When I talk to small business owners, they often tell me that they are “doing” social media marketing.
I’m glad they are, but the way they explain what their process is, tells me that they don’t have the kind of focus they need and that only comes when you define a social media marketing campaign.
Imagine a general going to war and sending his troops out on the battlefield willy-nilly, just striking out at whatever is close at hand. Generals wage “campaigns” and what makes this different is that a campaign has a clearly defined goal.
Aiming your social media marketing campaign
Without a goal to shoot for, how can you ever know if you have hit your target?
Some common goals are
- Get more followers
- Create interest in a specific product or service
- Heighten brand awareness
- Increase sharing
You may launch 2017 social media marketing campaigns that shoot for more than one of these goals, or other goals that you come up with on your own. Once you set your goal(s), you need to decide:
- Which social media platforms to use,
- What kind of content to create, and
- How to measure results.
Measuring your campaign
Let’s look at measuring results for a moment. If you have a specific product or service that you want to get prospects interested in, results might be measured by the traffic you drive to a web page, for example. If you feel you have enough followers, but they aren’t sharing your posts as much as you would like, you can use various analytics to rank your shared posts and see what performs best for you.
Another good approach for your 2017 social media marketing campaign(s) is to build it around a theme. This could be captured in a hashtag or you might use a contest as the “fuel” to get your campaign off the ground. (About midway through 2016 Aaron Agius did a nice “best of 2016 so far” rundown of social media marketing campaigns and I like the variety of campaigns he included. Check it out for inspiration.)
Finally, you can wage more than one campaign at a time; the goals aren’t always mutually exclusive. You can be building your following while you’re trying to drive traffic to a specific page on your website, for example.
Planning your year
Further, now that I have you thinking a bit more strategically about what you want to accomplish with your social media marketing, take the time to sit down with a calendar and plan the year. It might make sense for you to launch some campaigns that center on holidays or seasons. If that’s the case, think about how much lead time you need to build into these campaigns.
Don’t wait until the last minute and then try to generate some creative posts and graphics. Farm the work out well ahead of time.
And, while I’m thinking about it, here’s something you might try to cash in on: August 21, 2017 is going to be the “Great American Total Solar Eclipse.”
When you’re planning your 2017 social media marketing campaigns, that might be one big event where you don’t want to be left out in the dark…at least regarding your social media posts.