Do you have an idea brewing for a social media campaign?
Whether this is one of your first campaigns or you need to upgrade your social media strategy, this article might just help you overcome challenges such as:
- Where to start?
- How do you organise the tasks?
- Where should your focus be?
Regardless of the type of social media campaign, you will have to commit to careful planning and finesse. You see, they are an opportunity to present your brand in a new light, connect with your target audience, and reach your strategic and overall goals.
We developed a free Social Media Campaign Template (also known as the Checklist) to make campaign planning more painless and, moreover, to help you ensure that you're covering all your bases! But before you go ahead and download it, let's go over some burning questions and break down the most important steps of a successful social media marketing campaign:
- What is the most important part of building a successful social media campaign
- Three essential steps: prepare, execute, assess
- Specific social media campaign types
- Three examples of successful social media campaigns
- [Bonus] Free template for planning a social media campaign
What is the most important part of building a successful social media campaign
Planning. Hands down.
Not just planning prior to the social media marketing campaign but planning that will be consistently optimised throughout the campaign and even when it's finished.
Planning social media campaigns is not always an easy task, as it requires a perfect balance of strategy and creativity.
And let's not forget about the moving parts - each serving as an element to support or obstruct your campaign:
- Team members
- Branding elements
Get serious about your social media marketing campaign planning by putting pen to paper, so to speak, towards the preparation, execution, and assessment of each campaign. Ask intentional and productive questions that will lead to a sharper vision and more positive results!
Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation. - Robert H. Schuller
Three essential steps: prepare, execute, assess
If you're serious about upgrading your social media strategy, achieving goals, and running successful social media campaigns, you need to understand that this process doesn't start with creating content, and it doesn't end with posting it.
In fact, it consists of three essential phases:
1. Preparing your social media campaign
With proper planning, you're saving yourself time in the long run and setting up your entire campaign to be more successful. This section of our template is an outline of the specific elements that will shape your vision, such as:
- Identifying a primary goal
- Determining your target audience
- Dishing out responsibilities within your team
Plan your work and work your plan. - Napoleon Hill
Some key questions from the ‘Planning’ section of our template include:
What is your campaign about?
This is where your creativity begins to unfold! The very inception of the idea has sparked your entire campaign. You might already have one, or it might be time to brainstorm.
When brainstorming a campaign idea, it can be helpful to ask yourself a few leading questions, like:
- Do we have any news or information to provide our fan base?
- What do our fans want from us?
- What kind of message do we want to put out into the world?
Hopefully, from there, you get an inkling of the theme behind your campaign, whether it's celebrating a new trend, promoting a recent product or building a deeper connection with your target audience.
What is your primary goal?
Behind every idea should be a central goal. Setting a strong goal gives you a clear direction to work towards, which should, in turn, make the rest of the content creation process much easier. This goal needs to match those set by a social media strategy or digital marketing strategy.
Here are some examples of what your campaign goal could be:
- Gain [x amount] followers on [social media platform name]
- Sell [x amount] of [product name]
- Drive [x amount] of new leads
- Get [x amount] of signups/attendance for an event
Our handy pocket guide can help you set up measurable social media goals.
What campaigns inspire you?
Finding inspiration in campaigns from brands you admire can spark a whole new world of possibilities for your budding campaign!
Take some time to comb through campaigns from large and small brands alike, focusing on channels that you're considering. If you plan to focus on video, search for video marketing campaigns, and if you're focusing on influencers, look for brands that have mastered influencer marketing campaigns.
2. Execute the social media campaign
Once your plan is in place, it's time to bring your campaign into the light of day. The execution stage is where the magic happens and where your hard work comes to fruition.
Execution is a specific set of behaviours and techniques that companies need to master in order to have a competitive advantage. It’s a discipline of its own. —Ram Charan and Larry Bossidy, Execution
Here are some key checklist items for you to consider from the ‘Execution’ section:
Create a social media content calendar
Yet another brilliant organizational tool - the social media content calendar!
This type of editorial calendar, simply stated, provides an at-a-glance look at what content is scheduled to go live on which days.
If your team is on the larger side, an editorial calendar will give everyone much-needed visibility into what other team members have created. Even if you're working solo or in a tiny team, you'll benefit from being able to catch any content gaps or overlaps.
If you don't already have a social media calendar, this is a great opportunity to integrate it into your everyday social media marketing strategy!
There are a handful of ways you can manage your editorial calendar, from the old-fashioned way of putting pen to paper to using an online productivity tool such as:
- Google sheets
- Social media management tool
Develop and schedule content
The bulk of your work is going to come in at this point … but it’s the fun kind of work. Here’s what we’re talking about:
- Determining campaign slogans and other copywriting
- Selecting colours (if different than brand colours)
- Images and design elements
- Designing ads and banners
- Writing blogs, articles and post copy
- Creating videos
Don't worry if you get stuck on creating content, we've all been there! There is a process you can follow to create content ideas - so make sure to check it out for your next brainstorming session.
3. Assess the results of your social media campaign
You're not done when the curtain closes on your campaign!
Perhaps the most important part of any marketing campaign is analysing your results and making changes for next time.
Having said that, we should underline just how essential it is to assess the performance of your campaign while it's running. This will allow you to optimise it, redistribute your budget, change your creative, and, in the end, bring you closer to achieving the goals set by your social media strategy.
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” —Sir Winston Churchill
Here's what I recommend ticking off from the checklist items in the ‘Assessment’ section:
Did you meet your goals?
Because your campaign should always have a measurable goal, you should be able to answer this question easily.
Compiling the proper information to determine if you met, exceeded or fell short of your social media marketing goal is a key part of making each campaign stronger and stronger!
There is always room to grow.
What could you change for the next campaign?
Speaking of growth, now's the time to jot down some things that might not have gone how you planned throughout your campaign.
Perhaps you found yourself a little disorganised or off track, or maybe some of your content didn't hit home with your target audience. Whatever it is, making a note of any pitfalls allows you to get ahead of the problem for next time.
Specific social media campaign types
Our general checklist is applicable to any and every social media marketing campaign, but we recognize that for different campaign types, there will be unique pain points and questions to keep at the forefront of planning.
For that reason, we wanted to highlight a few of those pertinent checklist items for these four campaigns:
Record these checklist points as mental notes or physically add them to your checklist to give yourself a leg-up in organizing these special campaigns!
Product marketing campaigns
It's exciting news when a new product is launching, and it's something you definitely want your customer or fan base to be aware of!
Top tip: Don't start planning for a product campaign until you and/or your team are fully briefed on the new product! You should have every piece of information to properly market any product, including its benefits and pain points.
Seasonal marketing campaigns
These are just a few holidays that come around every year, so they shouldn't be news to you when they arrive!
Top tip: Decide what makes your brand stand out from the crowd, and incorporate these things into the heart of your campaign.
Stay on top of the most popular social media holidays with our free social media holiday calendar.
Milestone marketing campaigns
Celebrating a milestone is a joyous time for brands and also a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with your customers and fans.
Top tip: What's your legacy? Think long and hard about the meaning of your brand, what legacy you want to create and how that can be incorporated into a meaningful and memorable occasion.
Influencer marketing campaigns
Utilising an influencer is a great way to bring awareness to your company or product. However, there is a wrong and a right way to approach successful influencer marketing.
Top tip: Spend an adequate amount of time finding the right influencer for you. You can use social media monitoring to uncover potential influencers that are already connected and invested in your brand or influential in your space.
Three examples of successful social media campaigns
Reddit's brand awareness campaign
In 2021, Reddit's marketing team decided to take a bold move to raise brand awareness and attract a new audience.
In their own words, they spent their entire budget on 5-second airtime at the Super Bowl to create an unforgettable omnichannel experience!
This short video kicked off with a generic car promo, followed by a glitch-like screen and some text, only to shift to horses galloping through a field.
Sounds crazy, right?
Well, this disruptive video marketing campaign had a goal to confuse spectators completely and spark their curiosity.
And it did just that! Thousands of people (close to 500 thousand, to be precise) flocked to social media to see if that was some kind of mistake, only to land on an already prepared X (Twitter) thread, the second step of this brilliant video marketing turned social media marketing campaign.
Vessi's influencer marketing campaign
Vessi is a Canadian footwear brand that used a powerful combination of TikTok and influencer marketing to promote its newest fully waterproof sneakers. They did this by joining forces with one of the most beloved TikTok creators @kallmekris.
And Kris took influencer marketing to a completely new level!
You see, Kris became famous for creating various characters and recreating situations we could all relate to. So, how did promoting sneakers fit into her content?
But that's just it. She didn't create a regular promotion video. Instead, she incorporated them into one of her many "What I imagine it's like to have a toddler" scenarios. In this particular one, Kriss promoted limited-edition Pride Vessis:
Airbnb's cause marketing campaign
Cause marketing was always important, but after the pandemic, it became mandatory! Supporting relevant causes and helping the world become a better place has become one of the most influential factors in consumers' minds.
This is why Airbnb's team launched a social media marketing campaign supporting a cause to win consumer trust and boost their brand image ultimately.
Like many other travel-industry-related brands, Airbnb was heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic. But instead of watching their business crumble, they found a way to not only stay active on social media but actually help with the current situation. By offering free or subsidised lodging to COVID-19 responders, it found a way to keep its business running while improving its brand image.
[Bonus] Free template for planning a social media campaign
Once you've tackled the above steps, you should be able to start or continue planning successful social media marketing campaigns.
Keep in mind that the key is to celebrate your wins, be honest about your shortcomings and work to ensure that the next campaign is always more successful than the last!
Download a copy of our Social Media Campaign Template below to visualise each element of your next campaign. You can print it out or share it with your team digitally. Let us know once you've put it into action and how the checklist impacted the results of your campaign!