A Guide on How to Not Suck At Social Media Campaign Marketing!

Campaign marketing starts with a mind warping process that often involves the creatives drinking shots of bourbon, taking long lunches and looking for inspiration at a movie. That is if you believe the 1960’s TV series Mad Men’s depiction of an ad agency.

A Guide on How to Not Suck At Social Media Campaign Marketing

The reality is often much more boring than that and can involve research on competitors, identifying the target market and clarifying the goals that need to be achieved for the campaign. Then add some seasoned expertise of what works and what doesn’t. Followed by the embedded experience gained through the fiery cauldron of success and failure over the years.

Those of you with an interest in online promotion will undoubtedly have heard about the importance of social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. However, you may not have any idea how to leverage these kinds of platforms for the maximum business benefit.

What Exactly Is A Campaign?

A campaign is defined in the Oxford dictionary as

The process of working in an organized and active way towards a goal”.

It is often necessary to take a number of steps to the achievement of the overall objective. For example, a company that aims to build a loyal community of 10,000 Twitter followers will initially have the task of creating a positive online profile.

So – What Is Campaign Marketing?

Campaign marketing involves the promotion of a certain, product, service or business. It often entails the use of various channels, such as the internet, traditional newspapers and television. Companies often rely upon the effective establishment of marketing campaigns as a means of differentiation from the competition.

Multi-Channel marketing executed correctly can be a powerful combination and you only need to look at the success of the Old Spice campaigns that kicked off with the seeding on mass media and then took it viral with YouTube and Twitter.

Example of Campaign Marketing That Was Totally Kick-ass!?

Particularly innovative use has been made of the leading social networks in recent years. In 2011 the manufacturers at Belling promoted a number of ultra-short recipes via Twitter. And towards the end of 2012 the Melbourne Transport Authority released a humorous and highly popular Youtube video about the dumbest ways of dying.

However, the example that really stands out is the integrated billboard and social media campaign arranged by Nike to coincide with the London Olympics.

The well known sports brand placed numerous posters, featuring the pictures of ‘everyday athletes’ and the hashtag #findgreatness around the English capital. These proved much more effective than the giant posters and social media promotions organised by Adidas, who had been selected as the main Olympic sponsors.

 How About A God-Awful Campaign That Failed Miserably?

It is an unfortunate fact that for there are at least two epic failures for every one social media success story. There was the disgusting Dominoes Youtube video that shocked pizza lovers all over the world back in 2009.

Another ill judged social media campaign was thought up by the fast food chain, McDonald’s. They used the hashtag #McDStories to invite customers to leave comments about their love of Happy Meals.

McDStories Hashtag Campaign Disaster

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the campaign turned sour and people started to tweet about the shoddy service and foul food that they’d been served in McDonald’s chains.

So What Do I Need To Do To Not Suck At This?

There are 5 keys to a successful marketing campaign and it starts with taking a unique approach.

#1. Be Original

The Nike example shows the importance of taking a unique approach to social media marketing. It would have been very easy to follow the Adidas and use pictures of real Olympic athletes. However, by using images of ‘normal people’ Nike showed that they had a connection with the vast majority of people who purchase sports apparel.

Just remember that any attempts at differentiation should cast your company in a positive light.

#2. Engage With the Target Market

If you want to reach the types of people who will buy your product or service then it will be necessary to conduct some research. Find out which of the social networks they use on a regular basis. Then devise marketing campaigns that will be of genuine interest.

And make sure that you tread the fine line of communicating in the customer’s language without being patronising.

#3. Have Realistic Expectations

If you learned how to play a few guitar chords, would you expect to create the best piece of music in the world? Probably not. Unfortunately the same goes for the creation of online marketing campaigns. You’ll have to build up experience of what works and what doesn’t. And don’t be surprised if your company video doesn’t go viral overnight.

Having said that, success may come at the most unexpected of times!

#4. Use Platforms Other Than Twitter & Facebook

Research has revealed that Facebook has over 1 billion active monthly users, while Twitter has a mere 200 million. So it’s definitely worth creating integrated campaigns that target both of these networks. However, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore other forms of social media, such as Youtube or Google +. The famous Korean creator of Gagnam style and the ‘one pound fish man’ would definitely attest to this advice.

#5. Promote Your Products/Services Fairly

It is worth remembering that social media wasn’t invented for the purpose of brand advertising. Rather, it was an online tool that would enable people to connect and share the content that they particularly liked. So it’s fairly easy to understand why the users don’t like to be bombarded with targeted advertisements.

Outreach should be gradual and not overly promotional.

Guest Author: This post has been contributed by Martina Simon who works for Datadial which is a London based Web company who specialise in the creation of social media campaigns.




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  • http://twitter.com/TiffanyAMullins Tiffany Mullins

    I wouldn’t consider the Domino’s incident a campaign, rather two little prats with a video camera.

    As to the McDonald’s fiasco: I believe they hit all of the points you brought up but failed to think through how every aspect of their campaign could be perceived by all audiences.

    If you’re going to spend the time and energy on a campaign, why not host it on the networks with the most followers? Twitter and Facebook. I can see an argument for Google+ or Viddy, but it may be hard to get those who hold the money to sign off.

    Just a few thoughts. Thanks for the blog, Jeff!

  • http://twitter.com/The_Jenius Jennifer Lee Kirk

    What about measuring and tweaking? A successful campaign isn’t just about pushing content, but listening and pulling. I highly suggest using products like NetBase, etc to learn from your campaign.

  • http://www.socialbakers.com/ Michal Smetana

    I agree especially with #3. There is just so much truth in it and you used a great metaphor for it – “If you learned how to play a few guitar chords, would you expect to create the best piece of music in the world?” This is just brilliant. Thanks for sharing this article with us.

  • http://twitter.com/KirrrRoyal Kirsten Malfroid

    Great intro :) Addition to #4: Don’t forget Pinterest!

  • http://twitter.com/jenillustre jennifer illustre

    That Mc.Donald’s thing to me is not really a flop. To me, negative publicity is still publicity. It’s actually good to find out negative points of a brand so that you know where to focus next as a business. It is realistic to see the bad side of things.

  • http://www.openboxltd.co.uk/ Sanmi Lajuwomi

    I agree with your opinion on creating integrated campaigns. @ Tiffany, marketing is simply about getting the word out in the most effective way, therefor it is a campaign in its own right. :)

  • http://www.carvermediagroup.com/services/website-development.html Web Development Services

    Social media marketing campaign is mainly related to smart strategic decisions to promote a particular product or service in an orderly manner. There are many other ways of marketing campaign such as newspapers, magazines, billboards, and television. However, its effectiveness is limited to just a particular community.