Plan an Effective Social Media Campaign

Would you like to see results like this from a social media campaign? You can.

Specifically, we’re seeing a threefold increase in impressions and twice as much reach as in the previous period.

Here’s another example, showing nearly 70% higher organic reach and nearly 50% more clicks. This account went from just a handful of viewers to more than 3,000 in about a month.

In both cases, this is all organic reach. No ads, no paid traffic, and no trickery. Just a couple of successful social media campaigns.

Step 1: Choose your campaign

You need regular, ongoing participation in social media to get good results. But now and then you may want a campaign to jump-start your results, to build anticipation for a product launch or other event, or to increase engagement. A campaign is a short-term effort in addition to the regular background participation.

A successful social media campaign should center on a particular subject. We’ve seen successful campaigns focusing on seasonal events like Black History Month, news trends like election denial, a particular product, or a game or quiz. It just needs to be something focused that will catch the attention of your particular target audience. Remember, the results of social media efforts depend on the actions taken by your community members, so your topic must be something that resonates with your target audience.

One recent example centered on a new set of Chrismons. Chrismons are a particular kind of Christmas tree ornament associated with mainstream Protestant churches. It’s a fairly arcane subject, but a group of women in the church had made a new set of these ornaments for the Christmas tree in their sanctuary.  We determined to post a new picture of one of these ornaments each day at Facebook.

Step 2: Create content

We’ve used all kinds of content: a series of infographics, a series of blog posts, a series of videos… If you see a pattern here, you’re right. You need more than one. You need a series. In the case of the Chrismons, we had a bunch of photos, a couple of blog posts, and a wrap-up video. We also had a couple of in-person events relating to the Chrismons. We announced them in social media and followed up with photos from the events.

The content for the Chrismons campaign was all either on the church website or on Facebook, in addition to the in-person events. In other cases, we’ve used YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and a website all together. Pinterest, TikTok, and the like can also be involved. Each platform can support the others.

Step 3: Plan your calendar

The Chrismons example was designed for the month of December. In other cases, we’ve planned for the run-up to an event, a particular political process, or a special day like the Great American Smoke-out. The key is to spread your content out fairly evenly over the course of the campaign. A great rush of content on May first and a couple of dribs and drabs at the end of the month won’t get good results.

Use a calendar or a spreadsheet or schedule out all your posts with blog and social media scheduling tools — whatever works for you and your team. The key is to build anticipation and momentum.

Step 4: Follow through

Keep to your planned schedule, but also be prepared to monitor and adjust. In the Chrismons campaign, we saw a surprising level of response to video so we stepped that up.

In some other cases, we’ve distributed popular items more broadly, extended the campaign to keep momentum going, or added additional blog posts. The key is to monitor your results and respond to the trends you see.

What if you don’t see much interest? Should you give up? No. Finish out your campaign unless you have very strong reasons to stop. Make sure to track your progress and when it’s finished, figure out what went wrong. Did you have unrealistic expectations?  Did you choose a type of content that isn’t appealing to your target market, or a platform that isn’t popular with them?

Did you — be honest with yourself — have poor quality content or execution? In any of these cases, learn for next time.

Social media continues to be  highly effective addition to or even alternative to SEO and advertising. Periodic campaigns can make all the difference in your overall marketing mix.


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