Organizations today are laser focused on creating effective social media campaigns. Knowing how to execute an effective social media campaign is essential to creating brand awareness, reaching audiences and increasing bottom lines. The following are key factors of effective social media campaigns. Effective campaigns contain content that is: visually stimulating, solution-based, can be easily measured, and encourages frequent interaction.
A 2016 study looked at 565 tweets (and retweets,) as well as 1,392 replies for all official Starbucks Twitter accounts in December of 2014. The study found that there were three types of content on Twitter that were used to effectively engage with the company's stakeholders (Taecharungroj, 2016):
1. Information-sharing example: Starbucks beans are GMO free
2. Emotion-evoking example: Merry Christmas, from Starbucks
3. Action-inducing example: Buy one Frappuccino and get one free
Visual content gets more engagement then textual content. In a world of data overload, we are all struggling to cut through the clutter. Creating an eye-catching visual is one way for organizations to get their audiences attention.
Any effective campaign, whether it is social media or otherwise must have a clear way of measuring success. Social media enables companies to see quantifiable data, i.e. the number of likes, shares, retweets, interactions, and hours trending for a specific topic, post or tweet (Stewart, 2009).
In times of crisis, communication across social media platforms is most effective when content is solution-based, provides reassurance and acknowledges publics’ fears and concerns. One study examined social media posts surrounding the 2013 Ebola crisis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and found that content created by these organizations was most successful when it provided solutions to the public such as how they could protect themselves from catching this disease or how to access treatment.
Social media campaigns whose goal is activism (i.e. buy a product, join a movement, etc) should encourage interaction and responses from publics (Housley et al, 2018). For example, if Starbucks is promoting a new latte, it should issue a Facebook post, Tweet or Instagram post that perhaps asks a question and/or engages with an influencer or celebrity such as asking Taylor Swift what her favorite type of latte is. This encourages her to engage in a discussion and brings her followers into the discussion. “Sharing, receiving, and recirculating of information “gifts” is central to the very social and technical frameworks on which these media function?” (Lewis, 2015).
Social media managers' jobs have turned into a 24/7 shift. In order to be successful, social media managers must be engaging constantly with stakeholders across all social media platforms. Social media users are more likely to view a quick updated social media feed as more relevant (Lin et al, 2016).
While the focus of social media managers should be frequent interaction, the goal is accurate messaging targeting your audience. Organizations must interact with their stakeholders in a way that encourages them to advocate for the brand. “Customer engagement drives social engagement” (Mahoney and Tang, 2017).
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