While most businesses now understand the importance of having a social media presence, many still view it as something that they just need to check off a list or as something separate from their comprehensive marketing mix. The truth is that social media can be incredibly beneficial to a business when done well and used in conjunction with traditional marketing methods.
Social media is an additional platform for your overall marketing strategy that has a strong ROI. Social media has an ever-growing audience and more than ever people are turning to their peers for advice, referrals and information. It can be cost effective, too.
If you are ready to truly incorporate social media into your marketing mix, take note of the following elements of a successful social media campaign.
Have a plan
This is one of the most commonly forgotten elements of a social media campaign. As with any other marketing endeavor, you need to have a strategy and set goals. How will you ever know if something is successful if you don’t define success? Take your current business plan and goals into account. How can using social media provide support for those goals?
Hire the talent
Just because the platform itself is free, doesn’t mean social media marketing is free. Businesses should be paying someone with social media expertise to run their channels, not just using an unpaid intern. Just because someone is young doesn’t mean they know social media (you don’t hire your accountant because they “grew up with math” do you?) They may know the technology, but they may not understand strategy and measurement.
Balance relevant content with calls to action
You can’t constantly promote your campaign. You need to mix things up and show your audience that you are aware a world exists outside your business. It may sound like a waste of time to talk about things other than your products or services, but by doing this you will gain people’s trust, respect, and attention; once you have obtained those things, your calls to action will be exponentially more effective.
Create a campaign hashtag
A hashtag will allow you to follow everything that is being said about your campaign. It can even show you how effective your traditional marketing tools are if you include the hashtag on those promotional materials. We suggest doing this, not only for measurement purposes, but because it allows customers to continue their interaction with your campaign online.
Use visuals for your call to action
Visuals define social media. Photos are liked 2 times more than text updates and videos are shared 12 times more than text or link updates. Your call to action will get a lot more action in visual form.
Social media is not a static marketing tool. It is flexible and you are expected to take advantage of that by being responsive. Take note of what people are talking about and react when necessary.
Measure your success
When the campaign is through, take a serious look at your analytics. Find out what worked and what didn’t. What content did people respond to most? Did people use your promoted hashtag or a different one? What platform did people engage with you most on? What content or platform did your call to action perform best on? All of this information will help make your next campaign even more successful.
Social media is a powerful tool, but it is also a misunderstood one. If you commit the time and talent to doing social media correctly, you will be thrilled at what it can do for your marketing campaigns.