How to create a social media campaign for 2018

Ah; the eternal question that only ever leads to very different answers depending on the week, month or year you want your social media campaign to run in. Thankfully, though, by thinking logically about how social media works it’s possible to come up with a robust plan of action packing real longevity.

In truth, there’s no definite solution when you’re asking ‘how to create a social media campaign?’ This is due to the nature of the platforms you’ll be using.

What works for Snapchat probably wouldn’t on Facebook, you’re talking different demographics, wildly opposing functionality and that’s just for starters. More worryingly, for social media managers at least, is what works for Facebook today might not work tomorrow.

All about algorithms

There’s a very simple reason for this predicament— social media channels are constantly evolving, adding new features and removing stuff that is no longer relevant or popular. These platforms must move with the times or risk going the way of MySpace (five points for those who remember it).

The main way they achieve this is by altering the algorithm that dictates what content is shown, how that content is organised, and the impact of different types of engagement. By doing this, the Twitters of this world stand a better chance of giving users a better experience and, cynically speaking, maximising their profits.

What might be good for the average account holder is almost certainly going to cause a headache for social media managers, though. Faced with the overwhelming task of keeping up to date with the latest and greatest changes, it’s no wonder so many brands struggle to get the results they deserve, even when their ideas are excellent.

It’s important not to panic about this, however, as we have come up with the following four fundamental steps every business— and their social media marketing managers and teams— can take to stand a fighting chance of avoiding the perils of that next major update…

Subscribe, subscribe, subscribe 

It’s not that common for the networks to trumpet their algorithm changes when you log back in. But it is pretty simple to find out when amends are set to take effect if you sign up for email shots from respected news sites specialising in social media. Google Alerts is also invaluable for this, as you can specify exactly the type of news you want to know about, as it happens— for example ‘Facebook algorithm changes’.

Originality is everything 

While social media marketing is not necessarily a case of ‘more is more’, brands do need to be consistent and post content regularly. If you’re not a whizz at content planning this can be quite a daunting prospect, and the temptation is to repost things you’ve used before.

Don’t.

Instead of boring your followers and fans consider how the post could be updated to reflect developments in the story, new information that has become available, or simply apply a different angle… voila— now you’ve got something fresh and hopefully engaging.

It’s great to talk

Engagement is the social media gold dust every brand is looking for, but avoid anything that could be considered ‘engagement baiting’— whereby the post instructs or requests people to comment or react in a certain way.

The trick is to naturally promote interactions between different followers and the brand page or account itself, some good ways to do this is include:

*Polls— the post itself encourages the sharing of opinions, which is what engagement is all about

*Games— fun, compulsive and appealing to those who like to show off, which on social media is most of us, turning a post into a quiz or similar challenge can be incredibly rewarding

Video 

We all know that video content is the biggest sell online, whether you’re a national newspaper website or a furniture store on Facebook. Engagement levels for video are through the roof compared with text or still images…

*92% of mobile video viewers share the content

*51% of global marketing professionals cite video as offering the greatest ROI

*64% of consumers will make a purchasing decision after watching a branded video

*Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined

Needless to say there are different types of video you can look at using, here are a few suggestions…

*360-degree video

As an immersive experience this is best used to raise awareness and introduce audiences to products, destinations, or even concepts.

*Interactive video

A great tool for allowing the public to try something out, which can really help make them consider a purchase in the future

*Instructional video

How does the product or service work? Explain this when you think there is a good chance someone is about to buy; letting them know what the user experience will be like can easily seal the deal

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