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Social Media and UGC

How to Run a Social Campaign that Doesn't Suck

There’s no denying the success and notoriety that brands have achieved through their use of social media. As a direct channel to engage with customers, it has become a preferred avenue of choice for driving conversation and building affinity. If a business is willing to take a creative approach to building its image on social media by running successful social media marketing campaigns, it's likely to receive a return on its investment.

The keyword here though, is ‘creative’. With social channels being as saturated with content as they are, it’s not enough to throw up a stock photo with some text and call it a day. This kind of strategy won’t get you noticed or yield impactful results for your business, and if that’s the case, why be on social media in the first place?

In order to scale your one-on-one marketing and to strengthen your brand's social media presence, here are some tips and tricks for launching some of your best social marketing campaigns to date.

Do Your Research

The beginnings of any social marketing campaign can’t come to fruition without a real understanding of why it’s being done in the first place. This ‘why’ driver shouldn’t solely be influenced by the brand's needs but by a brand's audience as well. After all, if a campaign doesn’t speak to your customers, how is it supposed to encourage them to participate?

Consider the following when generating an objective for each of your social campaigns:

  • Your brand's current messaging and what it would like to emphasize.
  • Competitor strategies and content competitors are generating and sharing.
  • Current industry and societal trends.

Protip: Tools like Buzzsumo are useful for analyzing highly shared content based on various categories and can be beneficial in shaping focus.

Set BenchmarksOnce your business has determined the ‘why’ and the overlying theme of the campaign, it’s time to lay out how you’ll go about measuring success. Keep in mind that these don’t have to be based on exact calculations such as number of impressions or shares.

However, the goals that you set for your campaign will allow you to gauge its success. For example, maybe you’re running a giveaway to gather emails and build out a base for newsletter distribution-- in this case one KPI might be number of emails collected. Or maybe you're conducting a series of multiple deal days around the holidays to help drive sales-- in which case you would look at the number of people who made a purchase with your campaign discount code. Whatever the overarching business goal may be, make sure that there’s one goal driving the charge-- and that that goal is based on your business needs.

Get InspiredWith your goal in place, the campaign can begin to take shape. After all, different channels require different approaches so start researching past social campaigns take a look at how the best ones shape their messaging, delivery, and virality.

Take for example, L’Oreal’s Are You In? campaign on LinkedIn. After reaching 300,000 followers on their page, they launched a micro-site asking users to connect with their LinkedIn accounts and answer a prompt about why they’re ‘IN’. Ten of the top responses were then chosen by L’Oreal to be featured on their business page. For the audience, the driver was potential professional exposure on a high profile page and for the brand, an opportunity to increase followership (L’Oreal’s LinkedIn page now sits at over 950,000 followers).


Another great example is Esurance, that used hype and activity on Twitter during the SuperBowl to help boost its Pass It On giveaway. 17 winners were chosen to win $50,000 live during the game and the company posted live reactions of individuals selected.

Inspiration like this can come across all types of industries and channels making it possible to find an avenue well-suited for your brand’s needs.

Plan and Execute

You have your goals, you have your inspiration, and you understand the driving factors behind why it matters to your business—now it’s time to turn ideas into action. With your objectives written down and close at hand, put together a budget for asset creation and message amplification. In addition, research your audience and leverage your understanding to target them effectively. If you are looking for a complete checklist for running a social media marketing campaign, download our guide here.

Insights from social media campaign tools like Pixlee can help to guide your efforts throughout the campaign and to determine whether your goals are being reached across all channels. If you are running your campaign on one social media platform in specific, make a list of other tools you might need such as a scheduler, graphic editor, deeper analytics, etc. For example, here is a list of Instagram campaign tools that we put together.

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Pixlee TurnTo welcomes contributed content from leading marketers, influencers and ecommerce experts.

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