A few years ago when one spoke of a social media campaign, all it meant was that the company had a presence on Facebook and Twitter. But all that has changed dramatically now, in fact a 2012 study by Millward-Brown showed that that there was a direct correlation between how successful a company is and how well it uses social media.
Tips for Running Successful Social Media Marketing Campaigns
What then should an organization do after it recognizes the need for social media marketing? Here are a few tips that will get you started:
Know what you want from the campaign: This is all about setting realistic goals. Start by asking yourself what you would like to achieve before you actually plan anything. For example you are trying to:
- Connect with customers
- Promote a new product
- Increase the visibility of the company
We can explain this better using the example of the campaign by British Airways(1) during the London Olympics. The idea behind this campaign was to generate interest about the Olympics and actually ask people not to fly but enjoy the Olympics. This project aggregated all the tweets, updates, comments and posts related to the hashtag, #HomeAdvantage that BA propagated. These tweets were turned into a sound wave via their ‘social symphony’. The company managed to achieve the following results
- Over 50,000 people visited the Social Symphony during the Games.
- More than 65,000 sounds were generated and interacted with.
- 700,000 tweets and posts were collated and tagged, including some from the athletes themselves.
Planning: Now comes the process of finding a path to reach your goals. Planning should include initiatives like what platforms to use, what content should be shared and so on. Improve your Sales and Marketing Strategy with eCommerce Marketing Automation Software
Target Friendly: You may want to reach as many people as possible with your campaign but it is important to focus on a target audience. They will be your customers and most likely to lead to sales. It is also important to time your content right. Let’s take an example of the Toy Story movie trilogy, which made over $1 billion in revenue. For Toy Story 3, Pixar and Disney wanted to expand their audience and target college-going students. While the TV and print campaigns focused on families with kids, Disney targeted college students through YouTube, Facebook and blogs. In March, they announced special cliffhanger screenings of Toy Story 3 at college campuses around the country. Disney created a special ticket-buying app that allowed students to sign in with their college IDs and track updates on the movie and share tickets with friends.
Appoint a social media manager: Make sure you appoint someone to handle your campaign. It could be an employee or a public relations agency. Without a clear authority, your campaign may end up being chaotic and may lose track. A social media manager will also help your company to focus on quality rather than quantity.
Be Active: One simple comment on Facebook or Twitter may not be enough to generate interest. One needs to use different platforms and also the right amount of updates. Social Media sites make it easy to integrate accounts and share across several platforms. Also make sure you respond to questions or comments truthfully. It is important to develop relationships with your engaged audience and making friends with the right influencers.
Be Innovative: Make sure you have the right content or message to draw the interest of your target audience and make it memorable. Be as innovative as possible and don’t be afraid to use humor or quirky one liners. Try and evoke emotions like suspense, courage, anticipation and so on. Evian, the mineral water company, used the popularity of Instagram in their sponsorship of the US Open tennis tournament to create a very unique behind the scenes experience for a few Instagrammers, and their followers. Selecting these Instagrammers, who had their own large followings, Evian gave them an exclusive US Open experience and behind the scenes tour. The brand used Instagram to promote their sponsorship, and as a result the content ended up being picked up by a number of influential sports personalities online as well as tennis fans throughout the world.
Measure your success: Make sure you review your success metrics to see if the campaign has achieved the desired result. Metrics can also help you do a lot testing to make content to suit your audience. You can also use these metrics to improve and implement necessary changes for your next campaign. Google Analytics, Rowfeeders are some of the tools you can use to measure potential impact.
Managing your campaign can be a tireless task and you need all the help you can get, especially if you are a small business and lack sufficient manpower or time. Tools like Hootsuite, Tweet Beep, Twitter Feed, Buffer, Tweet Deck will help you manage your time and your campaign better, helping you avoid mistakes.
Looking closer to home, we are seeing India also adapt to this evolving medium. Some of the recent campaigns that have created a buzz in the Indian space are mentioned below:
Powerlight a Village by Garnier Men: Garnier Men India joined hands with Project Chirag for a unique campaign ‘Powerlight a Village’ – providing solar electrification system to villages without electricity. Every like, share and comment would contribute a predetermined unit of energy for the village.
Office 365 – Completely Boss: Microsoft India launched an extensive social media campaign for promoting ‘Office 365’, through a story-telling approach. From #sorryboss on Twitter asking users to tweet their lamest work excuses to ‘Completely Boss’ on Facebook that explained the benefits of this software and the blogger meet with a contest where bloggers could weave a story around how the new product could help transform their business, Office 365 had it all covered.