As a marketer, it’s easy to feel burned out when it comes to social media. You have to spend a large chunk of your time writing compelling posts and coming up with fresh content to engage your audience, and then you wake up the next day and do it all again. Social media never sleeps, which means your content can’t, either.
Sometimes it feels like you’ve said and done it all. What more can you possibly do to provide your audience with relevant and valuable content?
As we enter the new year, we put together some of the tactics that worked for successful social media campaigns in 2018 so you can re-evaluate your strategy and start 2019 fresh.
This post will go over some tips to create a successful social media campaign along with some examples to serve as inspiration.
Campaign timeline: What makes successful social media campaigns?
It’s true that email marketing boasts a far better ROI than social media advertising: $39.40 for every dollar on email, compared to $12.90 for the same amount spent on social media. However, you can’t throw caution to the wind and ditch social media entirely.
Facebook, for example, has 1.49 billion active users on its platform each day. Meanwhile, the changing Facebook algorithm has not been kind to small businesses. You probably consider yourself lucky if even a small fraction of your followers actually sees your posts.
That’s why it’s so important for marketers to maximize every dollar spent on social media marketing. If you’re going to put your effort and money behind some sponsored posts, you need those posts to be the best social media campaigns ever, so they actually work.
These social media campaign ideas can help you create a successful social media campaign that provides value to your audience while maximizing ROI.
1. Write copy that resonates with your audience.
Beyond your brand’s voice, you’ll need to consider tone.
Who is your audience and how do they want to communicate with brands? You have a few different options including
Conversational and casual
Witty and comedic
Formal and professional
You’ll also need to consider what message you want to convey with your social media campaign timeline. Do you want to educate and inform or entertain?
Answering these questions will help drive which words you use in your posts to really connect with your audience.
AliExpress launched a social media campaign to coincide with the new year and highlight their weight loss products. This post does a great job of using humor to sell a product that’s totally not even related to getting fit.
2. Take advantage of live video.
One of the best ways to show up in your Facebook followers’ notifications, bypass the ever-changing algorithm, and reach new followers is to go live. But going live at the wrong time with the wrong content can also flop. Use these social media campaign ideas for the best live video experience:
Do a Q&A or AMA (Ask me anything)
As your audience to provide feedback in the comments
Provide context for new viewers
Stay natural and not rigid
3. Look at what your competitors do.
Don’t copy—instead, analyze. See what works for your competitors and what doesn’t work. Scroll through their timelines and look at which posts had the best engagement. From there, you can get a good idea of the type of content your audience craves and tailor your campaigns to your specific brand.
4. Conduct adequate audience research.
Behind all the successful social media campaigns of 2018 was one key factor: adequate audience research. What’s interesting to one market segment isn’t worth squat to another. That’s why it’s so important to understand your audience:
- What problems do they face on a daily basis?
- Where do they hang out offline?
- What do they say to their friends?
Once you understand that, you can write copy they actually want to read and engage with.
Weight loss company Noom understands that people want to lose weight and still eat foods that actually taste good. Their Instagram is chock-full of mouthwatering healthy meals.
Image Source: Instagram
5. Create something unique for your business.
In 2015, Blendtec launched a successful social media campaign that involved throwing random objects—like a Jar Jar Binks action figure—into their blender. It was a huge hit.
If you can, find a fun way to incorporate your product or service into your posts for the best social media campaigns. This will help get your product in front of as many eyes as possible and drive home brand recognition.
National Geographic’s “Your Shot” campaign perfectly merges their brand (exploring amazing places) with requests for audience interaction. It’s definitely one of the best social media campaigns of 2018 and still going strong.
6. Provide something valuable.
Different people define value differently. The key here is to understand your audience and their pain points. From there, you can figure out what you want to accomplish with your social media campaign ideas and how you can add value to specific market segments.
Offer free stuff to people who like or retweet your posts.
Solve a very specific problem your audience might have.
Educate your audience about something they may find useful.
Entertain your followers.
Arby’s is killing it with their Facebook posts. They always find unique ways to incorporate their product with trending culture, topics, and technology. This post uses a 360 video and cosplay with Borderlands to hit home with specific segments of their audience.
7. Strategize across different platforms...
If most of your target audience hangs out on Facebook and you spend your time tweeting, that won’t deliver the results you want. Check tools like Buzzsumo to see where your topics perform best and then create the best social media campaigns ever for specific platforms.
8. ...but keep your branding consistent.
As you spread your content across different platforms, you’ll need to ensure that your brand’s voice stays consistent. This will ensure that audiences understand who you are and what you’re about no matter where they found you.
9. A/B test your design.
A big factor in the best social media campaigns of 2018 was design. Run a few tests with different images and copy to see which performs best before investing into a sponsored post. Carousels, for example, are a great way to display lots of content in a small space. See what works for you.
10. Embrace white space.
Big blocks of text will send people running for the hills. How you use white space will differ on Facebook (which allows for longer posts) and Twitter (which only allows marketers 240 characters).
11. Post unique high-quality graphics.
If you’re going to spend your precious marketing budget on a (hopefully) successful social media campaign, it’s important to ensure it strikes your audience. Consider investing in GIFs and high-quality images that feature your product.
Caribou Coffee uses a good balance of user-generated content and high-quality graphics on Instagram.
12. Use hashtags correctly.
It’s important for marketers to use hashtags strategically—not overwhelmingly. In general, best practices for the best social media campaigns of 2018 involved:
Facebook: One or two are fine. Hashtags aren’t huge on Facebook.
Twitter: Two very relevant hashtags.
Instagram: You’re allowed to use up to 30, but don’t get too spammy. Choose wisely.
Pinterest: Don’t use hashtags on Pinterest.
13. Decide on a compelling CTA.
When it comes to the best social media campaigns, ideas mean nothing without a hard-hitting CTA. Decide what you’d like your audience to do. Do you want them to share the post? Comment and tag a friend? Purchase your product? Sign up for your mailing list? Stick with one solid CTA for your social media campaign timeline.
14. Play around with new technology and platform tools.
Although Facebook’s organic algorithm doesn’t work in your favor, the social media giant offers tons of downright fun tools for reaching your audience with engaging posts. Play around with audience insight tools and incorporate some data of your own from Google Analytics to create the best social media campaigns ever.
15. Don’t let your followers do all the work.
You can’t just ask people to follow and share your stuff—you need to take action, too. Don’t be afraid to retweet and share content from your followers. This will encourage other people to interact with your brand and give you a chance to build some rapport while learning about your followers’ interests.
Wendy’s is straight up savage on Twitter and they do a great job of interacting with their audience.
Social media is all about standing out. People scroll through their newsfeeds quickly so it’s important to capture attention with extremely unique content. Once you have an idea, you can take advantage of the tips on this list to get the job done.
Remember, as always: the secret behind the best social media campaigns ever was understanding their audiences. That’s the only way you’ll be able to provide them with the content they can’t wait to engage with and share.
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