Ready… Aim… Fire. These three words are burned sequentially into our brains as strongly as any other three-word combination. In fact, the permanence of the phrase is likely due to the importance of its sequence. Imagine the consequences, for example, of firing before aiming – a shooter would rarely hit the intended target and may cause a great deal of damage in the process. This crucial mantra applies as much to social marketing as it does to target practice. Before you fire off your next social campaign, don’t forget to ready and aim.
Many companies make the mistake of confusing a campaign or series of campaigns for a social strategy. In fact, campaigns are merely tools for achieving a broader strategic purpose. Before you start firing off social campaigns indiscriminately – a hashtag campaign here, a photo contest there – be sure that you’ve laid a strong strategic foundation for your social presence. At Jibe, we believe that effective social media strategies must be built upon a proper understanding of the Three Levels of the Web and should include a plan for migrating social media followers up those levels toward consumption.
Have an objective. Be sure you know what you’re trying to achieve through the campaign – brand awareness, product trial, increased sales, or even just engagement. More importantly, how does achieving that objective fit within your larger strategy? If you want to launch a social campaign, but you’re not sure where to aim, take a look at this list of common campaign types:
Value-based social media campaigns focus on a core value of the company and help customers identify and align with the brand, ultimately building brand affinity.
Example: Restaurant chain, Chipotle, has run several social campaigns focused on its “sustainable food” practices – a core company value.
Quirk-based social media campaigns focus on a unique element or “quirk” of the brand. These campaigns help ingrain a brand into the mind of the consumer while building awareness and recall.
Hypothetical Example: Wendy’s is very tied to a particular element of its brand – the redheaded girl. Wendy’s may consider running a “Wendy look-alike” photo contest.
Product-centric campaigns aim to build awareness and incite trial for a specific product.
Example: KFC is currently running an integrated campaign surrounding the phrase “I Ate the Bones” to promote the company’s boneless original recipe product. Specifically, the company is asking users to submit photos of their best “I Ate the Bones” face.
Value Prop-Centric Campaign
Value prop-centric campaigns are used to highlight a specific value proposition or benefit of a company’s product.
Example: JELL-O is currently running a campaign surrounding the hashtag #FML, already frequently used on twitter to express frustration regarding one’s life. The company has co-opted the acronym and changed its meaning to “Fun My Life.” Consistent with the company’s value proposition, the company is sending fun items to tweeters in order to relieve frustration.
Promotion-based campaigns offer discounts and price promotions via social mediums.
Example: Angelo & Maxie’s, a New York steakhouse, offered free dessert with purchase of an entrée for Foursquare check-ins.
Audience-building campaigns are simply meant to increase a company’s following on social assets.
Example: Greg Burney, a fashion and clothing designer, offered to draw picture of the first 3,000 new followers he gained on Twitter.
Once you’ve laid a strategic foundation and decided upon an objective, you’re ready to launch a social campaign. Best of all, having approached the process thoughtfully and sequentially, you’re much more likely to hit your intended target!