Notwithstanding all the idiosyncrasies of each individual organisation, it is possible to put together a basic template for a social media campaign.
Working on the notion of a client ‘Client X’:
DIY Social Media Campaign Template
- Create Client X accounts on Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites. These accounts act as a billboard in those communities and bring Client X interest back to the Client X site.
- Monitor all discussion forums, blogs, and other information sources on the web for mentions of Client X.
- Create community tools on their own web site to encourage discussion, lead generation, and product development support.
- Participate in every discussion about their product that happens on the web, even if only to thank people for discussing the product. Through this they personalise interactions between consumer and product.
- Automate the monitoring of the web for the popularity of their products and those of their rivals.
- Actively track performance measures of the sales of their products and their social media reach.
- Update their blog daily and participate in other blog discussions across the web.
- Be a person! Participate freely in conversations on the web that they are just interested in not necessarily about product or subject matter – unless specifically asked about it or it’s obviously relevant.
- Demonstrate competence through their blog. This means most posts are not directly about their products, but provide value beyond their products. One post may talk about a new product being released, followed by ten related tips.
- They build product reach using interactive tools like affiliate programs, business partner linking and some contests like “name the product” or “design a product” or “find the shop on a map.”
- They reward good behavior in their communities and on the web. They personally write to / acknowledge their biggest fans. They invite people who are knowledgeable to write in the Client X blog and participate in the site. They gracefully acknowledge expertise, enthusiasm, and participation.
- The application of social media systems involves the participation in the greater social web community. The directors and their staff need to be good ‘community members’ in order to reap the benefits of social media tools. (They have to honestly give to honestly get).
Tactical Social Media Campaigns
It can be effective to run social media campaigns alongside regular social media activity. These would be specific events designed to stand out and create a noticeable impression. These tend to rely upon viral dispersion but often get talked about by others online and in printed media as well.
There are references to many such campaigns online. I can case study our Australian partners Bendall’s involvement in the campaign with Australian PM Kevin Rudd
following the devastating bush fires in 2009 and others. Some are convoluted and others strike a chord with people out there. You might as well give it a go, it will attract attention and give your audience a flavour of the sort of people you are. Social Media is all about people.
Bringing It All Together
Social Media is a platform. You build things on it. In order to build an effective campaign it has to be coherent, participatory, maintainable and acceptable to the public. That’s tricky, but it has been established that successful campaigns aren’t just acceptable, they are valued by the public.
Social media is a social contract – you are inviting your public to work with you.