How To Develop a Successful Social Media Campaign

By on May 16, 2011

If you’re at the beginning of your social media journey, your first question should always be about success. Anyone can throw together a social media campaign, or a campaign that uses social media – but very few people can do it successfully. In order to create a social media campaign that works (i.e. that sells and promotes), you need to know where to begin.

Here is the basic social media campaign formula:

Establish Brand – Gather Community – Interact, Sell, Promote

It looks simple, but it isn’t. People have problems at each step of this basic 3 step process. If your brand identity is wrong, you won’t gain a community or sell stuff – for example. Here is the right process to use when establishing a successful social media campaign.

#1: Research Until You Scream

All great marketing campaigns are based on effective research. Know your target demographic intimately, what they want, need and are dying to learn about. Research your ideal budget, and investigate how much setting up a campaign is going to cost you. Figure out your time investment.

Outline the supporting campaigns that will help fuel your social media marketing campaign – like Google Adwords. Before you begin, learn where you stand, and what’s on the horizon.

#2: Preparing Your Master Plan

What makes your business different? How can you attract your target demographic and keep them interested? What should your brand identity be, or your writing tone? Use the research you have to answer as many pertinent questions as possible.

Your master plan needs to clearly define your goals. This means knowing what you want to achieve, and then outlining a realistic plan to achieve it. Remember – failing to plan, is planning to fail! The most direct route to success is preparation, planning and research.

#3: Creating and Maintaining Awesome Content

The key to a successful social media campaign is getting the research and planning right, and then following through with consistent content creation and interaction. People respond to good content – that’s what you want! But the most important thing of course is sustainability. You need to grow your community and get them to interact. Any way you look at it, the more juicy content the better.

#4: Learning, Adapting, Monitoring

The battle is not over when you have your social media pages up and running. You need to learn all the time from the results that you get with your campaign. Use monitoring tools to track your progress, and review your campaign at the end of every month. The best campaigns are always evolving.

As you learn more through application, your social media campaign will get better – especially if you’re a stickler for data analysis. Focus on developing closer relationships with your current community and others will follow. Don’t pour your efforts into growing your community just because you want to ‘look’ like a popular business.

Every business is different. Yours might be perfect for Facebook, so focus your efforts there. Start with the basics – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, a blog and a Youtube channel. If you can only manage 1 properly, stick with that for awhile. In the end, when your community grows, they’ll be begging for more!

What was the first thing you integrated into your social media campaign? A Facebook page? A great blog? Let us know, below!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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