What is the difference between day-to-day social media engagement and an actively managed social media campaign? Many business owners who advertise their brand on social media keep up to date with publishing, responding to comments, and attracting likes and leads. But this type of unfocused activity differs from the plan to launch an active social media campaign. What are the critical distinctions between these two types of online pursuits?

A social media campaign is ambitious. It aims to capitalize on the effort put in to generate a return on investment. The expenditure may be designed to encourage engagement, likes, and shares intended to funnel users to your website and into your subscriber list.

More often than not, a social media campaign requires an investment of time and money. Once you've engaged with your target audience, the next step will be to offer value to potential customers. You could choose to draw attention to an e-book you've written, a giveaway you're offering, a contest you've created, or cause to which you work to promote awareness. Coming up with these types of value contributions requires thought and effort.

Many social media campaigns are integrated. Once you've identified what kind of value you would like to offer your users, plan to get the message out across multiple media platforms. You may wish to invest in software that gives you a streamlined dashboard from which you can integrate with numerous social media outlets simultaneously. Social media management applications, such as HootSuite, Radian6, and RecurPost offer you a means by which you can organize your posts and publish from a single source, limiting the time you spend logging in and out of your various social media platforms.

Testing and reinvention are the hallmarks of any marketing plan. A/B testing is the type of analysis preferred by social media marketers. It involves taking one aspect of your campaign, such as a headline, an image, a call to action, or a piece of content, and changing it slightly to observe the difference in reception. A/B testing is ideal for execution on platforms that experience a similar amount of web traffic.

Social media campaigns apply metrics. Metrics represent the significant difference between simple social media engagement, which is nebulous and non-targeted, and a results-driven campaign. The first step to assessing whether you are achieving your goals is to identify useful metrics. Your metrics may be the number of "likes," subscribers, retweets, shares, links, or comments your online marketing efforts generate. As with everything related to your presentation, your metrics may require revision if you do not see a return on investment.

A dedicated, integrated social media campaign is growth-focused and expects a return on investment within a specified timeline. You must apply analytics and engage with your audience throughout your ad campaign. While the amount of time and investment associated with this type of venture may sound daunting, it will function as an obstacle to your potential rivals. Because committed social media operations are involved, there is less incentive among your competitors to actively strategize and participate, giving you a leg up on your plan to execute a well-designed social media campaign.

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