So you’ve decided that your brand needs to connect with your audience in a way that’s authentic and long-lasting. And you’ve chosen social media as the way you will achieve this goal. The only thing is that you haven’t really taken the time to build out a comprehensive social media campaign.
Though you post regular company updates and share your blog content across channels, you aren’t quite sure how to go about developing a campaign.
Building an effective social media campaign is no easy task – especially if your business is in a niche industry. Not only do you have to really get to know your target customers well. But you’ve got to find out where they hang out online and how you can reach them.
But there’s no need to worry! We’re here to help.
Like any other digital marketing tactic, building a social media campaign takes time, expertise, and resources. But with a little guidance, you can be on your way to developing a campaign that piques your niche audience’s interest and compels them to engage with your brand.
Below, we’ll take you through each step of developing a winning social media campaign for your niche audience – no matter who they are.
10 Steps on How to Build a Successful Social Media Campaign
1. Identify your target audience.
The first step in building a winning social media campaign for your niche audience is knowing exactly who your audience is and what they find important. Many businesses make the mistake of slapping together a social media campaign that focuses solely on the benefits of their products and services.
But they fail to take into account the audience’s challenges and needs. And this can result in wasted time, resources, and budget.
Instead, take time to get to know who your target audience is and what they care about. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to develop customer personas. These are fictionalized profiles of your ideal customers with basic information like demographics as well as more specific information like what challenges they face, where they go to get information, and what they look for when purchasing products/services.
Here’s a quick overview of how you can work to create these customer personas and get to know your audience:
- Start by making some general assumptions about your target audience based on your previous experience with customers.
- Do some further market research to confirm or correct these assumptions and possibly discover new opportunities in the market.
- Interview your best customers to find out what really drives them and what they care about most when making a purchasing decision.
- Once you’ve compiled your target audience research, start to flesh out these personas. Develop profiles that you can use to drive your content marketing.
Once you know who your audience is and what they care about, you’ll be able to reach them more effectively through a social media campaign. Not only will this target market research inform the types of content that you use in your campaign but also your approaches to reaching and engaging these consumers.
2. Select the right social media channels.
Now that you know a little bit more about what your ideal customers care about most, it’s time to learn where they hang out online. There are so many social media channels available to brands who want to connect with their audience.
However, your brand doesn’t have the time or resources to effectively be present and engaging on all of these channels. That’s why it’s essential to strategically choose the channels that make most sense for your target audience.
When choosing which social media channels are best for your niche social media campaign, consider the following for each social media channel:
- Audience – Which social channels have a large enough audience that will allow you to expand your reach?
- Demographics – Which channels have the largest populations of people who fit within your target audience demographics?
- Features – Which social media channels offer the features that allow you to best highlight your brand?
- Activity – Which social media channels have the most active user base? What does this activity and engagement look like?
Want to learn more about which social media channels may be worth it for your brand? Be sure to read our article on which social media should I use to learn more about the demographics for each channel and discover how each channel can benefit your business.
3. Develop specific campaign goals and objectives.
Before you can get started launching your niche social media campaign, you need to decide what your goals and objectives are for the campaign. Consider not only what you hope to get out of this specific campaign but also how these goals align with your marketing goals and overall business objectives.
Here are some common goals that many brands use as a starting point for their social media campaigns:
- Drive more traffic to their website.
- Generate new leads.
- Convert leads into sales.
- Sell a specific product or service.
- Increase brand awareness.
- Communicate with customers.
- Establish or build brand authority.
It’s important to make sure that your goals are clearly outlined. We recommend using the SMART goal setting system to help ensure that your social media campaign goals are clear and attainable. SMART stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. Using SMART goals is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success.
With the SMART goal setting system, “increase revenue” is not a good enough goal for your social media campaigns. Instead, you’ll need to consider how much you want to increase revenue by, how you will measure success, and in what time line you will achieve this goal. You’ll also want to make sure that the goal is relevant to your business and realistic given your timeline and resources.
It’s also important to note that your specific campaign goals will play a vital role in your social strategy. The ways that you engage consumers and the types of content that you use in your campaign will vary based on your specific objectives.
For example, while you may use top of funnel content in a brand awareness campaign, a conversion campaign will require more specific, bottom funnel content. Similarly, if you aim to drive traffic to your website, your CTA will be different than if you are just trying to spark conversation among your audience. Keep your goals in mind when choosing the type of promotion tactics as well as the type of content you will create for each campaign.
4. Decide on promotion tactics for each channel.
Each social media channel has different best practices that you’ll need to consider when using them as part of your social media campaign. It’s best to follow the social media rules for Facebook and Instagram as well as any other channels you want to utilize in your campaign. That way, you are able to maximize your results by using each channel to your advantage.
After you’ve decided on which channels to use, you’ll have a better understanding of how you can promote your campaign content on each channel. Some social media channels have unique features that will allow you to publish different types of content that work to engage your audience.
For example, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube all have live video streaming options that allow you to connect with your audience in the moment.
Don’t forget that you can also take advantage of paid advertising opportunities as part of your niche social media campaign.
Though organic content and engagement can go a long way in helping you build relationships with consumers, paid advertising on platforms like Facebook and Instagram can help you expand your reach even further to connect with consumers who are right for your brand but may not yet be following or engaging with your content.
5. Create a content calendar.
Once you know the goal of the campaign and how you will promote content across channels, it’s time to create a content calendar. Content plays an important part in your social media campaigns. It’s the first line of communication and it’s what your fans, followers, and other audience members will see before deciding whether or not to engage.
The types of content that you create for your campaign will differ based on your goals and objectives. Here are some types of content that you may want to include in your editorial calendar:
- Blogs – Blogs are great for top-of-funnel content focused on your audience’s challenges, but they can also be effective for middle and bottom funnel content that gets more specific regarding your products or services.
- eBooks – E-books are great to use as gated content because they provide enough additional value to convince your audience to hand over their contact information.
- Text Posts – In addition to sharing content, you may also use general text social media posts that include a CTA or work to start a conversation.
- Images – You may use all types of images in your social media campaign from explanatory infographics to more simple photos of your product.
- Videos – Videos not only get the attention of your busy audience, but they are a great medium for breaking down complex topics or showing consumers how to use a product.
- Landing Pages – If you are driving consumers back to your site to take a specific action, you may need to create landing pages that aim to get the consumer to take the desired action.
Once you have an idea of the types of content you would like to create, you can start deciding on the right topics. We highly suggest making the topic brainstorming process a group effort.
Choose people in your organization that know your target customers well and ask them for help in coming up with topics for content.
In addition to bringing in people from your marketing and sales teams, you should also consider including individuals from your customer service team as they have experience in dealing directly with customer and know the challenges they face.
After you know the types of content that you will create and the topics you’ll focus this content on, you should keep this information organized in a content calendar, also known as an editorial calendar. You can use a paid program for this or just develop a Google spreadsheet that meets your needs.
An editorial calendar makes it easy to see what content is coming up and keeps everyone on your team on the same page about tasks and deadlines.
Everyone’s editorial calendar will look a little different. You should choose a format that works best for you. Most effective content calendars contain the following information:
- Topic or title
- Type of content
- Due date
- Post date
- Promotion details
- Any other important notes
Keep this content calendar in a place where everyone on your team can access and update it. We recommend using Google drive or the company server. It’s important that everyone on your team can update their progress or make notes on issues or delays so that it’s clear when the content will be complete so you can update your social media campaign timeline.
6. Develop visual and written content for campaign.
Now that you know what type of content you need to fuel your niche social media campaign, it’s time to finally create it! Be sure that every piece of content is assigned to someone on your team. If you are outsourcing the content to an agency or freelancer, make sure that they have specific instructions on what you want the content to be about and when you expect to see a first draft.
Whether you’re creating the content yourself or working with someone outside of your team to create the content for your social media campaign, keep the following in mind as you build a repository of content:
- Make sure content is on brand. Though different people may be writing or creating visual content, all of your content should be in line with your brand voice and persona. Creating specific brand guidelines can help guide this process.
- Include a CTA. If appropriate, make sure that the piece of content has an effective CTA that uses action verbs to inspire the viewer or reader to act. Whether it drives them back to your site or encourages them to reach out, the CTA should be clear and specific.
- Mix it up. We advise all of our clients to stick to a posting strategy that includes brand posts that inspire engagement, share posts that share helpful external content, and sell posts that are directly selling to your audience.
- Find ways to re-purpose content. Once you have the content for your social media campaign, you should always be on the lookout for ways to re-purpose or recycle this content in other campaigns. This allows you to get the most for your content budget.
For written content, make sure that the content is engaging and free of grammatical errors that may be distracting to your audience. Break up the content using headings and sub-headings to make sure that it’s easy for your audience to digest. Include links in your written content to other helpful resources. And don’t forget a relevant CTA!
When it comes to visual content, you want to make sure that any images or video you use are of professional quality. Make sure that your visual content is easy for viewers to understand without any explanation. The video or image should speak for itself and provide value on its own.
But if you’re still unsure if you should use video for your social media campaign then here’s a quick fact. Did you know that the ROI for marketers who use video grows 49% faster than those non-video marketers? So if you’re not using videos for your social media marketing, then you’re definitely missing out. The good news is that Facebook has now some great tools that let you to string images together to create a video.
Just as you would with written content, there should be some sort of CTA or identifiable next step for viewers to take after engaging with the content.
Want additional tips on how to create the best content for your campaigns? Be sure to check out our post – 10 Techniques You Need for a Successful Social Media Campaign.
7. Schedule posts throughout the month.
Once the content is created, it’s time to schedule it according to the timeline you’ve outlined in your content calendar. The pacing of your posts will depend on a number of factors such as your social media campaign goals, length of the campaign, types of content, and when your audience is most active. It’s best to do a little research before you start posting so that you know when the optimal times to post are.
Optimal posting times depend on the social media channel as well as the audience you are trying to reach. Here’s a general guide to the best times to post on social media based on 2018 industry research:
Thursday is the best day to post on Facebook. The best times to post on this channel are Wednesday at 12 and 2 p.m. and Thursday at 1 and 2 p.m. However, it’s safe to post on any weekday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Evenings, early mornings, and weekends have the least amount of engagement. Though the best days and times will still vary based on audience and industry, these are a general outline for posting on Facebook.
Again, the best days and times for posting on Instagram may vary between audiences and industries. However, research shows that the best days and times to post on Instagram are: Wednesday at 3 p.m.; Thursday at 5 a.m., 11 a.m., and 3 to 4 p.m.; and Friday at 5 a.m. You can safely post Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Keep in mind that Sunday has the lowest engagement.
With a little variance, most brands will find that the best day and time to post on Twitter is Friday from 9 to 10 a.m. You can safely post content and expect decent engagement any day from 10 a.m. to noon. Sunday mornings provide the least amount of engagement, but some users are still active on the weekends.
Given that LinkedIn is the social media channel for professionals, it should come as no surprise that the least amount of engagement happens on the weekends. The best time to post on LinkedIn is on Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m. Though engagement varies each day, Tuesday through Thursday tend to be the best days with the highest amount of engagement.
Though you can manually post this content on the day and time that you’ve decided is best, we recommend using a social media scheduling tool that allows you to schedule and post content in bulk, all at once. Whether you are using a free or paid scheduling tool, you will benefit from the ability to load several posts at once when you have the time to manage this task.
In addition to choosing the best day and time to post the content, you should also double-check each post to make sure it is optimized for the social media channel. Include an image or a link if it is needed for the post. Also, be sure to use any relevant hashtags that will help you boost visibility for your post on social media. For help with this, check out the complete guide to using social media hashtags for business.
8. Monitor and respond to engagement.
You can’t just set and forget your social media campaign. You’ve got to keep an eye on the engagement across all of the channels that you are using as part of your campaign. Whether you log onto each platform during the week or you use a social media management program to bring all the messages and comments into one dashboard, it’s vital that you monitor engagement and respond to what others are saying.
Each social media channel will notify you on the main dashboard to any comments, messages, likes, re-tweets, etc. Make sure to go through these notifications carefully to see who you may need to respond to. If customers ask questions, answer them to the best of your ability. If they are just leaving a comment or trying to start a conversation, take this as an opportunity to authentically engage.
9. Adjust tactics as necessary.
You don’t have to wait until the social media campaign is finished to adjust your tactics. For example, if you find that a piece of content is really resonating with your audience, find new ways to promote that content and get more traction from it as part of your current social media campaign.
Similarly, if tactics aren’t working, you don’t need to wait until the end to adjust your approach. Find out what works by testing different things along the way. Just be sure to monitor your results each step of the way and compare this data with your initial campaign goals to determine if you’re on the track to success.
10. Analyze your results and adjust for future campaigns.
All of the work that you’ve put into developing and implementing your niche social media campaign will pay off when you start to see more traffic coming to your website, more phone and email inquiries, and more conversation happening through your online communities. It’s important to track these successes and translate them into what results they have brought to your business.
However, you need to go beyond just tracking the successes of your campaigns. If you really want to get the most out of your social media campaign, you’ll need to analyze the data from your social media efforts and use it to make adjustments for future campaigns. Identify which tactics or pieces of content worked best and which still need some work. If there were any surprises along the way, find ways to use what you learned and apply it to future campaigns.
Get Started With Your Niche Social Media Campaign
All you need to do to get started with your first social media campaign is to follow the steps above. The more research you do on your niche audience up-front, the more successful your strategy will be – which means you’ll have the opportunity to see the results you really want from your campaign.
Remember, social media is not just something you can set and forget. In fact, if you want your social media campaign to be effective, then you’ll need to engage with your fans, followers, and leads along the way. Monitor the different campaign elements throughout the course of the campaign to ensure that everything is going along smoothly. Once you can conduct a final analysis, you’ll have plenty of information to help you do even better on your next campaign.