With an estimated 3.6 billion social media users, platforms like Facebook and Twitter help you connect with a worldwide audience.
But here’s the thing:
Companies are shifting more of their budgets on social media, which means that it’s harder than ever to stand out. Social media ad spend is projected to exceed $200 billion by 2024.
But just randomly creating a few posts won’t be enough to grow your following.
So how can you reach and connect with your audience on social media? How can you promote your products or services and drive more sales to your business?
A solid social media campaign can help you do both at scale.
This article will cover what a social media campaign is and provide real-life examples of effective campaigns. We’ll also explore how you can create and launch your own social marketing campaigns without breaking the bank.
What Is a Social Media Campaign?
A social media campaign is a coordinated effort aimed at helping your business meet its marketing objectives using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It involves running a campaign with a specific outcome and measuring those results over time.
A well-executed social media campaign can help your company:
- Raise brand awareness
- Promote your products or services
- Gather data about your market
- Drive inbound traffic
- Generate leads and sales
Social media provides you with the opportunity to engage with your audience.
When people follow and interact with your brand, they’re more likely to make a purchase. In fact, 77% of people said social media inspires them to get more information about a product or brand.
The Getty Museum offers a good example of a social media campaign. At the height of the pandemic, many places (including museums) had to close down to slow the spread of the virus.
The Getty Museum came up with a creative campaign to take advantage of stay-at-home orders and engage its followers.
The rules were simple: choose your favorite artwork, find a few things around your house, and attempt to recreate the artwork.
What made the campaign effective is that it encouraged user-generated content (UGC) — content created by people instead of brands. UGC is often more relatable than any content a brand or company creates. And here, the barriers to participating were practically nonexistent.
Needless to say, the social media campaign was a huge hit. People responded in droves and shared their own hilarious comparisons, including this recreation of “Madonna and Child.”.
Instead of coming up with its own content, The Getty Museum got hundreds of unique submissions from people who suddenly had to stay at home. The most popular entries got over 1,100 retweets and almost 10,000 likes.
This example shows how wide-reaching a social media campaign can be. Of course, the type of campaign that you run will largely depend on what your goals are.
Let’s take a closer look in the next section.
Social Media Campaign Goals That You Can Set (With Examples)
And it’s not just brand awareness; platforms like Facebook and Instagram can support practically every marketing objective.
Here are different goals that you can set for a social media campaign. We’ll also provide real-life examples for each.
Raise Brand Awareness
Building brand awareness is important for any company as it represents the first step in the sales funnel — a set of steps that prospects go through to become a customer.
One channel that consumers use to find and learn more about new products is social media. In fact, 43% of consumers have used social media to discover a brand.
One way that companies raise brand awareness for new products is with branded hashtags and influencers or Celebrities, which is what Innocent Drinks did with its #definitelyblue campaign.
It even got Duncan James from the band Blue to promote its drink — pun intended.
Whether you’re launching a new product or entering a new market, an effective social media campaign can help you raise brand awareness and drive interest.
Increase Website Traffic
Adding links to your site from a social media campaign is a great way to attract more traffic. You could create resources that help your audience learn more about certain topics and add links to your content for visitors to click through.
Here’s an example of a keyword research guide that we shared on our Facebook page:
Visitors on our page can see the post and click through to learn more. Likewise, you can share resources on your social media profiles and drive traffic to your website.
Generate Leads and Sales
No surprises here. A strong social media campaign can help you spread the word about new products or services that you’re launching to generate sales.
Even global brands like Starbucks turn to social media to attract new customers. One example of how the company builds hype around limited-time products is its Unicorn Frappuccino campaign.
The drink was only available from April 19th through April 23rd in 2017. But within only a few short days, the hashtag #unicornfrappuccino received over 150,000 posts.
The drink led to an increase in same-store sales for the second quarter by 3% — which is a lot when you hit Starbucks’ scale.
Of course, you don’t need to have colorful products to increase sales on social media. But you need to find a unique approach to create an effective campaign to generate sign-ups and leads for your company.
Boost brand engagement
Brand engagement is a measure of how many people are interacting with your posts. Examples include likes, shares, and comments.
A good example of how social media can help boost brand engagement comes from Apple’s Shot on iPhone campaign. Apple created the hashtag #shotoniphone and challenged iPhone users to share their best photos.
Users could have their photos featured on Apple’s social media channels and even earn a licensing fee for their work. With over 24 million posts (and counting) on the hashtag #shotoniphone, it’s safe to say that the campaign was extremely successful.
Create a Community
An effective social media campaign can help you create a community around your brand.
As an example, consider Instant Pot — a brand of multi-cookers that combines multiple cooking options in one device. The company created a group on Facebook, which now has over three million members.
Having a community around your brand can be a huge asset. It lends more credibility to your products or services, especially when others are talking about them in a positive light.
Now that we’ve covered different examples of social media goals that you can set let’s look at how you can create your own campaign.
How to Create a Social Media Marketing Campaign in 5 Steps
Whether you’re looking to promote a new product, increase brand engagement, or generate more leads, you need to develop a plan first to help your campaign succeed.
Follow these steps to create and launch an effective social media campaign.
1. Research Your Target Audience
The first step to creating a social media campaign is to have a clear idea of who you’re targeting. This will enable you to create content that resonates with your audience.
A good exercise here is to create a buyer persona — a profile that describes who your target audience is based on market research. Personas enable you to put a face to your customers and help you personalize your efforts.
Ask the following questions to help you learn more about your audience:
- Who are they? Include demographic information such as age, gender, location, income, and education.
- What type of content do they engage with? Determine topics of interest and create content categories based on your research (blog posts, listicles, videos, etc.).
- What are their pain points? Describe the common challenges your audience is trying to and how your products or services can help.
- What platforms do they use? Identify the social media platform your target audience primarily uses (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.).
- Where do they go for information? Identify the primary sources your audience uses to gather information when making a purchasing decision.
Of course, you don’t have to gather this data from scratch. Use data about your existing customers to help you develop a buyer persona.
If you’re already active on Facebook, be sure to check out Facebook Audience Insights to gather information about your followers and how they interact with your brand.
2. Decide on a Social Media Campaign Goal
You should always aim to tie a social media campaign to a specific goal. Defining a goal will help keep you accountable and make it easier to measure your efforts.
Here are goals that you consider for your social media campaigns:
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive traffic to your website
- Acquire leads and customers
- Boost brand engagement
- Strengthen your community
Start by setting a broad objective to lay the foundation for your campaign planning. Then use the SMART framework to bring more focus and clarity to your goals.
SMART is an acronym that stands for:
- Specific: Saying that you want to increase brand awareness is too broad. Any goal you choose should be as specific as possible — like growing your audience by 10,000 followers.
- Measurable: Quantifying a goal makes it more impactful and makes it easier to track your progress. Define the metrics that will help you measure success.
- Achievable: When setting a goal, it has to be an objective that your team can reasonably accomplish with the resources they have.
- Relevant: This is where you need to think about the bigger picture. Any goal that you set for your campaign should align closely with your business objectives.
- Time-bound: Finally, goals should have a clear target date. This will help your team prioritize their efforts and keep the campaign on track.
Let’s say that one of your marketing goals is to raise brand awareness. An example of a SMART goal might look something like this:
- “Boost post impressions on Facebook and Instagram by 20% within six months.
Once you’ve defined a clear goal, you can get to work on creating a social media campaign.
3. Identify the Social Media Channel(s) You’ll Use
There are an endless number of social media channels that you can use to promote your brand. But unless you have a giant budget and experienced team, you should focus on one or two channels first.
Some of the most popular channels include:
Understanding your target audience is key here. What channels are they most active on?
For example, platforms like Snapchat and TikTok tend to be popular for younger audiences, while channels like Facebook and Instagram are more popular among millennials.
This graphic from Pew Research Center provides a helpful breakdown of each platform:
Something else to consider is what your marketing goals are, as some platforms are better for raising brand awareness and generating sales than others. Take a look at your competitors to get a sense of the channels that you should launch campaigns on.
Try not to spread yourself too thin here. It’s far better to provide more engaging experiences on a few social networks than to just be present on ten.
4. Plan and Create Your Content
Content is at the heart of every social media campaign.
Ensuring that your content appeals to your audience is a top priority. Fail to engage your users, and they’ll scroll past your content or lose interest in your campaign within seconds.
Here are some ideas that you can get started with.
Run a Contest
Running a contest can be a very effective way of increasing brand engagement.
It involves giving something away for free and providing details on how people can participate (usually by following your page or using a hashtag). Once the contest is over, you announce a winner and notify them directly.
Here’s an example of a giveaway that Shea Moisture ran on its Instagram page:
When running any kind of contest or giveaway, make sure that you adhere to all official rules for each platform.
For example, if you’re running a contest on Facebook or Instagram, you must state that it’s not associated with either company. You also must include clear guidelines and any restrictions that may apply.
Create an Educational Series
People don’t just use social media for entertainment. They also use social channels like Facebook and Instagram to learn something new.
Here’s an example of a video tutorial that Sephora posted on its Instagram page:
The video also includes details about the products that are featured so that viewers can search for them on Sephora’s site and make a purchase.
Creating an educational series can position your brand as a trusted source of information. What does your target audience want to learn more about? What are some of their pain points? Use these answers to create educational content.
If you don’t have the capacity to produce high-quality video in-house, check out HOTH Video to get custom videos made for your company.
Collaborate with Brands or Influencers
Co-marketing gives you the opportunity to work with another brand. It can also help you reach a new audience when done right.
An example is the unusual collaboration between Forever 21 and Taco Bell when they launched a limited-edition Forever 21 x Taco Bell clothing collection.
The companies used the hashtag #f21xtacobell to build hype and spread the word.
While it makes sense to work with brands or influencers in your industry, this doesn’t always have to be the case (as shown from the example above).
Encourage User-Generated Content
Encouraging user-generated content is a great way to get your audience talking about your brand. This content can come in the form of photos or videos.
As an example, Trello ran a campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #WhereITrello where it invited customers to share photos of their workstation for a chance to win swag.
Consider offering a free gift to increase engagement and incentivize participation.
Create Bite-Sized Videos
In 2022, the average consumer watches a staggering 19 hours of online video each week — mostly on social channels.
Short “bite-sized” videos are becoming an increasingly popular format, especially for platforms like TikTok, which feature videos from 15 seconds to three minutes.
Even Instagram has jumped on the bandwagon with Instagram Reels — short video clips that users can create and share with others.
Here’s an example of a short clip that Krispy Kreme posted to its Twitter:
These types of videos don’t have to be that complicated either. Plus, you can easily share one video across multiple platforms to increase your reach.
There’s no shortage of ideas that you can try to inspire your next campaign. However, the examples above offer a great starting point. Others include jumping on current trends, hosting ask me anything (AMA) sessions, and conducting live streams.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind as you create content for your campaigns:
- Experiment with different formats: Don’t limit yourself to just one format. Include other types of multimedia in your campaigns, such as images, videos, and even live streams.
- Maintain consistent branding: Whether you’re creating a campaign on one platform or multiple, keep your branding consistent across all of them.
- Create a unique hashtag: Creating a branded hashtag helps you keep track of interactions with your audience.
- Focus on one message: Sharing the same message across multiple channels will help you reinforce your message and improve brand recall.
- Automate your posting schedule: Use social media tools like HootSuite or Buffer to schedule your campaign posts in advance and monitor brand mentions.
Finally, 46% of consumers say that one of the top traits that make a brand best-in-class on social media is audience engagement.
By directly engaging with customers on social media, you’re building stronger relationships and giving them more memorable experiences. Ask your audience questions, share their posts, and respond to their comments.
5. Track and Measure Your Results
Tracking and measuring your result is absolutely key. If you don’t measure how your campaigns are performing, you’ll have a hard time determining what worked and what didn’t.
Here are some of the most important metrics that you should track:
- Impressions: Impressions are the number of people who have seen your content or posts in their feeds. Note that one user can count for multiple impressions.
- Engagement: Engagement includes likes, shares, and comments. A high engagement rate can help you measure the effectiveness of your content. Social listening is key to tracking detailed engagement metrics.
- Video views: Video views is the number of views that your videos get on channels like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
- Followers: Followers is simply the number of people who have seen your content and decided to follow your page. It’s a good indication of your audience growth rate.
- Traffic: Traffic is the number of visitors who viewed your content on social media and clicked through to your website. If one of your goals is to drive more traffic to your site, you’ll want to know which channels are most effective.
- Mentions: Mentions are the number of times that your audience tags your brand in their posts. Monitoring mentions is a good way of measuring brand awareness.
- Conversions: Conversions can be anything from product sales to software trials and sign-ups. Keeping an eye on these metrics can tell you how effective your social media campaigns are. Use UTM tags or tracking link shorteners to effectively link sales or leads to social media campaigns.
The metrics that you should track will depend on what your goals are.
For example, if your goal is to raise brand awareness, you’ll want to monitor metrics like impressions and audience growth. But if you’re looking to boost engagement, you’ll want to track metrics like shares and brand mentions.
Track the metrics that are important for you. Then once the data comes in, you’ll have a better idea of how well (or poorly) your campaign performed. Use these insights to continue refining your strategy and creating new campaigns in the future.
With billions of users on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, it’s no surprise that more companies are turning to social media to promote their brands. However, making a few posts here and there just isn’t a viable strategy.
The good news is that an effective social media campaign can help you stand out and reach your target audience.
But if you’re just looking for a way to reach consumers at the bottom of the funnel and drive more sales, a search-based campaign using PPC and SEO might be a better option.
Looking for help with your online marketing campaigns? Schedule a free consultation with our marketing consultants to learn more.