The Secret to Creating a Successful Social Media Campaign

Yesterday I flew to Las Vegas for the National Association of Colleges & Employers annual conference and I couldn’t help but be excited.  Why? It’s because I was a finalist for a marketing and branding award for the UGA Career Center’s social media strategy.  This post isn’t about that award, but it inspired today’s post:   the secret to successful social media campaigns.

You can look at case studies all day long, but being successful in the social media realm has a few core truths that hold true regardless of your industry or organization. These are:

  1. Listen.  It sounds so simple, but that is the first step towards a successful campaign.  Listening means not only listening to your audience, but to also listen to your competition.  How are you stacking up? Are you showing your audience that you even care that they’ve chosen to connect with you?
  2. Plan.  Any successful campaign must first have set goals. You’ve heard of the old saying “if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never know one when you get there?”  Determine if you want to increase followers, foster conversation, identify prospects or some other goal.  Try to set a few at first to make sure you don’t get too overwhelmed.  Creating a calendar of content (keep in mind you can likely recycle this later!) can help you stay organized and ensure your messages are consistent and appropriate.
  3. Recognition.  There’s a reason why women from teenage girls to middle age women beg their favorite celebrities to retweet them or tell them happy birthday on Facebook.  On some level, we all crave for attention, some more so than others.  Going along with listening, are you paying attention to the questions your audience is asking?  Are you highlighting your top followers and fans to acknowledge them?
  4. Monitor.  Keep track of where you stand in the beginning and check in monthly or weekly.  If your audience isn’t paying attention to the dry articles you’re sending out, try posting pictures or asking questions.  You might have to try a few different things before you see what sticks.

It can seem overwhelming when you get started, but if you take the time to plan upfront, it’s easier to make sure you’re on task in the middle of your busy times. Remember, the more you use it, the better you’ll get!

What other elements do you think are essential for social media campaigns?



2 comments on “The Secret to Creating a Successful Social Media Campaign

  1. Great post, Laura. I’m sorry I missed you yesterday at the Tweetup at NACE, but I’m hoping we can connect tomorrow if you’re still in Vegas. Would love to connect more with you and trade ideas in the future. It looks like we’ve got a lot in common, and I’d certainly be willing to share whatever I can offer in the social media/career services world. Congrats on your NACE win!

    On the note of successful social campaigns, my big essential element is: Focus. Focus on the spaces you can manage. Focus on where your audience really is AND where they really want to engage with you. This may mean picking only a few social spaces to start, then build a strategy from there. It can be overwhelming to feel like you have to jump in to them all. And if you do, it can be so tough to stay focused! So, focus is critical. Thanks for adding food for thought to the social discussion.

  2. Hi Kevin!

    I hate that we didn’t get to connect in Vegas but I’d love to swap ideas any time. I also agree that goig where your audience is and having focus will help you stay on track.

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