Wondering how to increase engagement and build brand awareness? You’re not alone! It’s a new decade, and social media continues to be a huge opportunity to attract followers, convert your existing audience into customers, and build brand awareness.
This 5-step cheat sheet will help you launch a successful social media campaign—from setting your goals, to developing captions and content, engaging with your audience, and evaluating campaign success.
Step 1: Know your social media marketing goal
Before we dive deep, let’s start with a basic definition. A social media campaign is an organized marketing effort on one or more social media platforms to promote a specific business goal.
When it comes to planning a social media campaign, we take a hint from Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and “begin with the end in mind.”
Your goal might be to build brand awareness, to build engagement in your community, or to grow your email list. Once you clearly define the goal for your social media campaign, you’ll be able to plan strategically and effectively.
Goals can change, too. For example, at T3 Custom, we know our target audience of marketing decision-makers are also humans with families and holiday plans. So we pivot in late December from our normal content strategy of “teach our audience something” to “delight our audience.”
With that in mind, we decorated our social media platforms with holiday covers and logos, and posted a “Holiday Gift Guide for Marketers.” This one article gave a huge boost to our following! Hmm … a new strategy to develop? Duly noted.
So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to get clear on what kind of engagement you want to encourage with your campaign. Set up a meeting with your marketing team and define some crystal-clear goals.
Now you’re ready for the next step in building your epic social media campaign.
Step 2: Plan the timeline
You’ve heard it before: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
In short, in order to succeed, you need to have a plan. Give yourself a deadline for the campaign launch date and then work backward from there.
This will give you a clear idea of how much time you need. If you have a tight deadline, you may need to scale back on some of your ideas. If you have plenty of time to work with, you can one-up the competition and exceed your goals.
Ideally, start planning one month in advance of a launch date. Your campaign might be two weeks long.
A two-week launch timeline can look something like this:
- Day 0–7: Pre-launch buildup. Tell your followers something exciting is coming by posting 1-2 times per day.
- Day 8: Launch day. Hooray! This is when you’ll post most of your content.
- Day 9–14: Follow-up and analysis.
By dividing the process into pre-launch, launch, and follow-up, you’ll give yourself enough time to plan posts, captions, and other content. Be sure to post a few times per week after your initial launch.
And to help ensure everything runs smoothly, we’ve created a free Social Media Launch Checklist. Just enter your email to get the checklist delivered to your inbox.
Step 3: Choose your social media platform(s)
Okay, you have a goal and a timeline. Now you’re ready to get this thing moving and choose your social media platforms. There are so many social media channels to choose from: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and more! It can feel overwhelming.
Choose the platform that aligns best with your goals. For example, if you’re a B2B company, LinkedIn may work best; if you’re a B2C company, consider Instagram (especially if you’re selling products). Facebook and Twitter are great for direct communication with your audience. Because the platforms function differently and elicit different types of responses, you should have a slightly different strategy and approach for each one.
Don’t feel pressured to do everything. It’s better to focus on one or two channels with truly strong and engaging content instead of posting on all channels with weak or inadequately implemented content.
One way you can help your marketing team focus is with a content calendar. A content calendar will help keep your team on track by removing the stress of writing or designing assets at the last minute. Team members will gain visibility into what everyone else is working on, which will empower them to develop efficiencies and collaboration. Planning ahead lets you focus your marketing energy in the right places, and that’s what a content calendar is all about.
Step 4: Write copy and design your images
Now that you have an overall strategy pinned down for each selected social channel, it’s time to create assets.
Your campaign assets might include the following:
- Still photos
- Motion graphics
- Caption tiles
- Other assets
Your ability to create content for a successful social media campaign will vary depending on your company size, staff members, and whether you’re selling a physical or digital product.
For example, for one marketing campaign, you may need to plan an intensive creative brief, write copy, have a copy editor proof everything, design mood boards, hire a photographer, decide on the direction and target of each post, choose a “photography shoot day,” and hire a project manager to run the entire campaign.
If that sounds like a lot, it is! If you need to build your social media presence, but hiring a full marketing team is beyond your scope, T3 Custom can fill in the gaps. You’ll get personalized attention and industry expertise that scales with your needs.
After you’ve completed your designs and gathered all the necessary assets from your photographers, editors, and other team members, you can prep your social media content by scheduling and previewing each post within its platform. Make sure all your captions have been created and edited, your photos look pristine, and you’ve added relevant hashtags. It’s also critical to ensure that all image assets conform to their target platform’s specifications.
By scheduling everything ahead of time, it makes it easy to focus on responding to your followers instead of worrying about what needs to be posted.
Step 5: Measure your success
You did it! You successfully launched your campaign and it looks awesome.
Now comes the last and most important step. Check on the goals you created way back in step 1. Compare engagement rates or other indicators on each platform.
Remember, success looks different for every brand. One brand may want more followers; another brand may want more engagement. Either way, you should spend time evaluating how successful your campaign was.
As you review your campaign, take note of which posts your followers liked the most, or what kind of content resonated best with them, and what channel(s) saw the strongest performance.
Now, after following this guide, you’re well on your way to being a pro! Don’t forget to use your newfound knowledge for the next campaign. And don’t forget to request your free Social Media Launch Checklist!