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Building Killer Social Media Campaigns: Guidebook

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In the marketing world, campaigns are typicaly an initiative that has a start and an end. It may be long term or short term, but one important trait of a campaign is it has a specific goal in mind.
Social Media Campaigns can be in many forms, from contests to content, from sweepstakes to #hashtag submissions. This guide is designed to equip you with a checklist on what you should consider when running a campaign, and help inspire you to run the best campaign possible.

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Building Killer Social Media Campaigns: Guidebook

  1. 1.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   Building Thriving Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook Stellar Flourishing Remarkable Meaningful Stunning Killer By Gwen Woltz, Co-founder at Wahine Media 808 744-9269
  2. 2.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   Introduction Campaign - verb: Work in an organized and active way toward a particular goal. In the marketing world, campaigns are typicaly an initiative that has a start and an end. It may be long term or short term, but one important trait of a campaign is it has a specific goal in mind. Social Media Campaigns can be in many forms, from contests to content, from sweepstakes to #hashtag submissions. This guide is designed to equip you with a checklist on what you should consider when running a campaign, and help inspire you to run the best campaign possible. Before you think about running any campaign, you must have the following: Time Resources Dedication Planning You shouldn’t run a campaign on a whim or half-hazard, and careful planning is instrumental in a smooth execution. When you first begin to think about running a campaign, do not think about the details at first. This will hinder you from planning out the backbone pieces that drive the campaign. The strategic plan should inform the details, the details should not inform the strategy. Research and answer the following 7 (SEVEN) QUESTIONS before you think about the details of executing the campaign. Compile the answers and release this as your project brief. Be sure to distribute this document among all team members who will be involved with this campaign.
  3. 3.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   1. GOALS: WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE? A clearly defined goal is instrumental in a successful campaign. Usually a campaign is derived out of a specific problem you may want to solve. For instance, a common problem is “I have a lot of fans and followers, but why don’t any of them comment or like my posts?” You also want to be sure your goals are realistic, and that those goals are accomplishable at the current point in your social media journey. For instance, if you have just begun your social media journey and only have 500 fans, an unrealistic goal would be to obtain high quality leads or generate sales. You need to first work on building a fan base (community) and building a relationship with those people before you can convert to sales. The following outlines a few goals you may have in mind: Create Buzz & Awareness Buzz is all about riding the current wave of media, adopting the latest media to promote your message or brand to the most people possible. Generate Traffic Optimizing your use of social media increases the probability that people will click through, and most importantly, pass along your message to their social networks. Generate Leads Leads are the highest sought after goal in social media, and can only be obtained after your community trusts you. When the sale is pitched it needs to be in a way that won’t tarnish that relationship. Influence the Conversation Individuals and their experiences matter and hold sway over other consumers. The conversation will happen with or without you there, and joining the conversation is about identifying where they take place, and having a strategic and genuine approach in joining. Serve Your Community It pays to get your customers involved instead of ignoring them. Social media is a give before you take environment, and serving your community for their benefit will result in long-lasting results that will serve you in the long run. Build Your Reputation Gaining credibility is a longer process, but is about building a legitimate social media voice and developing influence within your community. This usually entails a “give-back” component with robust content and genuine outreach. Increase Engagement This is a common problem with brands on social media, especially with the “pay to play” model. Keeping engagement up is key in continually serving your content to your community and staying top of mind. Gain Market Research Once you’ve built a community, members can be valuable in providing feedback on your brand or product. Polling or asking for opinions can often times yield surprising results that may even inform some inner workings of your product or business. Gain More Subscribers Whether it’s your blog or email list, opt-in subscribers are an important group in your community. They can turn in to qualified leads, but are also a group that can be instrumental in getting your content shared.
  4. 4.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   2. AUDIENCE: WHO IS YOUR PERFECT PARTICIPANT? Who are we targeting, specifically? What is the demographic? Where do they live? Be as specific and descriptive as possible and build a profile for 2-3 people you would like to reach that outline the following: • Gender • Age • Location • Employer(s) • Hobbies & interests • Family & marital status • What their connection is with your product or brand Take this information and write short essay on this person, as you were writing a short biography. An example profile for a florist business target is as follows: Amy is 37, does everything she is a mother, wife and up and coming realtor. Originally Amy is from Seattle but after marrying her Husband Chris moved several places and became a military wife. They now have two kids (7 and 10), and live in Houston, Texas. Chris is finishing up his career in the military and has 3 years to go. They really like Houston and plan on living there after he retires. They lived in Hawaii for 4 years while Chris was stationed there. It was the beginning of their marriage and they had their oldest Tyler there. They traveled all over the islands and have a million pictures to prove it. Both Amy and Chris's parents came to visit several times and loved it here. After several years moving around Amy is really excited to put down roots and has started a job as realtor. She specializes in military families and loves buying Hawaiian flower bouquets for clients from Hawaii. When she thinks about Hawaii she remembers being happy, young and in love. She likes buying flowers for her parents and her in-laws for special occasions because they live in different places and they all visited Hawaii several times. Lastly, take this information and research which social platforms are relevant to the each of the profiles you just created. For the profile above, key platforms would be Facebook and any Military or parenting oriented niche platforms.
  5. 5.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   3. STORY & MESSAGE: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SAY? The next step is to build out the “heart” of the campaign that will begin to inform the details. Is there a compelling story behind the idea of the campaign? How will that story come alive in the execution of the campaign? How will we draw people into the campaign? What about this campaign will relate to our key target? What is the core message we are promoting? Think deeply about what will you need to include in your campaign that will stand out among all the other competing noise. Research what your competition has done in the past, what other brands with similar audiences have done, and how they have connected with their audience. The best way to get started with messaging your campaign is to come up with an example of a post that you would make. Below is an example for a campaign for a florist. In this campaign, they would like to increase engagement on the profiles, and generate qualified traffic into the website. The idea is to host a series of small giveaways on Facebook of products featured on the website. She kisses boo-boo’s, she tucks in at night, she brings smiles and giggles—Mothers hold a special place in our hearts. Show her how much you appreciate all the love she gives! Tag your mom in the comments below and write her a special Mother’s Day message for a chance to win her a beautiful Hawaiian flower assortment, just in time for Mother’s Day! Entries close [date]. Prize details: [link]  
  6. 6.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   4. TIMELINE: MAP OUT THE PLAN What is the timeline for the campaign? What are the major milestones that will keep everyone on track in the execution—content creation period, launch date, content publishing calendar, key dates or holidays, metric collection dates, push period? Map out everything you hope to achieve and when on a calendar that is in a sharable and collaborative form. Google calendars are great for collaboration. You should map out your campaign with weekly and monthly tasks or objectives, and fill in as you go with daily tasks. Below is an example of a campaign calendar: Week 1 Research & strategize Week 2 Develop & build (baseline metrics) Week 3 Launch (posts on social) Week 4 Promote (launch FB ads) Month 1 Launch and promote Week 5 Promote (influencer Tweetup) Week 6 Promote (feature entries so far) Week 7 Final push (incentivize the share) Week 8 Announce winner Month 2 Collaborate and push
  7. 7.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   5. MEASUREMENT: HOW WILL YOU SHOW IT WORKED? How will you measure success of your campaign? What are the tangible metrics you will keep track of, such as Facebook likes, comments, re-tweets, mentions, views, membership, etc.? What are the intangible metrics, such as increased awareness, or increase in credibility? Metrics for success should always be tied back to your original campaign goal. Gathering metrics that speak to general social media performance is a good habit to keep, but what key performance indicators (KPI’s) will you track to show your campaign is a success? When planning your measurement strategy, you should first and foremost take baseline metrics before you start. You should also define benchmarks (metrics along the way) and numeric goals. Below are some metrics you could measure for the goals outlined earlier in this guide: Create Buzz & Awareness Impressions & reach Shares & re-tweets Generate Traffic Social traffic into website Traffic into landing page Traffic into specific blog post Number of clicks on links on posts Generate Leads Number of entries or submissions Number of uses of a promo code Number of calls or contact forms filled out Influence the Conversation Number of posts / post frequency Number of blog post published Number of comments on blogs Impressions & reach per post Number of comments/replies per post Sentiment of comments/replies Increase Engagement Number of fans / followers Engagement rate: number of people taking an action on your page Applause rate: average number of likes/favorites per post Conversation rate: average number of comments/replies per post Amplification rate: average number of shares/re-tweets per post Posts to page, mentions & private messages Gain More Subscribers Number of opt-in’s Number of subscribers Serve Your Community Number of times someone thanked you Number of “just because” surprise prizes given Number of dollars donated Number of conversations Build Your Reputation Number of brand advocates Number of positive reviews How far a post or tweet reaches
  8. 8.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   6. RISK ASSESSMENT & MITIGATION: WHAT IF? As with any online activity, there are risks involved. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. What are potential risks with running this campaign? Is there currently any negative sentiment surrounding topics or components of the campaign? Search for any recent news surrounding topics and keywords relating to your campaign. Often times you may be surprised to find out about headline news topics you may want to steer clear from. Play the devil’s advocate and outline at least 3 (three) worst-case scenarios and then map out a plan to mitigate those risks. Come up with sample responses to negative comments on posts, or internal protocols if a PR nightmare were to happen. 7. TEAM MEMBERS: WHO IS INVOLVED? Who is the main point person who is in charge of the campaign? Who are the supporting team members? Are there supporters of your brand who you can call upon individually to support your campaign? Will there be collaboration in the campaign? Some of the most successful campaigns are in collaboration with other businesses or brands. Collaboration is best when both parties have a win from the campaign. Consider collaborating with another business that has followers who align with your target audience. What will they gain in return? Will you both share entry emails? Who will supply the prize? Collaboration may also be internal. Are you collaborating with another department such as customer service or HR? Can the social media campaign be supported by other efforts such as traditional marketing or PR?
  9. 9.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   Build If you took time for detailed planning, building is much more efficient. Fewer surprises will come your way, and all team members will be on the same page as issues arise. Once planning is complete, the fun begins as you dive into the nuts and bolts of what makes the campaign come alive. Not every campaign follows one formula, but below are some components of common campaigns. ESTABLISH PLATFORMS Just because you’re active on 5 social profiles does not mean you should execute a campaign on all 5. Especially if you have a contest component in your campaign, you should envision the user’s experience if you send traffic from one platform to the next. Decide on the “need to have” platforms for your campaign, and refer to where your target audience lives online when making this decision. Don’t discount email as a platform that can help support your campaign. Begin by becoming more active on those platforms and post more frequently than normal. You may even consider starting some light social advertisements to get the activity on the page elevated and the community “primed” for the campaign before it starts. HASHTAG Almost every campaign has a hashtag to identify it. Most times the hashtag is used as a way for people to participate or even enter, but sometimes the hashtag can be used in order for onlookers to see the activity from the campaign. Using hashtags for live events are especially useful for keeping everyone engaged in one place from multiple platforms. When designing a hashtag, do your research first. Are any other brands using the hashtag? How does the hashtag relate to my brand or contest? Second, don’t make a complicated hashtag that people cannot remember. Try to avoid numbers or acronyms that are internal. The best hashtags are catchy word meshes that are easy to remember.
  10. 10.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   CONTESTS AND GIVEAWAYS A very common component of a campaign is a contest or giveaway. If you have a contest or giveaway component, you need to brainstorm and build the entry method. How will someone participate in your campaign? Will they use an entry form, or can they be a part by posting with a #hashtag or making a comment? Not all participatory campaigns need an entry form, and with Facebook’s revised guidelines on how businesses can run a campaign, participating is as simple as a comment on a post. Entry requirements & functionality For a contest or giveaway, the entry requirement should be in proportion to the prize. For instance, you wouldn’t want to require entrants to submit a photo, opt in to your email list all to win a $10 gift certificate—you won’t get very many participants. If your prize is a round trip ticket to Hawaii with a 5-night stay, then the entry requirement can be very complex with multiple steps, or it can be simple if you’re looking for a large number of entrants. Below are examples of contest entry methods, and their requirement to enter. Entry Form Within social platform Photo or video contest Vote for your favorite Tell us a story, submit an essay Opt in to our list enter Comment to enter Tag a friend and comment to enter Post with a #hashtag to enter Quality over quantity When designing your entry requirements, consider quality over quantity. Many pages are suffering a lack of engagement that built a large fan base using a huge prize and easy entry method, such as a sweepstakes. In order to capture high quality community members, strive to have some form of engagement when designing a contest or giveaway. Entry Forms If you have an entry form component for your campaign, this can be the most technologically complex portion of a campaign. Some businesses choose to outsource the creation of an entry form to a company that has the experience and specializes in the technology.
  11. 11.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   Alternatively, you can build your own entry form by using a 3rd party tool (possible options outlined in Tools section). Below are some things to consider when you are building your own entry form: Social network terms of use: if your entry form will be on a social platform (whether it’s an installed tab or comment entry) read the most recent terms of use for each social network the campaign will run on. Sometimes they will change their rules without a major announcement, and you don’t want to get shut down mid campaign because of a use violation. For instance, did you know Facebook no longer allows you to fan gate a contest app? Where is the form installed? Many 3rd party tools that build an entry form can also install that form anywhere on the web, such as your website. If you have an entry form, consider using a web form if you want to promote a campaign across multiples channels and send all the entry traffic to your website where the form is installed. Below are examples of contest executed by real businesses on social media. Please note these contests are no longer active, and may be in violation of a platform’s terms of use as of this date. :
  12. 12.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015  
  13. 13.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   The Prize The prize is the component of a contest that has the greatest opportunity for success, or failure. When devising a prize, the most important element is relevancy. If the prize has nothing to do with the target audience or contest itself, your contest may fall flat. A classic example of a #campaignfail is giving away an iPad in a sweepstakes with no theme, rhyme or reason. The prize also needs to be proportionate to the entry requirements. Sometimes a prize doesn’t have to be physical, it can be exposure. A popular contest many brands with a larger following are executing is asking to submit a photo using a #hashtag in exchange for that photo being featured on the brand’s profile. An example of featuring fan content is: Contest terms Contest terms are often overlooked, but very important to spell out and link to from your contest in some way. In fact, Facebook requires that you link to your contest terms, even if the contest is executed on your Timeline. Your contest terms outlines all the fine print. Who qualifies, what is the entry method, when entries close, what the prize is, how the prize will be delivered, what if the winner doesn’t claim the prize, contact information, and should always have a liability release clause. Facebook also requires you to release Facebook from any liability in relation to your contest. Typically, you should link to the contest terms in an inconspicuous area of your contest, as most people are not interested in reading it.
  14. 14.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   TOOLS There are a plethora of social media tools out there to help in execution, and the key is to keep it simple when choosing your tools. Research all the possibilities, and then narrow down your choice to only the “need to have” and not “nice to have”. Often times using too many or overly complicated tools will make for a more time consuming execution. The following are a few options for tools to assist you in executing your campaign: Stay organized – Podio, Google Calendars, Trello, Wunderlist, Slack Keep in touch – Google Hangouts,, GoToMeeting Publish content – Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social Gather submissions – Short Stack, OfferPop Measure results – Simply Measured, Hootsuite, Sprout Social,, Google Analytics
  15. 15.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   CONTENT Once you design the campaign nuts and bolts, the last step before implementation is developing content, and building a content calendar. Authoring content before implementation will make the implementation process go much smoother, and leave room to focus on maintaining the campaign and the new community it is creating. When authoring content to be posted on social, make sure you consider the following: Language and captions: keep captions for social media posts SIMPLE and short. Don’t use salsey language. Entice people by only divulging details that are necessary for people to get involved. Provide a link where they can get the details, if they choose. Social media posts: when promoting your campaign, vary social media posts. Don’t use the same photo and caption every time you post about the campaign. Tell a story through the content you post, don’t “give away the farm” by posting too many details. Optimize content for each profile: When posting to Facebook, post the image, link, or video so it propagates to be full width. For Twitter, consider using Twitter Cards, which a kind of tweet with more bells and whistles including a call to action button. Instagram forces you to post natively, but consider adding filters to the photos that you post to Instagram to make it look and feel as though it was created just for the platform. Supporting content: if your campaign has a theme, fill some of the gaps in between promotional posts with content that has a similar theme. Keep the campaign idea top of mind. High impact and simple visuals: the best posts on social media are stunning, simple photos or videos. Don’t overlay your images with promotional text, keep the most important details of the campaign in the caption. Make sure your images are colorful and will grab someone’s attention. If you don’t you’re your own photos, invest in stock photography. Include #hashtags: if you have a campaign hashtag make sure it’s included on every post. In addition you should research other relevant hashtags you can include that may get the contest exposure in conversations outside of your profiles. Easy to share: as a part of short captions and high impact photos/videos, make sure your content is sharable! Put time and creativity in designing pithy captions that captivate people. Create content where people want to share for the sheer beauty or creativity of the post itself.
  16. 16.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   User generated content (UGC) and submissions Does your campaign have a user generation component, and will you share that content along the way to help promote the campaign? If the campaign has a submission component, will those submissions be integrated into the nuts and bolts of how that campaign works? For example, perhaps you hold a weekly photo contest for 2 months where the top photo by likes is featured on the profile. Then all the winners from each week are entered to win the grand prize. Blog posts Creating blog posts may be part of the campaign itself (for instance, if a campaign goal was to build influence), or they could be used to help promote the campaign. Blog posts are the opportunity to have a longer dialogue, or hold extended information (such as contest terms). Be sure to optimize any blog posts with an image, keywords, utilize an SEO plugin to embed metadata that will help search rankings. If you’re using a blog post to help promote your campaign, you should also consider making pre-formatted tweets that people can send straight from the blog post. Remember content should be sharable— make sure social sharing plugins are installed and working. Content calendar Tapping into your content “bank” you built by pre-captioning several posts, build a content calendar that outlines what posts will happen when on what profile. Use a calendar tool of choice to build the calendar, and share it with all team members involved in the campaign, including any collaborators. Google Sheets is a common tool for creating a collaborative content calendar.
  17. 17.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   SOCIAL ADS In order to give your social media campaign the exposure it needs, consider running social ads. Ads can be placed on several social channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and for some brands Instagram ads are available. The benefit of social advertising is you can be very targeted in who you reach, and they are typically a far lesser expense than traditional media purchases such as print or television. You can utilize social ads to reach several objectives to support your campaign including: Boost post or promote tweet: give the content you post an added “boost”. You can promote posts to your existing fans/followers, their friends, or a separate group of target audiences. Promote page or profile: gain fans or followers based upon your specified target audience. Dive traffic to website: especially useful if a component of your campaign is a content that has an entry form on your website. You could also use this objective if you are trying to drive traffic into your blog. Promote app: if you installed an “app” or entry form on Facebook you can design an ad specifically to gain installs or engagements of that app. Solving Facebook “fan-gate” restrictions With Facebook’s new fan-gate incentive restriction, many brands are utilizing Facebook ads to help increase fans while running a campaign. A couple techniques are as follows: Technique #1: pinning a campaign post to the top of a page, then running page like ads where the landing page is the Timeline. The campaign post will be the first thing they see. Technique #2: creating an entry form app, running page like ads where the landing page is the app. The app then welcomes new fans, and prompts them to now enter their contest or giveaway.
  18. 18.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   Implementation In order to keep a campaign alive, follow through of the plan is essential. Using the plans in the previous two steps, implementation should be simple, leaving time for other tasks that are often overlooked such as actively engaging with any new followers or activity on your profiles. SCHEDULING POSTS This is the #1 technique that you should utilize when implementing a campaign. Pre- scheduling posts is the best way to keep everything organized, and save yourself time and resources. Using a 3rd party tool is helpful, and in some cases necessary to pre-schedule posts. Facebook has a scheduling component built into the platform, and it is recommended to use Facebook natively to pre-schedule posts. The biggest reason for this is only through scheduling natively in Facebook can you preserve all the features of a post such as tagging other pages. You can schedule posts in Twitter, but a 3rd party tool such as Hootsuite is recommended since tweet features are preserved, such as photo uploads. The only feature of Twitter that is not preserved by a 3rd party tool is Twitter Cards. If you are utilizing Twitter Cards or ads in your campaign, it is recommended to keep all scheduled posts in one place. LIVE POSTING, MONITORING & ENGAGEMENT Leave room in your schedule to do active posting. You may stumble upon a relevant article or post from another page that helps tell the story of your campaign. You may have an element of the campaign that requires you to monitor and post submitted content on an ongoing basis. Similarly, the most important piece of implementing a social media campaign is monitoring and active engagement. Set aside time daily to monitor the progress of your campaign, look at entries, explore the profiles of new fans on Facebook, check ads. Engage with new followers by thanking groups at a time, reply to more comments than normal, actively follow new profiles on Instagram and Twitter, seek out conversations with Influencers, and have fun with your growing community!
  19. 19.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   TAKING BENCHMARK MEASUREMENTS Don’t forget to take benchmark measurements along the way. While most measurement tools can go back in time, taking measurements along the way helps keep the momentum going of reaching a numeric goal, if one is defined.
  20. 20.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   Case Studies JW MARRIOTT CANCUN RESORT AND CASAMAGNA MARRIOTT CANCUN RESORT, MEXICO Five travel video bloggers were selected to travel to Cancun to each produce one original video highlighting the two sister resorts, where they were hosted for five days. Vloggers were also asked to post their experiences on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, using the hashtag #gottequila. The campaign generated media value of $378,280 and reached 1.8 million viewers.
  21. 21.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   JETBLUE GETAWAYS “GET AWAY WITH IT” People know JetBlue as an airline, but they don’t know that JetBlue offers flights, hotels, wheels and more via their JetBlue Getaways product. Our task: take a limited media budget and increase awareness of JetBlue Getaways in a crowded vacation package category. Our approach: break through the clutter and encourage participation with Getaways in a way that is uniquely JetBlue and unique to any category — the first ever online game show using Skype. starring-mark-hammerberg/ BAHAMAS TOURISM BUREAU #BahamasWinterWarmUp Call To Action On Social: Post a creative video explaining why you’d rather be in the islands of the Bahamas enjoying sun, sand & sea, for your chance to win a trip for two to the beautiful Turquoise Cay boutique hotel in The Exumas. All eligible entries will be judged by The Bahamas judging panel to determine the Grand Prize winner.
  22. 22.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015   ON-PAGE CONTESTS
  23. 23.   Building [ insert awesome adjective here ] Social Media Campaigns: A Guidebook April, 2015