What is a social media campaign and how can you create one?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Running a social media campaign is a good way to generate more traffic and increase brand awareness. Many people use social media platforms to share their stories and review content, so such campaigns can provide businesses with significant marketing opportunities. Learning about the factors to consider when running a social media campaign can help you to improve your marketing efforts. In this article, we answer the question 'What is a social media campaign?' and provide tips on how to launch one successfully.

What is a social media campaign?

The answer to 'What is a social media campaign?' is it's a marketing effort that focuses on improving an organisation's presence and performance on a social media platform. Unlike conventional social media efforts, campaigns rely on greater targeting and measurability. In most cases, social media campaigns have a singular goal. That can be to increase the number of followers for a brand or improve a company's influence in the market.

Companies use multiple marketing efforts to promote interaction on a social media platform. Most businesses use key performance indicators or key results to determine the success of a campaign, and some focus on total sales or conversions as a result of it. For example, when a company releases a new product, it can launch a social media campaign to generate more interest and engagement for the product.

Related: What is campaigning on social media? (Step-by-step guide)

How to run a social media campaign

Here are some tips to follow to run a social media campaign for maximum effect:

1. Define SMART goals and key performance indicators

The first step to running a successful social media campaign is to set SMART goals. This is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-sensitive. It's important to ensure that the activities then align with the goals you set for your campaign. Before its launch, it's necessary to define the objectives so each member of the team knows exactly what the company aims to achieve. There can be several goals that a company can set when running a social media campaign. They include:

  • getting more feedback from regular users

  • capturing emails to build a marketing list

  • improving traffic on the company's website

  • increasing sales and conversions

When defining the goals for any social media campaign, it's necessary that the managers ensure that the goals are measurable. The project managers can define a baseline or a reference point at the beginning and various key performance indicators that they can use to track the performance of the campaign. When running the campaign, the company may then use these metrics to determine its overall success.

Related: Social media metrics (for tracking success)

2. Research your competition's marketing strategies

When you start planning a social media campaign, it's beneficial to research what the competition is doing. This includes companies that offer similar products or services to yours and those that already have successful social media accounts with a large following. You could create a list of different companies operating in a similar industry that have run successful and memorable campaigns in the past. By evaluating their campaigns and gaining a better understanding of their overall engagement, you can then plan a more effective campaign.

Related: How to conduct market research (with types and benefits)

3. Plan your strategy

The next step is to create your social media strategy. While adhering to your campaign goals, you can design a campaign that you think is likely to appeal to your audience. Defining your target audience during the initial phases of the project is helpful, as the entire campaign focuses on them. By understanding the interests and needs of this group, you can generate messaging and content that appeals exclusively to this audience. There are several ways to create appealing messaging, including:

  • Provide the right information. Provide your audience with information that's of interest to them, as this can help you generate more interest as regular social media users may read your posts. For example, you could provide an interesting fact or an observation about the industry to attract their attention before leading into your campaign.

  • Create compelling infographics. Visual content is effective on social media platforms. Instead of focusing on writing text, it's beneficial to create compelling and entertaining infographics that present the information in a way that users can easily understand.

  • Engage with your target audience. Whenever you get a comment or a response to your posts, engage with your audience. Users expect a response within 24 hours, so ensure you provide one as this can help build a more personal connection with your target audience.

Related: 10 social media tools to manage your social media presence

4. Create a posting schedule

Creating a posting schedule has many benefits. A comprehensive posting schedule helps social media managers target more users, especially at a time when activity levels are high on other platforms. For example, if you want to target employees in a particular industry, sending posts on a Monday morning isn't a suitable idea. That's because most of your target audience is likely to be at work and won't be able to check their social media platforms until later in the day. By that time, your post may fall further in the feed.

That's why it's important to create a posting schedule and plan your posts accordingly. Ideally, you could analyse engagement at different times to discover when your target audience is most active, and then plan your posts around those times. If you notice engagement levels dropping, you can always change your posting schedule, especially around holidays and weekends.

Related: How to develop a winning social media content strategy

5. Optimise the aesthetics of your social media posts to focus on the campaign

A social media campaign is different from conventional social media posting, so it's necessary that you do something different to let people know that the company is campaigning across social media platforms. You could adapt the look and feel of the campaign and change images across your social media handles to further reinforce it. This means changing the banners, the profile and designs on your website's landing pages and home page. Additionally, it could be beneficial if you create a separate landing page for the campaign.

6. Offer an incentive to your audience

If you want people to share your posts and engage with them, give them an incentive. You may ask what incentive a user would have for sharing their contact information with you or joining your mailing list. You could offer them a prize or other incentive, such as a discount on their next purchase, to motivate them to act. This can help increase engagement as people generally respond well to incentives.

7. Monitor the campaign's performance and make changes as necessary

Social media marketing managers understand the importance of making changes depending on the campaign's performance, but it's important to justify the change. This is possible by monitoring the campaign's performance. If the company has milestones in place and can project the campaigns' performance, it can then determine whether the plan aligns with the forecasts. If not, the company can use alternative marketing techniques and change its social media marketing strategy accordingly. Social media campaigns are generally dynamic and marketing managers continue to adjust them throughout their duration.

Related: What are metrics in business? (Plus examples and formula)

8. Set a budget and run paid advertisements

In most cases, running advertisements on social media platforms is one of the best ways to get more engagement and enhance the reach of your posts. When you launch a social media campaign, it's necessary to run paid advertisements to promote more engagement in the beginning. Adapt the messaging and the copy accordingly and track the performance of these advertisements. If they're not performing well, the marketing team can always change the copy to see if that improves performance.

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