**Definition:**A social media campaign is a coordinated marketing effort to reinforce or assist with a business goal using one or more social media platforms. Campaigns differ from everyday social media efforts because of their increased focus, targeting and measurability.
A social media campaign should focus around a singular business goal, whether it's on Facebook or Instagram. Common goals for a social media campaigns include:
Getting feedback from users.
Increasing website traffic
Directly driving sales
Goals must be discrete and measurable. Before a campaign, obtain a baseline measure of your targeted metric so you can track changes and performance throughout the campaign and beyond. Goals are shaped by the means, the message and the target audience. Different demographics also have varying preferences for social media platforms, so pick the platform suited to your target audience.
Before starting a campaign, have in place all of the tools for tracking metrics. There are several free social media marketing apps which track shares, retweets, likes and keywords associated with your brand. Services such as HootSuite, Social Mention, and Addictomatic integrate with your social media accounts to determine who is seeing your social media posts and how they're responding.
Once a baseline is established, define goals and schedule a definitive timeline for the campaign. Having firm start and end dates is important, both for a) keeping costs and mission creep in check, and b) comparing performance pre-and-post campaign.
Action-gate - ask users to interact with social media posts. Invite them to ask questions, take polls, provide reviews, enter contests and join mailing lists.
Provide incentives - give them a reason to provide information about themselves. Offer prizes, discounts and exclusive content in exchange for their attention and information
Make prizes relevant to the business if using a contest. For a t-shirt company, it's makes no sense to offer an Xbox as first prize in your contest (offer a year's worth of t-shirts!).
Proactively engage throughout the campaign - answer and address critique quickly and reinforce positive interactions with personal attention.
Promote across all social media accounts**,**even if the campaign is focused on one platform (e.g. Facebook).
Adapt the look and messaging of your entire online presence to reinforce the campaign. Include campaign branding and language on headers, landing and home pages.
Carefully monitor performance and adjust strategy if needed.
Next, check out our blog post on the 6 most effective types of social media advertising.