There are many major players today in social media marketing, and a well-run campaign incorporates the strengths of several of these websites. A highly multi-tiered campaign can be hard to manage, so here are some tips and ideas to help keep track of a campaign’s status and progress.
The Strengths of Major Social Media Players
The grandfather goliath of the social media sites (so long MySpace) incorporates aspects of many of the different sites. With over a billion users, 600 million of them on mobile, its greatest asset is the colossal community, and it provides many opportunities for targeted advertising. It’s up for debate how effective direct advertising with Facebook really is, but a the greatest strengths of Facebook are its capabilities for user interaction over simply trying to boost your “likes.” With Facebook location servers and mobile user base, it’s a great platform to run a heavily user-driven campaign. Encouraging user-generated content and interaction is the key to success for the FB side of your social media campaign. Facebook also offers helpful Analytics tools for business pages with Facebook Insights, which can help you build a profile of your clientele and fans, which can be invaluable in figuring out how to target your demographic.
Foursquare has established itself as a giant on the mobile side of social media marketing. It’s primarily used with location services on smartphones, “find” and “share” with physical, brick and mortar businesses, but some larger brands, such as The History Channel, have had success with the platform by encouraging check-ins at various historical locations around the United States. Physical establishments have the most to gain through Foursquare, especially with the new API that allows new levels of interactivity.
With this new apps platform, users can be notified when they are in the vicinity of a Foursquare check-in location on their smartphones, which gives businesses a great opportunity for perfectly geographically targeted advertising. By offering check-in specials and loyalty rewards, Foursquare can create some great chances to not only bring new customers in the door, but also keep them coming back. Foursquare is an essential component of your campaign for any brick and mortar establishment, and a vital key to connecting with your local clientele.
Twitter shines with its up-to-the-minute news and trends. 144 characters can make it challenging to share much information, but campaigns that call for user interaction have had a great deal of success on Twitter. This proves that it doesn’t take much to get a lot done. The key to successful marketing on Twitter is to create tweets that encourage users to actually retweet, share, or respond. Again, user-generated and produced content fuels the most successful Twitter campaigns.
Although Google+ does not have the active member base that Facebook does, it touts over 250 million members and 150 million active monthly users. This could possibly be used as an advantage – Google+ is not as saturated with ads and companies, and a well-run campaign here could cut through the smaller market. It’s already become a major hub for businesses, and it offers many tools for businesses to promote and share their ideas. And since it’s Google, and they’ve got such a strong groundwork and so many features that people rely on regularly, without a doubt Google+ will see a lot of user growth into 2013. Google+ offers huge SEO benefits over other social media sites to bloggers and businesses that work through the platform. Google+ already incorporates many of the features of Facebook. Location and mobile services offer a rich array of methods to share media and information. This article provides some great advice on using Google+ in a social media campaign.
Blogger, WordPress, and Other Blogging Sites
A blog can make an ideal hub of a social media campaign. Here you can share a wealth of information about your company and discuss ideas in much more depth than other sites. You can also incorporate media related to the campaign and lay it out in an inclusive, chronological, and easy-to-follow format. A blog may not be the most visible element of your campaign, but it’s a good thing to have available for people who are interested in learning more or following the campaign as it develops.
There are, of course, many other sites that can play into your social media campaign. This info-graphic does a great job laying out many of the elements in the “social media galaxy”.
Playing Each Site’s Strengths in Your Campaign
At the core of a good social media marketing campaign are users and user-generated content. This has vastly changed the marketing landscape; it’s no longer about simply showing your product to customers. It’s about engaging them, encouraging them to react, and letting them be a part of it. This is much cheaper than traditional advertising, but it can be difficult to pull off well. Many successful campaigns have shown that users like to be challenged to something, to reach some goal or reward.
Tying Them All Together
Cross-platform integration makes it easy to share your campaign across multiple sites, and some sites are more welcoming to this than others. Facebook makes it easy to share your posts and information from most other platforms. Twitter, Foursquare, and many blogs make it easy for users to share stories on Facebook. When you are running your campaign, you can set up most social media sites to automatically update your posts and updates directly to your Facebook page.
Many social media sites offer integration with other platforms beyond Facebook. If you’re managing your entire campaign manually through each site, I would recommend taking advantage of this automatic integration as much as possible to save time and avoid unnecessary duplication of your efforts. It can be difficult to keep track of all your posts, but there are some paid options that make it easy to manage your campaign and keep track of all the small, but crucial, details of a multi-site campaign.
Manage Multiple Aspects of Your Campaign FromOne Place
A well-run social media campaign is not just about getting your information out to readers and potential customers. It’s essential to track your progress and to interact with users well into your campaign. Most social media sites offer analytics details about traffic to their pages, but using an overarching campaign organizer will help you see how all the different components of your campaign tie together. There are a few different tools on the market to do this – some are free and some require a service subscription – but they can be well worth it to manage a large-scale campaign.
Google Analytics can also provide important information pertaining to your campaign. You’ll have to associate GA’s tracking codes into each of your sites to get the full picture of how traffic within all of your pages tends to move, but whether you’re using a separate paid service or not, it’s worth the extra effort to incorporate Google Analytics. It will show you vital information on how users arrive at your different sites, how long they stick around, and where they go to from there. You can track which links are the most successful at generating new likes, or even sales, and other forms of user interaction.
For a paid service, SproutSocial makes it easy to manage a multi-site campaign all from one spot. It gives you the ability to publish and schedule your updates all from one location. It also has several tools to keep track of your campaign’s progress and view statistics about views, likes, and other useful information about viewer interaction. SproutSocial plans start at $39 per month for the Standard Plan, which allows you to manage up to 10 profiles and provides many tools for organizing and monitoring your campaign.
The ability to post and update all aspects of your campaign is invaluable, and will help with keeping your campaign’s message constant and avoiding unnecessary duplication while managing it on multiple sites.
Expion offers a similar service to SproutSocial, with comprehensive, multi-site management and analytics tools for global, enterprise-level customers. You can find a great run-down of tools and sites that help manage a social media campaign, along with their pricing options, here.
Another useful toolset, which is also geared more towards enterprise level clients, is available at Compete.com. Compete provides advanced tracking features for your campaign, and it helps keep track of your competition. This can really help you understand your competition. This knowledge can give you a cutting edge and allow you to understand what drives their customers so that you can incorporate this into your own campaign. Pricing for compete starts at $199 per month, and it can provide tracking on more sites and many additional features at higher subscriptions.
Getting Your Campaign off the Ground
A successful social media campaign requires a great deal of planning, but it must also be versatile enough to adapt and change with user interaction. These overarching campaign-managing sites offer many tools and can be well worth the price tag when you’re managing a campaign of any size. It’s vital to keep track of your postings and to keep the message of your campaign clear and constant. Design your social media marketing campaign with the users in mind. Remember, you need them to drive your campaign, so keep your it interesting and engaging. Play on the strengths of the community of each site you interact with. With all of this in mind, and some new ideas and tools at your disposal, I wish you best of luck with your campaign! Be sure to let us know how it goes!
Are there any multi-site social media campaigns that you think were executed well? How about poorly run campaigns? What where these companies doing right or wrong?