5 Tips for Running Successful Social Media Campaigns
Do you need tips on how to create more effective campaigns?
Whether you want to build better campaigns or are ready to try your first one, there are certain pitfalls you should avoid.
In this article I’ll share five tips for building and running successful social media campaigns.
#1: Choose and Build the Right Campaign
Social media campaigns offer a wide array of options, from voting contests to newsletter signups to interactive quizzes—and everything in between.
Different campaigns deliver different results, so before you begin, have a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish. With your goals in mind, research and choose the type of campaign that works for you, and then decide how you’re going to build it.
Dozens of companies offer campaign-building software. As you look around, you’ll find some that are free and others that cost thousands of dollars a month. Obviously, using a platform that’s low-cost or free reduces your risk if your campaign doesn’t deliver the results you’re after.
Campaigns that look great on mobile aren’t a luxury anymore—they’re a requirement. Increasing numbers of people are accessing the Internet exclusively (or nearly so) from mobile devices, so look for a service that builds campaigns that are responsive, look good and function smoothly on smartphones and tablets (in addition to looking good on desktops, of course).
Look for a service that allows you to install campaigns anywhere. Many third-party campaign builders only work on Facebook. If you want to host on a platform other than (or in addition to) Facebook, do your homework.
#2: Try Action-Gating
Facebook is one of the most popular places to run campaigns. On August 7, 2014, Facebook announced that it no longer allows like-gating. This change upset a lot of marketers because like-gating has been a common practice for several years and it’s helped a lot of businesses grow their fan count quickly and consistently.
You have another option, though: action-gating. Action-gating is when you ask users to do something (e.g., vote or share their email address) to get something from your brand (e.g., an extra entry into a giveaway or access to a promotion).
Whether you’re hosting a promotion, giveaway or event, action-gating allows you to gather and track the precise return on your brand’s efforts. It also makes promotions and offers available to everyone.
It’s an attractive alternative to like-gating and provides quite a bit of value, and it works anywhere you’d like to run a campaign.
#3: Get the Word Out
Seventy-five percent of campaign success is due to promotion. And there are lots of ways to promote a campaign—most of which don’t cost much because they’re existing resources like your website or social profiles.
Design your campaign with sharing features built in and incentivize people to share by rewarding them with extra chances to win. Just because you’re running a campaign primarily from Facebook, for example, doesn’t mean you don’t want people on Google+ or Twitter to know about it. Make it easy for people to tell their friends!
Broaden your reach by telling your website audience about the campaign (in case they didn’t happen to see it on Facebook). And use a tool like Hello Bar that helps you easily create and install header notifications.
#4: Offer the Right Prize
One of the mistakes lots of companies made in the early days of social media campaigns was giving away expensive prizes (like iPads) that weren’t necessarily aligned with their brand. While an iPad or other valuable prize is sure to catch people’s attention, the majority of those people are probably not your targeted customers or leads.
You’ll have better luck if you offer a prize that showcases your own products, services or expertise. For example, if you work in the travel or hospitality industries, give away stays in one of your hotels or a gift card to your restaurant.
The prize you offer doesn’t need to break the bank, but its value should match the level of effort it takes to enter. If you’re offering a 25% off coupon, ask participants to fill out a form. If you’re giving away an international vacation, you can make entry a little tougher by requiring people to submit photos and videos for a voting contest.
#5: Curb Required Form Fields
Basic forms are the go-to entry method for many campaigns because they’re a fairly low barrier to entry. Most people are willing to share a little information to gain access to something (giveaway entry, coupon, etc.).
When you create an entry form, you can ask for just about anything: email address, mailing address, telephone number, birthday, gender, marital status, etc. You may be tempted to go for as much information as you can get, but hold back.
The more you ask for, the less people want to give. With each form field you require, the opt-in rate drops by about 10%.
Instead of making every form field a requirement, only require the information that is most valuable to future marketing efforts. You can make the other fields optional—people may go ahead and fill them in anyway.
Social media campaigns are fun, easy ways to gather demographic information and feedback from your audience, build email lists, enlist user-generated content, promote a specific product or service and more. Whatever your goal is, you can build a campaign to match it.
For best results, promote the campaign across your existing sites and profiles (and invite entrants to do the same), and be sure people can access the campaign via mobile.
What do you think is the most important component of a successful campaign? What made your last campaign a hit? Tell us below.