So you’re about to run your first, second, or millionth B2B social media campaign? Where do you begin? What are the proper steps you need to take? How do you measure the success of your campaign?
Launching and executing your social media campaign does not begin when you first create a piece of content or when you promote your first Facebook post. There’s a process you must go through that could take days, weeks, if not months – depending on the goals you want to achieve and the results you want to see. A B2B social media campaign that focuses on organic outreach is not something you whip up in a few hours. Similar to building a skyscraper, it involves three clear stages: planning, execution, and maintenance! Each stage is an integral pillar that holds your campaign together; take one out and your campaign will fall apart.
The planning part is the cornerstone of your campaign or your skyscraper.
For starters, you need to pick your ideal architectural design, look for inspirations, brainstorm and draw a few sketches – or in marketing terms – pick a main idea for your campaign, what is it going to revolve around? For example, it can focus on a webinar you’re trying to promote, an upcoming event or conference.
Next, you need to establish the purpose of your skyscraper – will it be for commercial use, residential, maybe both? In parallel, you need to decide the purpose of your campaign – aka your campaign goals or KPI’s. These will define the success of your campaign so they must to be measurable and trackable. Do you want to drive your brand awareness? Boost your engagement? Perhaps you want to increase the volume of leads?
Instead of solely focusing on the easy and “feel good” metrics like reach, followers, likes, and shares, your social media campaign efforts should be aligned with business outcomes. In this regards, you should be looking to track lead conversion rates generated by your social media campaigns. While this may seem challenging, a B2B social media management platform can make tracking conversions a whole lot easier for your marketing team!
Once your goals are set in concrete, you need to choose the perfect location for your skyscraper – will it be near the beach, in the city center, or on the river frontline? Take into consideration the characteristics and regulations of the area. Similarly, in your campaign you should pick your main social networks. Every social network has its own personality, kind of like your audience. You want to create a good match between your audience and social channels. Since you’re focused on a B2B campaign strategy, then LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook should be your first choice. Similar to your audience who are businesses, these networks are considered to be more “professional” in nature.
What about the target audience of your skyscraper – who’s going to reside or stay there? Businessmen, families, wealthy individuals? In your social campaign, you will also need to define your target audience. By identifying the characteristics of your target audience, such as their industry, region, seniority, job function, and language, you will be able to execute a campaign that caters to their needs, interests, and challenges.
How long is it going to take you to build the skyscraper from planning to execution? It’s important that you consider the duration of your campaign. When is it going to start and how long will it run for? Keeping an editorial calendar will help you organize, categorize, and measure all of your social content. What you need is a comprehensive editorial calendar that will give you a company-wide perspective of all of your social content and running campaigns to ensure your pipeline is always full.
What are you going to call your skyscraper? Every great skyscraper has a name. Similarly, your campaign also needs a custom hashtag. This hashtag is going to stick with you throughout the beginning, middle, and end of the campaign. Every social post, every piece of content, every time you mention something about your campaign, this hashtag will be your signature.
Now that everything is planned, it’s time to build the skyscraper!
This is the most active part of your campaign.
Yeah…not that kind of active 😉
This is where you want to make sure that you’re listening to your target audience. For example, when building a skyscraper, you need to be in tune with your key players, such as the media, public opinion or environmental groups. Anything they say ultimately affects your steps moving forward. There’s also going to be a lot of chatter surrounding your social campaign. With a social listening tool, you’ll be able to monitor in real-time specific conversations, words, or mentions that you choose.
Staying connected to your audience shows you care about what they have to say and allows you to follow up by responding to their comments, solving an issue, and simply being involved in any discussion that could potentially influence your campaign. Be personal and friendly with your audience – reach out to them by tagging or mentioning their name across your social networks to help bolster the positive sentiment around your campaign.
Among all this noise, you might come across interesting findings that could serve as an inspiration for your next content idea! Maybe a blog post that answers a frequent question. The more you engage in social listening, the more your content efforts will tap the hearts and minds of your audience.
Next, you need to make sure that the skyscraper has state-of-the-art amenities to satisfy the needs of your tenants, guests, residents, or anyone who’s going to occupy it. Will it have a pool, gym, child care? All of these amenities make up the experience you want to deliver to your target audience. What does this have to do with your social campaign? Well, the most important element of your campaign is your content. Take all of the information you’ve gathered from your research and social monitoring and start creating the right social content. Keep sharing links and articles that direct people to landing pages, blog posts, webinars, or any content types that tie to your campaign and are going to drive conversions.
The skyscraper is complete! The media is talking about it. The tenants have moved in. Now it’s time to evaluate the success of your process and maintain successful results! What do people think? How could you modify your process so that it goes smoother next time you build a skyscraper?
Based on the KPI’s you chose in the first stage of the campaign, you can analyze how your social campaign performed and impacted your sales funnel. A sophisticated social analytics dashboard should give you a deep and visual insight into how you missed, reached, or surpassed your initial goals, while identifying the channels and messaging that drove results for your campaign. Feed any of the leads you generated into your CRM or MAP to help see their journeys and nurture them over time.
Once you’ve built the skyscraper, what are your future steps? Do you plan to expand it? Maybe invest more on advertising and PR? All of these decisions should be reported to your stakeholders. This perspective is analogical to the final stage of your social campaign. Regardless of the goals you set for your social campaign – be it to drive traffic, brand awareness or conversions – you need to gather all of your analytics and share them with people in your organization. Sit down with your team, break down what went wrong or well with your campaign, and turn any failure into an accomplishment the next campaign round. After all, you can’t improve what you can’t measure!
Want to effectively manage your next social media campaign?
Your B2B Social Media Campaign Checklist:
- Pick an idea for your campaign
- Decide your KPI’s
- Choose your main social media networks
- Manage a social media calendar
- Consider your target audience
- Come up with a campaign hashtag
- Monitor your social networks (social listening)
- Create and promote the right content
- Analyze your campaigns
- Push campaign leads into MAP or CRM platform
- Report results to organization