Listen, nobody reads the opening paragraphs of a blog post with a numbered list, right? Right. So let’s just dispense with the lead-in and get right to the reason you clicked the link in the first place… 7 things to do before you kick off your social media campaign:
1) Have brand guidelines in place. If you don’t have a cohesive look, aren’t speaking with one voice, across all platforms, you’re not ready to start something new. Back up and check to make sure your brand is ready to launch a new campaign. If you’re not sure, you might want to read this post on branding and creating brand standards.
2) Know your objectives. If your reason for launching a social media campaign is simply because everyone else is doing it, think again. If you don’t have clear objectives, you can’t measure whether or not you’re successful.
3) Outline your strategies. Know exactly how you will start your campaign. What tools will you use? A twitter chat? Hashtags? How often will you post? How will you encourage shares? Which platforms will you use?
4) Determine your measurements for success – and put them in writing. It’s the only way to know your ROI. Even in social, this is possible! We’re not just talking about number of followers. But, number of engaged followers, people talking about your brand, your engagement and influence levels. Also consider comparing your brand to a competitor or similar brand on the same platform. And remember that your number of followers doesn’t mean as much as your percentage of new followers. For example: Let’s say your biggest competitor has 10,000 followers and has gained 280 new followers in the past week. You, on the other hand, have 7,400 followers and have gained 259 in the past week. Which is better? In reality… your percentage of new followers is higher. And overall, it’s the engagement that counts! Using a social dashboard like @sproutsocial allows you to compare all of these things plus your level of influence.
5) Make sure your strategy is in line with your company’s mission statement. If you don’t have a mission statement, take the time to write one. And don’t just write it… live it (For more on this, read John O’Leary’s (@RisingAboveJohn) fantastic article on writing a mission statement)! Is your campaign speaking to your mission? Not only that, but your social media campaign should be well integrated with any other promotions your brand is running across other channels. Don’t muddy the waters with competing messages!
6) Know your audience! Every social platform has a different audience. It’s popular – and smart – to cross-pollinate, but do so wisely. Just because you might share the same article across three different social platforms doesn’t mean you share it the same way. Write your tweets and posts specifically to each audience.
7) Be visual. Pictures have become increasingly popular to share across social platforms. Your audience is four times more likely to remember a photo than they are to remember words. It stands to reason then, that you should include visuals with all of your posts and tweets. And as popular as visuals have become (posts and tweets that contain a strong visual are also much more likely to be shared) be sure that the visual you choose is relevant to its content! Throwing in a picture for the sake of having a visual won’t do you any good.
Does anyone read the closing paragraph either? Probably not. I’ve said my piece. You’ve got your list of seven, as promised. End of discussion. Or is it? Let me know what you’d add to this list in the comments (or in your RT of the link – hint, hint!).