This post is first in a series of posts for social media managers – those whose primary job is to make social media campaigns a success. As more brands focus on social media, it is becoming important to create campaigns which provide the right information and insights. The purpose of this post is to provide the social media manager with a framework for creating effective social media campaigns and to optimize them for relevancy and usefulness.

Upstream and Downstream Activities for Social Media Campaigns

As with any business activity, it is important to realize that the upstream an downstream activities are extremely important to the campaign’s success. What is the upstream activity for a social media campaign? The business purpose on why are we doing this work. Start with business strategy, define business goals and then list the social media objectives to align with business goals. Create a plan and budget for people, process and content.

There are 3 main steps to assemble a campaign:

  • Listen – once the goals are decided, start listening for topics and keywords for your brand and competitors.
  • Measure – finding how well you are doing needs measurements, analysis and review. This should encompass all parts of your campaign.
  • Engage – figure out the social channels that you want to use for this campaign, strategy and policy to respond and engage with your target audience and yes, the content which will draw your audience

As the campaign starts producing results, its time to focus on the most important and often ignored downstream activity: Continuous improvement by reviewing the results to see what is working and what needs to be changed. Social media campaigns are a natural fit for the Japanese concept of Kaizen.

The listening or monitoring part of the campaign should provide insights to validate your business assumptions, discover topics or themes, understand sentiments, watch trends over time and to see how your audience is distributed across social networks. These insights should start driving the actions that you take.

Your engagement plan should include a content calendar with a variety of content types and enough bandwidth to respond to queries, suggestions, criticism and leads. As you engage actively, the feedback and interaction from your audience should guide your subsequent engagement plan. Keep an eye on the growth of your social reach.

Tips on managing campaigns

With so many tracks going on, this is where a measurement dashboard becomes valuable as it provides you at-a-glance summary of various measures and whether your primary goals are heading in the right direction or if corrective action is needed.

The key is to remember that social media campaigns require plenty of fine-tuning in the beginning to get the right balance of volume and quality. Too many results will overwhelm you and missing out on relevant mentions is obviously a problem. Remember the concept of Kaizen.

Speed also matters. Brands must get timely information, understand what it means and act on that.  More than ever, it is important for teams collaborate in real time, discuss ideas and be able to distribute work. The real time collaboration and task management features in MutualMind allow teams to be nimble and responsive. The interesting thing is that teams can see the impact of their work  as the campaign progresses. The ease of making changes to the campaign and the ability to post and schedule content make it a breeze to engage.

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