Sure, your company has a social media program (or at least it should…it is 2018, after all). And yes, you’re sharing messages with your followers that highlight company and industry news. But are you seeing the results you were hoping for?

Perhaps it’s because you haven’t yet made any serious moves to stand out on social. If not, you should consider implementing a creative social media campaign, which is a planned effort to support business goals using social networks. It’s the perfect way to create brand awareness and meet your business goals, while keeping your content fresh and innovative.

Not sure how to get started? Let us chart a course for you with these 5 simple steps:

1. Set Your GOALSSSSSS.

What do you want to achieve with your social campaign? It’s important to determine specific goals as a first step so you have a way to measure the success of the campaign. Keep in mind, these goals should align with your overall business objectives because, looking at the bigger picture, that’s really what you’re aiming to support. Campaign goals don’t always have to be long-term goals, either. They can be quick, easy, short-term goals, too. Here are some to choose from:

  • Improving and increasing overall brand awareness
  • Increasing engagement
  • Growing your follower base
  • Driving website traffic
  • Generating leads
  • Increasing sales

2. Select Your Target Audience.

One of the biggest mistakes any company can make is the attempt to appeal to everyone. Without a target audience, a campaign may fall short because it casts too wide a net. Determining not only those that have a need for your product or service, but also those that are most likely to “buy” it is essential when taking this step. You’ll want to start with demographics, including age, gender, location, income, education, etc. Once you’ve pinned this down, you’ll no longer be throwing darts with a blindfold on, which brings you that much closer to hitting the bullseye.

Bonus: Selecting a target audience in advance also helps you run successful social ads to support your campaign. The more targeted, the better the results.

3. R.E.S.E.A.R.C.H.

This step doesn’t sound like fun, but it’s critical to the success of your campaign. You’ll first want to take a look at your own social channels and figure out what has worked well in the past and what hasn’t. What seems to resonate the most with your audience? You will be able to leverage this in your campaign.

Second, take a look at the competition. While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, you don’t want to unknowingly run a similar campaign. The whole point is to stand out. And, once you see what they’ve done, odds are you can do better.

During this phase, it’s key to come up with a campaign theme and tactics that are unique to your company, will resonate with your target audience and will support your goals. Think outside the box when coming up with your idea and don’t be scared to try something different. For example, IHOP recently ran a campaign where they flipped the “P” in their name to a “b”, declaring them the International House of Burgers. This helped change consumers’ perception of the restaurant. Now, it’s not only viewed as a place to get breakfast but also a place to grab lunch and dinner. This campaign generated all kinds of social buzz.

4. Create & Curate Engaging C O N T E N T.

Once you’ve done your research and know which direction you’re going to take, it’s content creation time.Remember to keep your content fresh and engaging. Your audience doesn’t want to see the same campaign messages over and over again, so spice it up and have some fun. Come up with a message matrix that can be leveraged for social and includes a number of different messages and proof points.

There are two other things to consider in this step. First, curate content from your followers. According to Hootsuite, content curation is the process of sorting through large amounts of content on the web and presenting the best posts in a meaningful and organized way. It is simply the act of discovering, compiling, and sharing existing content with your online followers. Pro Tip: Creating a unique campaign hashtag that followers can include in their posts will help you sort through content.

Second, keep in mind that visual content is key to engagement because you’re more likely to capture your audience’s attention with a photo or a video post. In fact, 94% of content with visuals gets more total views than text-only. That’s no small stat.

5. Analyze Results.

How did your campaign pan out? Are there key takeaways you’ve gained for the next time around? Evaluate your results in comparison with the goals you mapped out in the first step. Did you get the end result you were looking for? And let the data drive you. If it’s telling you Facebook was your most successful social channel, think about doubling down on that network next time. It’s important to take a look at the metrics you hit to give you a clear path forward for future social campaigns.

Whether you’re a start-up or a Fortune 500 company, a social media campaign will help drive results. Just follow the steps we’ve mapped out.

Need help with a social campaign? Contact us today!

View our social media campaign infographic here.