on Twitter while fashion boutiques perform better on Instagram. Youth-oriented businesses will probably be better off focusing solely on Snapchat while brands that wish to appeal to very smart people can focus their efforts on Quora.
2. Considering the Competition
Researching brand peers and competitors gives business owners an idea of how their intended campaigns may work. Learning from the mistakes and the success of others is something that social media marketers practice frequently. Reading case studies about social media campaigns executed for medium and small business owners is a good place to start.
When evaluating existing campaigns, it is important to look at the content and the engagement. If a pizza restaurant that posts photos of their menu items on Facebook is getting positive comments from users who share the images with their friends, this would be a cue for another pizza shop owner to follow. A direct seller of communications and utility services should evaluate reviews on Twitter.
3. Designing an Editorial Calendar
Most people use social networks spontaneously; this means that they publish updates as they occur. Brands should stick to a different strategy that is dictated by an editorial calendar that takes into an account seasonal trends as well as shifts in the market.
By following an editorial calendar, business owners will engage audiences more effectively by publishing fresh content on a constant basis. These calendars should also reflect the spirit of the season; for example, a DUI defense law firm can share articles on LinkedIn about the increased presence of police officers on the road during the holidays.
4. Checking Analytics
Measuring the performance of a social media campaign through a review of analytics is the best way to determine success. Depending on the campaign and its objectives, a thorough evaluation of analytics should be conducted on a weekly basis at the least.
If the marketing analytics of an auto repair shop show high engagement but low sales, the content may be in need of a stronger call-to-action message. If engagement is null and little traffic is being generated; brand managers should consider an advertising campaign within the social network by means of sponsored content.
In the end, social media marketing campaigns can be as powerful as business owners want them to be, but they need to be planned accordingly and executed strategically. Campaigns should not be abandoned until they have completely fizzled or until their budgeted funds are depleted. Once success has been achieved, campaigns can be scaled to continue providing positive results.
Author: Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. For more examples of solid social media marketing efforts, check out the campaigns of ACN, and see the reviews for ACN for yourself.