An effective social media campaign is now a pivotal part of any successful enterprise, whether that be an event, an online store or something even more complex. However, the war for attention on social media has never been so multi-faceted, with battles taking place on many different platforms and encompassing multiple styles of content.

As such, it has never been so vital to carefully plan out a social media campaign in advance and to put forth a suitable strategy. The more time put into preparation and organization, the more dividends one is likely to see in the end. What follows is a brief overview of the essentials of modern day social media strategizing.

uncategorized - 1871Step 1: Understand your goals

A much-vaunted aspect of social media campaigning is the ability to obtain a huge amount of data about your customers and what they think of your product. However, this immense quantity of information can be a problem in itself. With so much data to contend with, relevant feedback can become lost in the white noise. This is one part of why it is so important to set goals and objectives initially. This will help orientate your strategy but it will also enable you to identify the metrics that will help you to measure progress towards these goals.

Step 2: Understand your audience

This second step is a two-part process and many people skip the first. The second step, the one that many rush past the first for, is to understand what your audience is looking for. However, initially, you have to figure out who that audience is! There are many tried and test methods for doing this. One trick is the create audience personae. Essentially, anyone planning a social media campaign should try to imagine who their ideal customer would be, where they would live, what their job and hobbies would be, etc.

This can really go a long way to helping to create a targeted strategy. The next step is the try and get a sense of how large this audience is in any given area. There are many tools, such as Facebook ads, that can help create data on how many people are interested in a given style of product. However, a word of caution. Strive to base conclusions on real-world data rather than traditional assumptions of who likes what. If online analytics have taught us anything, it’s that audiences can often be found within surprisingly counter-intuitive demographics.

Step 3. Create your message

Creating an engaging message and designing content that expresses this message effectively requires one to achieve an effective balance between a number of key priorities. Firstly, one needs to achieve a good sense of what will engage the audience in question. What kind of voice speaks to them? Are they professional or informal, creative or business minded, casual or motivated buyers? Xara offers a wide range of social media templates that will help campaign managers to flesh out the message they are trying to deliver, but it is down to each individual enterprise to identify the key aspects of that message.

Once this is done, it is necessary to consider the format of the social media platform in question. For instance, the kinds of content suitable for Facebook will not necessarily map directly over onto Twitter. Once the content is ready and has started to roll out, it is essential to keep a close eye on the metrics to see how each release is being received and adapt the strategy in real-time based on the feedback.

uncategorized - 1868Step 4: Create your graphics

In our experience, most people feel relatively confident when it comes to creating the written side of their content but feel a little lost and daunted by the graphics. This is part of the reason we put so much effort into the design of our graphics templates on the Xara Cloud tool. Professionally-styled blends of graphics and text are a must when it comes to grabbing and holding attention on social media platforms. With the expansive memory provided by Xara Cloud you can also plan ahead and create up to a months’ worth of graphical content in advance. Whether you are bringing your own images to the table or using free resources such as Unsplash, your aim should be to match imagery and written content in a way that engages and entertains.

Engaging content is valuable but ultimately meaningless if the audience does not get a sense of who it is coming from. Creating an engaging story of how your enterprise came to be and what it is at its core is an essential way of connecting with a client base. If you have other online presences, such as websites and blogs, resources that will help to flesh out this story, make sure to add some links to them as well.

Step 6: Use a social media management tool to optimize your schedule

Many budding campaign managers are put off by the image of late night vigils in front of computers managing each step of the campaign in real time. Thankfully, there is now a range of social media management suites, like Hootsuite, that take on much of the heavy lifting when it comes to organization and activity. These tools allow for scheduling and automatic release of content according to a pre-arranged time frame. They also allow one to monitor impact with metrics and reports on everything from views to comments and other forms of online feedback.

Planning ahead leads to a better chance of a successful campaign

With such a complex online marketing and social media landscape and stiff competition for audience attention, planning out each step of the campaigning ahead of time is really the only way to enhance your chances of getting ahead of the pack. However, if you can plan each stage out with careful consideration and back it up with engaging content, you should be able to snowball your audience’s excitement and curiosity into a momentum that puts them exactly where you need them to be.

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