Developing a social media campaign
Creating an audacious, niche, marketing campaign
- Apple is renowned for the success of their 1984 commercial (which wasn’t even supposed to be aired), it played once during the Superbowl, and everyone was talking about it after, unsure of what they just witnessed
- A company once purchased a town and named it after the company, which resulted in national media attention
- Ford, Marlboro, and Budweiser created a following by portraying their brands as “cool”
- Unique marketing will grab far more attention than recycled content
Crafting an extraordinary social media strategy
Step 1: Set social media goals that align with your overall company goals
If we want our social media marketing efforts to have the biggest impact, it’s super important that they’re aligned with our overall company goals and values. If everyone rowing in different directions, it’s really difficult to make any meaningful progress toward where we want to go.
With that in mind, as you’re setting your social media goals, it’s important to zoom out and look at the big picture: how can social media impact your whole business, rather than just social media goals?
Then map your company’s top-level goals to how your social media efforts can best assist. Here’s an example to get a sense of what that could look like in practice…
Example: Setting goals for Campfire, Inc.
Imagine we run social media for a (fictional) company called Campfire, Inc.
Campfire’s top three company goals for 2017 are to:
- Expand into a new market segment
- Ship 3 new key product features
- Improve Net Promoter Score(NPS) with their Small to Medium-sized businesses(SMB) customers
The key here is to take the goals that the founders, executives, or board care most about accomplishing, and show that social media can help achieve them in a meaningful way.
So, how can social media help us accomplish our company goals?
In order to help Campfire expand into a new market segment, we could:
- Discover and build relationships with influencers who can amplify our message within the new target market
- Partner with influencers and brands to leverage and grow our audience within the new target market
- Create and promote branded content that drives top-of-the-funnel growth in the new market and positions our company as a premier option
And to support the company’s initiative to ship 3 new key product features, we could:
- Run social media campaigns to promote product launches
- Raise awareness around and drive engagement of new features
Essentially, what this process is doing is taking the goals that are most important to your organization and aligning your social media goals to show that you’re helping to accomplish them.
What if your company doesn’t have top-level goals that you can directly impact with social media?
In the absence of clear-cut company goals to connect your social media goals to, connect them with your marketing goals instead.
For example, here are a few ideas for social media goals and metrics you could focus on that would likely be aligned with your marketing efforts:
- Increase brand awareness — Follower count for your social profiles, reach of your social media posts, mentions, shares, and retweets
- Drive traffic to your website — Referral traffic from social media, share of overall traffic, bounce rate of social media traffic, and clicks on your social media posts
- Generate new leads — New leads collected through social media, downloads of your gated content, clicks on your lead-gen social media posts, and conversion rate of leads from social media
- Grow revenue — Signups, sales revenue, or revenue from social ads
- Boost brand engagement — Likes, shares, comments per post, mentions, and replies
- Build a community around your business — Number of posts, likes, and comments for Facebook groups. Number of participants and tweets per participant for Twitter chats. Number of daily active users for Slack communities
- Increase mentions in the press — Potential reach, shares and mentions, influencers talking about your content, and number of people reaching out to ask about industry-related questions
- Research and learn about your customers — Number of conversations with customers on social media, suggestions or feedback, and product/content improvements made from those suggestions
Step 2: Break down your goals into specific tactics
Once you’ve translated your company goals into social media goals, the next step is to map out the specific actions you need to take to accomplish the goals you’ve set.
Let’s jump back into our example from the previous step.
If our company goal at Campfire is to expand into a new market segment, and we’ve set a social media goal to discover and build relationships with influencers and brands in that market – how can we break that down into specific tactics we can take action on?
Here’s one way we could potentially approach it:
- Create a list of 100 influencers in the target niche who might be open to sponsored posts
- Direct message each of them to see if they’d be interested in partnering with us
- Set up a sponsored post with 1 brand or influencer every month
The specific tactics you’ll use will be different depending on your goals, customers, market, product, and a number of other variables.
And you can adjust your plan over time as you start getting feedback and seeing the results of your tactics.
Step 3: Prioritize your plan
Every marketing team, no matter its size, has finite resources. So it’s essential to prioritize your tactics and create a social media marketing plan from them.
How do you choose what to prioritize?
One approach I’ve found super useful and intuitive is Product Plan’s value vs. complexity model. Here’s how it works:
- Evaluate how much value I expect each tactic will bring to the business
- Compare that to how much effort each tactic will likely require and how complex it will be to implement
- Prioritize the highest value tactics that require the least effort/complexity
There’s no way to predict exactly how much time and effort each tactic will take or how much value they’ll bring to the business! So do your best to make an educated guess and try not to get too hung up on perfection here.
Evaluating value vs. complexity
So looking at the graph below, the social media tactics that fall into section 1 of the model (high value, low complexity) would be our top priorities to tackle first.
The tactics that fall into section 2 (high value, high complexity) would be next on our list if we have the resources. And the rest of the tactics that fall into the other two sections probably aren’t worth focusing too much of our attention on – if any.
Step 4: Assign tasks and set ETAs
Once you’ve prioritized the specific tactics you plan on using to accomplish your social media goals, the next step is to add two elements to each tactic:
- Assign people – Who will work on and be responsible for each of them?
- Set an ETA – When would you like each of them to be to completed by?
Going back to our previous example with Campfire Inc, here’s what that might look like in action:
- Reach out to 100 influencers by Feb 1st [Assigned to: Brian]
- Direct message 100 influencers by Feb 20th [Assigned to: Brian]
- Set up 1 sponsored post by the 30th of each month [Assigned to: Brian, Hailley]
Step 5: Analyze and adapt the plan as you go
Finally, after you’ve set your plan it’s super important to make adjustments and adapt your goals and tactics as you go.
- Have you tried mixing up the social media campaign strategy? Maybe all those pictures of your dog aren’t the best for promoting your brand.
- Try a new strategy every so often, and closely track analytics for results.
- Be careful of noise or false-positives. Just because one ad is successful, you shouldn’t throw all of your chips in. Repeat similar content in order understand why the previous ad was successful.
Provide benefit and systems for easy share-ability
- Do you have amazing information that is useful for people debating to purchase your product? Create a free newsletter that can be sent to them via email subscription
- Allow for easy subscription and easy cancellation. Do not force people into committing or create hassle, it will build more trust.
“Crossing the Chasm“
A book by G.A. Moore; primarily for new products.
- Crossing the chasm refers to the leap from your earlier market segment, to the larger population that will account for the majority of your early sales.
- Innovators (The specialists in your given field, always willing to try new and novel items, flaws are often expected and accepted if the idea is appealing at its core)
- Early Adopters (This next small minority represents visionaries, people who could use your product in order improve their company or lifestyle)
- The Chasm
- This is the section where marketing will make or break your company. Capitalizing on the success of your product from the prior two segments will require careful tracking of analytics
- Listen to the feedback from these earlier demographics to provide opportunity for product delivery and improvement
- The ease of use and access needs to be refined in order to transition to a broader market, people won’t change to a new product if the effort is too high, or too far from their current product (the switch should be painless and obviously beneficial)
- The prior two segments are risk takers, the following segments will only hop on board if their is some clear benefit or incentive for adoption
- Significant market research should be conducted to assess the best demographic for marketing and adoption. Find the weak point and highlight competitive advantage. Make sure the message reaches the right audience.
- Early Majority (This is the first major demographic segment. These people have heard about your product from the two prior groups, and are interested in investing in the hype)
- Late Majority (The next large segment. This demographic has waited for a significant portion of the population to adopt the product, there is strong support for the product and social pressure to purchase)
- Laggards (At this point, the novelty has passed, and the product has become frequently used by the prior demographics. This group is generally highly resistant to change, preferring their trusted products)