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How to execute an effective social media campaign

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How to create goals and effectively launch successful social media campaigns? By knowing the landscape and aligning with the goals and desires of your audience.

How to create goals and effectively launch successful social media campaigns? By knowing the landscape and aligning with the goals and desires of your audience.

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  • 1. How to Execute an Effective Social Media Campaign 1!
  • 2. Table of Contents Knowing the Landscape..................................................................Page 3 Setting and Measuring Goals..........................................................Page 6 Reaching Your Audience.................................................................Page 8 Engaging Your Audience................................................................Page 11 Managing Your Campaign..............................................................Page 13 2!
  • 3. Knowing the Landscape Prior to developing a social media campaign, you need to understand a few key elements of the landscape. Specifically: • Who are you trying to reach? • Who do they and what do they pay attention to? • Why would they care about your message? What problems are you solving? How are you helping them reach their goals? Your message needs to reach not only your primary audience, but also the influencers of your primary audience. To gain a clear understanding to whom you are speaking to, it is best to create a persona or multiple personas that represent your audience. ! A persona is a fictional person who represents a major user group for your site. ! Personas help you identify major user groups of your Web site (Campaign). You ! select the characteristics that are most representative of those groups and turn ! them into a persona. ! Source: http://www.usability.gov/methods/analyze_current/personas.html When developing personas you will want to identify common characteristics such as: • Age • Gender • Income • Pain Points • Life Goals • Cultural Taste • Typical Relevant Behavior. Below is an example of a persona developed for a social, local, mobile (SoLoMo) application that tells people what is going on in their area. 3!
  • 4. Once you are clear on who you want to reach and understand their environment, you will need to target in on who are the most influential people to that group and within the group. A good start is to review a personʼs Klout score. Klout (http://klout.com/understand/ score) measures the influence of a person or brand on a scale of 1 to 100 based on the level of engagement within social networks. Specifically: However, a high Klout Score is meaningless if the person is not influencing your target audience, so your initial consideration should be who is influence that people who want to reach. Finally you need to narrow your efforts to who will be passionate about your message and will to be an advocate on your behalf. Social Media Campaigns are vastly different from Traditional Marketing Campaigns in many ways, including: Traditional Marketing Campaigns Social Media Campaigns Push Messages to their Audiences Messaging that the audience can share, comment on, and respond to. Creative Messages based on fictional characters demonstrating how the target audience would benefit from a product, service, or relationship. Non-fictional story-telling from the organization as well as from real people who have benefited. Feedback only from actions taken after the campaign. Real-time feedback from the audience about why they will or will not take action. 4!
  • 5. Therefore, prior to launching a campaign, you also need to consider how other internal departments need to be involved, such as: • Who works in the trenches and can provide related stories? • Who will answer any customer service issues? • Who will manage the media or any threats to the brandʼs reputation? • How can you leverage the various relationships that your employees have? Because social media campaigns do involve so many different voices, from internal staff as well as from your audience and media, it is imperative that guidelines are established prior to launching a campaign. These guidelines should include: • What is the objective of the campaign and what types of content supports those objectives? Donʼt get hung up on being entertaining or engaging as the purpose of a social media campaign. Although entertainment and engagement are very important, it needs to be inline with the objective of the campaign. • What type of content to avoid? For example will Coke was launching a campaign around their recycling machine, it was recommended that they avoid language about sustainability or environment because there was a large community online attacking Cokeʼs use of water related to sustainability and the environment. They could keep the recycling campaign focused without having to be distracted by other conversations. What online conversations would be a distraction to you? Perhaps immigration laws? Need for School Reform? Debate about the Federal Governmentʼs role in Education? • Which audience to avoid? Who would use your campaign for their own platform? Who would be distracting? Who would not be a good match for your brand? • What is the specific purpose for each social media channel? 5!
  • 6. Setting and Measuring Goals There are over 100 ways to measure your social media campaign. But before you know what to measure you need to know what you are trying to accomplish. The most common goals for social media campaigns include: 1. Increased Traffic 2. Increased Brand Awareness 3. Improved Sentiment 4. Drive a Call to Action (such as donation or volunteer) 5. Increase Engagement with the Community Your goal(s) for your social media campaign should be part of a longer term goal that is integrated with your long-term business goals. For example, you may increase traffic, but what do you want your audience to do or feel when they get to your site and how will you get them to keep coming back? Below are several way you can measure the success of your campaign: Your Share of Voice - can be a good indicator of the consumer awareness of your brand as compared to your competitive set. It essentially shows how much of the social conversation your brand has earned or is currently earning. Measure your share of voice by comparing your brand mentions to that of brands in a similar space. Engagement - The more highly engaged your followers and fans are, the more likely they are to be brand-loyalists, or become influencers and evangelize your products or services on their own personal networks. Measure your engagement through retweets, mentions, comments, like, and shares. Click Through Rate - Typically, one of the goals of a social media campaign is to drive traffic to a brandʼs website, microsite, or other owned media, thereby creating consumer awareness and subsequently sales or conversions. The growth in the number of clickthroughs can be one of the indicators of a successful, engaging campaign. Reach - Although quality is more important than quantity, you will probably want your campaign to scale. Reach is measured by the number of followers and the number of impressions. Reach can be enhanced through social media engagement and through paid advertising. 6!
  • 7. Call to Action - Many social media campaigns are launched to encourage people to take a specific action. However to measure the success you need to put specific controls in place such as a landing page with analytics that tracks incoming traffic, a coupon code that is only distributed through social media. 7!
  • 8. Reaching Your Audience To get your message to your audience you can either go to where your audience is and start engaging with them, or attract them to you. There are few channels where you can go directly to your audience technically or where you are welcomed to approach them within the community culture. Twitter is one of the channels, if done correctly. Most of the time you are dependent on your audience finding you. There are several things you can set up to help your audience find you at the right time. Search Engine Optimization is a technique that increases the likelihood that your content will be high on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) when your audience searches for relevant content. Social Media plays an integral role with Search Engine Optimization in that the more content that is created, the more recent the content is and the more people who link to content from social media sites, the better the Search Engine Results are. To enhance you campaignʼs results within search engines plan out your keywords based on how your audience will search for content. Be sure to use those keywords in strategic places such titles, naming image files, and within links. Tags are another way to have your content discovered by your target audience. Within many social media channels, such as blogs, social bookmarking services, YouTube, and other media sharing sites a tag will allow you to categorize your content under a label. When that label is the same as what others in the community are using, your content is also tied to other public content within the community, allowing users with similar interests to find your content. Sites such as Facebook and Google + allow the community to tag pictures and statuses with people or businesses which then shares that pictures on the profile that was tagged. The twitter community created hashtags by putting a # in front of words or random letters to create a way to tied related conversations together. Today when you place a # in front of a word or combined words twitter will turn that content into a link that automatically connects all conversations using that particular hashtag. If your audience values local customs, connections or if your campaign is tied to a physical location, you will want to develop a strategy for location based marketing. This can be done by leveraging location based services such as Foursquare and by geo- tagging your social media content. 8!
  • 9. More and more people are using their smart phones as their portal to digital media. It is vital that your strategy includes creating a mobile version of any landing page or website that is part of the overall plan. Almost all social media channels are already optimized for mobile. If reaching the audience through sms text or through a native application you will need to consider the engagement strategy and how often updates will be made. Advertising and integrating your campaign with traditional marketing will help you increase your reach. Advertising on social media sites has several benefits over advertising on traditional sites, including: 1. People spend a lot of time on social networks. 2. The ability to set lower budgets, in many cases as low as $5 a day. 3. The ability to track the the performance of you ads on a daily basis and make immediate changes. 4. Specific messages can be target it to specific groups of people based on demographics and interest. 5. When people respond to advertisements on social networks it shows up in the newsfeeds of their friends increasing awareness on a peer to peer level. Each social network has a different purpose and a different culture. When planning your social media advertising strategy you should align your message with the purpose and culture of each network. • Facebook is a casual lifestyle network. People like to get information and share information about themselves. Advertisement that appeal to emotions, sense of style, or increase knowledge would work best on Facebook. • Twitter is all about real-time information. Your advertisement on twitter should be timely and newsworthy. • YouTube is where people go for entertainment and information. Promoted videos that align with what people are watching is a much better tactic than disruptive advertising. • Linkedin is all about supporting your career. Your messages on Linkedin should show people who to improve their career standing. • Google Adwords Paid search that will help target a specified audience that may not be reached via social media sites. 9!
  • 10. When setting up your advertisements on Social Media sites you are often presented with the choice of CPM or CPC. CPM is the cost per thousand which means you are charged the bid rate for each 1,000 impressions that your ad received. CPC is cost per click which means you are charged the bid rate each time someone clicks on your ad. When you place your ad as a cost per click it is in the platforms best interest to give your ad enough target impressions to encourage clicks, however if the ad is not performing, many platforms will drop the ad. You would want to choose CPC if you are not sure how your ad will perform, therefore you are only paying of your ad is performing. On average if your ad is performing well, CPM is a more cost effective choice. When creating your advertisement you need to consider: • What needs you are fulfilling for your audience • What actions you want your audience to take or emotions you want them to feel • How the advertisement aligns with and impacts the campaign Tradition Communications can support the efforts of a Social Media Campaign in many ways, including: • Including your social media URLs on all printed information • Pushing information out to your audience via email and newsletters • Integrating the campaign with physical locations either with deals at local businesses when you check in or QR codes on posters and window flyers. • Publicity to spread the word about the campaign. Traditional Media and Social Media should also work hand in hand. •! Owned media. This is a channel the brand controls such as blogs. This is a cost- effective method for the organizationʼs targeted/niche audience. •! Paid media. The brand/organization will pay to leverage a channel on its behalf. Using this benefits the organization if the target audience trust this channel. •! Earned media. This is when your customers become the channel, for example when they promote your organization to their friend or write positively about your organization on their blog. Customers are supporting you and can be viewed as the most credible source. This will also continue to live on past the campaign. 10!
  • 11. Engaging Your Audience Social Media Campaigns power comes from including the community and getting them to take an action that adds to the campaignʼs momentum. Forrester Research describes seven levels of participation or Social Technographics. 11!
  • 12. You can appeal to each of the above levels of participation in different ways. For Creators - Ask them to create their own media about what your mission means to them. For Critics - Publish a blog with a call to action/question. Engage in the conversations with the critics. For Collectors - Make sure your content is sharable. For Joiners - Give them a reason to join your Facebook page or follow you. Create event pages that allow people to RSVP/check-in. Spectators - Provide stats and stories that they will share in offline conversations. Another tactic to get the community involved is Gamification. Gamification allows for the integration of game mechanics into learning/education to increase participation and motivation. There are a number of ways a campaign can include a gaming element, including: • achievement "badges" • achievement levels • "leader boards" • a progress bar or other visual meter to indicate how close people are to completing a task a company is trying to encourage, such as completing a social networking profile or earning a frequent shopper loyalty award. • virtual currency • systems for awarding, redeeming, trading, gifting, and otherwise exchanging points • challenges between users • embedding small casual games within other activities. ! Source: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamification) 12!
  • 13. Managing Your Campaign As mentioned earlier in this manual, social media campaigns are very different than traditional marketing campaigns. For example: 1. Content is expected to be personal. 2. The audience is encouraged to get more involved and then broadcast to others. 3. Content can be very immediate. 4. The campaign may go into a variety of unexpected directions. 5. Detractors also get to have a voice within the community. These difference bring a whole new set of challenges that need to be managed otherwise your efforts will either fail to meet their goal or cause more harm than good. There are many reasons why Social Media Campaigns fail, including: 1. Lack of presence in the various conversations 2. Lack of support from the community 3. Setting unrealistic expectations 4. Relying on an outsourced agency, intern, or volunteer to post content and properly engage with the community 5. Not understanding the landscape before launching a campaign. 6. Not planning our your content, responses, and escalation plan. 7. Using wrong social media platform or using the social media platform incorrectly. 8. Not coordinating your social media campaign with relevant dates and activities. 9. Not assigning proper resources to the campaign. 10. Being too promotional One of the tools that help with managing the campaign is a content calendar. A content calendar follows a traditional calendar in months/days and provides a way for you to map out how you will use social media outlets during a campaign. You plan out how often you will use each medium per day, as well as the topics that will be discussed in each medium during the specified time period. This is used in the planning process and helps determine the frequency of posts, as well as important mediums that you will use to target a specified audience. The content you are posting will travel further and provide a higher return if it goes viral, meaning being shared by your audience and beyond. 13!
  • 14. The types of content that can go viral include: 1. Interesting or inspiring photos 2. Interesting or inspiring videos 3. Valuable how-to lists. 4. Content that tells the audience something about themselves (which character are you?) 5. Quotes that speak to the core beliefs of your audience. While developing your content you need to consider your - Strengths: What does your community praise your for? - Weaknesses: What is holding your back from your goal? What resources, knowledge, abilities due you lack? - Opportunities: What strengths can you build on? - Threat: What can distract your audience from the message of the campaign, such as people with complaints about your organization or practices, or people using your campaign for their own agenda. There are a number of steps you can take to minimize threats, including: • Understand what relevant organizations are doing and how the online community is responding to them. • Know what content to avoid so that you do not arouse negative responses. • Monitor online conversations and plan out when and how to respond to threats. If you do find yourself in the middle of a crisis: • Publicly recognize the issue. • If appropriate take responsibility and respond to the issue. Otherwise state your case , explain your reasoning and stand by it - this should be done by leadership. • If need be, take the conversation off-line if not solved. • If you did make a mistake, publicly show that you have learned from mistakes and are taking steps to improve. While monitoring online conversations, you should be looking for opportunities as well as threats. Opportunities that arise in online conversations include: • The opportunity to contribute to a conversation. • The opportunity to tie your content to trending news. • The opportunity to learn from related organization. • The opportunity to attract new community members/advocates. • The opportunity to measure the reactions and reach of your content. To monitor conversations you can set up search strings within specific social networks, set up Google Alerts, and monitor free sites such as Social Mention http:// socialmention.com/. However if you expect your campaign or conversations about your brand to rapidly spread with high volume of mentions, you should invest in tools such as Radian6. 14!
  • 15. Your social media campaign goals should tie into a larger business goal. Once you have built your community, it is a good idea to continue to nurture that community in such a way that they continue to gain value from your content and continue to be your advocates. As your relationship grows with community members they will be more will to act when called upon making each of your future campaigns much more successful. 15!

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