Many marketers already know that social media can play a significant role in extending the reach of our marketing campaigns (and events) by allowing us to reach a much larger audience. At the same time, for many of us, there is a significant level of stress when a colleague comes to us with any of the following statements or questions:

  • We have a major product launch tomorrow; can you just send a few tweets?
  • Can you please send a note to all our employees to post [this] on their personal accounts tomorrow morning at 9:13AM?
  • I need you to setup a new Facebook fan page called: MyWidget_For_Left_Handed_People_in_Central_Kentucky. We are launching a campaign tomorrow morning and need to get our fan page up and running.
  • What can you do to get me 3,000 Twitter followers for this new campaign we are launching?
  • I believe our target KPI for this social media campaign is to send 1,200 tweets in the next 2 weeks

How many of you can relate to any of the points above? I am sure we all have our favorite list, and trust me, mine is almost as long as a short novel.

Why does it have to be so hard? In my experience it doesn’t have to be, as long as you follow three repeatable and sequential steps that have served me well over the years:

1. Planning your campaign

This step is crucial to understand the objectives, channels and resources that will need to be involved. The time you invest in this step will largely determine the success of your campaign.

  • What are the overall objectives (e.g., brand awareness or demand generation)? This is a very critical step as all the tactics will have to follow from this
  • Is this a multi-channel campaign? What other channels (e.g., email, SEM, etc.) are you are using and how do you plan to coordinate?
  • Who is the team? In addition to the project manager, who will drive the social media engagement on a day-to-day basis
  • Which (existing) social media channels will you leverage and what is the editorial calendar? Think audience! and of course do not attempt to create new accounts right before your campaign
  • Have you mobilized your key influencers? Often forgotten, they can play a key role in helping you reach people you could not otherwise
  • Have you setup your social media tool(s) for publishing, engagement and measurement? Try to use one for all three activities but if not possible, be prepared for some work to coordinate across
  • What are the pre-campaign buzz activities? How do you plan to build excitement and anticipation prior to the launch?

2. During your campaign

Based on the channels you decided to activate, what is the editorial calendar, reporting / analytics frequency and integration with your CRM or marketing automation system?

  • Are you managing to the editorial calendar you developed? Are all employees responsible for each channel executing as planned?
  • Are your social media analytics in place? Are you able to get (near) real-time analytics to ensure you can adjust the campaign ‘in-flight’ if necessary?
  • Are you passing potential leads to your tele-marketing colleagues? If not integrated with your CRM or marketing automation system, how are you executing?

3. After your campaign is over

These activities are as, if not, more important than your activities during the campaign itself. Many of us typically forget to properly close the campaign, report on its success, and (alas!) leverage the content we developed.

  • Are you properly winding down the campaign? E.g., are you monitoring your influencers for any blog posts they will be publishing for up to weeks after the campaign is over?
  • Did you compile your social media analytics? Don’t forget these have to match whatever overall objectives you defined, e.g., if it is a demand generation campaign don’t forget the leads you generated and continue to monitor their conversion
  • Did you share your “dos and don’ts” with your colleagues? Most of us typically forget this as we are off to the next campaign. It is however critical to not only help you boast! but also help your company learn from your efforts.
  • How are you leveraging the content you developed? E.g., whitepapers into multiple blog posts, presentations to SlideShare, etc.
  • Are you migrating the conversations to your persistent communities? Your campaign may be over, but if you already have a community (e.g., LinkedIn group, hosted community) why not try to move the follow-up conversations there?

Do you want to learn more? Click on the button below to download our free e-book with a lot more details, tips and handy worksheets for you to use!

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As always, I am very interested to hear what has worked for you in the past and once you read the e-book how we can improve on it. Feel free to leave your comments below.