The First 3 Steps You Need To Take When Launching A Social Media Campaign

Step 1: Write a blog post, send a tweet, post a Facebook status update
Step 2: …?
Step 3: Success!

If that sounds like your hazy vision for how a social media campaign looks, you’ll want to adjust your perspective.

Too many companies think that social media = content creation. It doesn’t.

Content is just one part of the complex machine of social media done right, and it isn’t even the most important part.

Before you write your first tweet or even create your Facebook page, follow these three essential steps – or risk a huge social media flop, no matter how enlightening those status update are.

Step 1: Define your goals

If you have fuzzy goals for what you want to see from social media, you can’t expect much from even the most compelling content.

Simply saying “I want more followers” isn’t enough of a goal, either. Ask yourself why you want those followers, those clicks, those interactions.

Is your goal to sell more tie-dye t-shirts? That’s a start. How many? To whom? And by when? If you can answer these questions, you’ll be able to tailor your content, engagement and measurement towards achieving the very specific goal of selling two dozen t-shirts to your teenage demographic by the end of the month.

If you’re struggling to nail down your goals for your social media campaign, try the S.M.A.R.T. method – your goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Good goal-setting will help you define the content, social networks, resources and more you’ll need for a successful campaign, so give yours some thought!

Step 2: Define your measurements

In order to determine whether your campaign is a success or not, you’ll need to measure something.

Your key performance indicators (KPIs) are perhaps the most important types of data you can pull from a social media campaign. They can be anything that will show you whether or not you’ve achieved your goals.

In our tie-dye t-shirt example above, the KPIs might be the number of clicks your links received, how often your links were shared, or how many of those that clicked converted into a sale.

Other common KPI for social media campaigns include engagement rate (how many people are engaging with your content?), sentiment (what is their attitude towards your brand and content?) and reach (how far did your content travel?).

Measuring these actions will help you stay on track to achieving your goals, and will ensure that each bit of content you put out there has maximum impact.

Step 3: Create your plan

The final step you’ll need to take before creating content for your campaign is to create a plan.

It isn’t easy to develop a social media marketing plan, but it is absolutely essential if you want to achieve those goals you’ve outlined above, and if you want to be able to find the right KPI to measure.

A plan should answer the five Ws: who, what, when, where, why (and how). Who is in charge of the campaign? What content will you be creating, and what other actions (customer service, competitor monitoring) will you be taking? When will the campaign start, and when will it end? Where will you post your content (think of your tools here: Twitter, Facebook, etc.)? Why are you running this campaign, or what are your goals? And lastly, how are you going to achieve your goals (include your measurements as well as tactics here)?

It isn’t until you have written down concrete goals, explained how you’re going to measure you efforts, and compiled all of your goals, measurements and tactics into a solid marketing plan that you’ll actually be able to implement a successful social media campaign.