If you’ve been listening to the ongoing chatter about social media the past few years, you’ve probably at least signed your company up for a Facebook Page, Twitter profile and maybe even a few others. That’s a great start. In fact, according to Brand.com reviews, “a corporate Facebook page, Twitter stream, or LinkedIn account is effectively the voice of [your] company.”
Nevertheless, one of the most important aspects of a successful social media plan is executing a comprehensive campaign.
First and foremost, you have to define your company’s mission. If you can clearly state what your company does and what you’re trying to accomplish, you’re ready for the next step. If not, try to take some time to clearly define your main goals and what you’re hoping to achieve.
Once you determine your mission, the next step is to articulate your main goals and objectives. Try to stick with 1-2 main goals, such as, “develop and foster a brand identity on social media.” Then choose 3-4 major objectives that support your overarching goals. Your objectives are things like “to create relevant content for my readers,” “to position my company as the industry leader,” or “to engage with current and potential customers.”
Now that you’ve determined your goals and objectives, take a moment to identify your target audience. Who exactly are you trying to reach? Consumers, potential customers, current customers, the media, investors, etc. Most importantly, be sure to identify your primary audience as most of your messaging will be targeted toward them.
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Once you have clearly defined the goals and objectives and identified your target audience, you’ll need to develop several strategies and tactics to achieve them. Defining your strategies is a crucial step to helping you meet your goals and objectives. This is the step where you will choose which social platforms you’re going to use, and what your messaging will be for each one. Your tactics will help support your strategies.
For example, one strategy might be to target your current customers on your Facebook page. A few tactics for this strategy are “like” or “friend” the customers, post status updates that highlight customer achievements or share photos of current customers using your product or service.
Another crucial aspect to creating a solid social media campaign is keeping it consistent throughout each platform. If you’re using a specific hashtag on Twitter, use the same hashtag on Facebook, and mention that same keyword in a YouTube video or on your LinkedIN page.
Another sign of a creative social media campaign is audience engagement. While it’s important to promote your company, one of the most effective ways to connect with your target audience is to engage them in some way. Ask them to submit a photo that encapsulates your hashtag, or award a follower on Facebook who created the funniest caption for one of your photos.
A campaign isn’t complete without tracking and reporting. Before you launch your campaign, take a quick glance at your baseline numbers, i.e. followers, likes, retweets, etc., and record it. There are also ways to harness and manage your online reputation.
The bottom line — Define your mission and keep your campaign simple. Some of the best social campaigns use only one platform, and may be as simple as “the best tweet wins.” But don’t be afraid to get creative! Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest — the opportunities for creativity are endless.