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25 Characteristics of Highly Effective Social Media Campaigns

There is so much rock and roll going on involving businesses running social media campaigns. However, there are not many social media rockstars. Their guitars vary. Some rock hard and some… not so hard. Some even have broken guitar strings. We don't notice the size of their guitars though. What we notice is the kind of music they produce.

There are certain characteristics that differentiate the effective social media campaigns from the boring ones. You need to learn these characteristics if you also want to be effective with your campaigns.

Don't worry if your 'strings' are broken. You can fix it.

Here are 25 characteristics of highly effective social media campaigns (from the rockstars) and some tips to help you rock like them.

1) They spread like wildfire. Effective social media campaigns spread very fast. If your campaign is not spreading, it is not effective. Test the waters with micro campaigns. Learn to swim before attempting to ride the big waves.

2) They are not spammy. Don't just promote your site links; share something insightful about your company or product. Don't send out the same message to your community. It is spam…and it is very annoying to them. Even to you. Admit it.

3) They provide value. Value can come in the both physical and mental forms. Effective campaigns provide value in any or both of these regards.

4) They are well branded. Clothe your campaign from head to toe with your company's identity. Use your logo, your USP or slogans, your colors, and any other thing that defines your business's identity. Add your brand to every video you produce; don't add just your website address.

5) They are measured. You need to track your social media marketing efforts. Whether you install Google Analytics on your Facebook fan page or you use Post rank to measure your effectiveness, make sure you work with the data.

6) They have excellent copy. Leave a positive impression in just a few words. Using big vocabulary is not the way to go; making sense is what matters.

7) They don't ‘sell'. Instead of selling, you should work at generating leads with your social media campaign. Sell to those leads later on.

8 ) They build relationships. Don't just broadcast. Interact. Building relationships  helps build even more relationships. It also increases the perception of value and builds loyalty.

9) They build trust. Be as honest in your campaign as possible. Trust is very hard to earn back once lost. Your campaign should build and maintain trust in your build.

10) They are innovative. Regular campaigns mostly go unnoticed. Innovation adds ‘flavor' to your campaign. It is the aroma of your campaign and the one thing that will convince most people to take action.

11) They have ears. Your campaign will not be successful unless you listen for feedback. People may have something to say so listen and show appreciation or let them know you are working on it. Never delete a negative feedback.

12) They are well organized. Your campaign needs to be well planned. It should have a first step and an nth step (where n is the number of the last step). Follow through from step 1 through to step n. Don't go from step one to step 3 to step 2. Plan your steps well so it is easy to follow through step 1 to the last step.

13) They are maintained by humans. Don't rely on automation when it comes to marketing on the social web. It just won't work. Besides, it destroys trust. Put a human being in front of, in-between and behind all your social media campaigns. I want to talk to a human being not a robot.

14) They are consistent. You need to be consistent with your update (or broadcast) schedules and interact with people who leave replies and comments. If you broadcast once a week and change to 5 times a day, people will begin to question your actions. Unless you give them good reason why you have changed your schedule.

15) They have bait. You need to have some sort of bait to convert visitors into leads. Try eBooks, free products, white papers, discount codes, samples, free vouchers, et cetera. Bait them to get them :) .

16) They use leverage. They leverage the subscriber bases of their communities and other people's communities. They also leverage their company strengths.

17) They include a blog. I suggest you have a business blog before you start your campaign. Your blog should be the hub of your social media campaign efforts. Make you install social media sharing buttons to make it easier for others to share your blog's content.

18) They engage other blogs. You can do this too. Apply as a guest writer for blogs in your target market. Read blogs in your niche and leave thoughtful comments (not just a “thank you”).

19) They are not everywhere. If you want your campaigns to be successful, don't register for an account on every social media site. That will only burn you out and your campaigns will be fruitless.

20) They have humor. Adding humor to marketing is a cool way of saying “we are a friendly business”. It makes your marketing memorable. A priceless result.

21) They share company events. If your company is being bad mouthed, tell your customers about it. Tell them the truth in it and the lies. Don't give them the chance to second guess your company. If your company is nominated for an award, tell your community about it. If your company wins the award, tell them. If you lose the award, tell them.

22) They integrate offline marketing. Print some T-Shirts, with your logo, Twitter handle, Facebook fan page URL and your slogan on it and give them out to your customers. Send out paper printed catalogs to your online leads. Add your Twitter and Facebook URLs to your contact address. Integrate offline with online.

23) They use the right networks. Even though Facebook supports videos, video campaigns will do better on Youtube than on Facebook.

24) They use photos and videos. Photos and videos leave a lasting impression on peoples' minds. The best photo you can use is your logo. When you make a video, put your logo on it.

25) They have a call to action. What is the essence of a marketing campaign without having a call to action of some sort? I suggest you use your social marketing campaigns to generate leads before trying to sell anything. By the way, “signup below” and “call us now” are not the only call to action examples. “Click to view our portfolio” is an example of call to action. Your call to actions must follow a sequence; from your homepage to the last page.

Join The Conversation

  • Oct 9 Posted 2 years ago samson

    great advice really helpful with school work


  • Nov 18 Posted 5 years ago Paul Hyden (not verified)

    Social Networking has become very popular and has gained a lot of prominence in the last few years, and many people have made full use of it, but on occasions it can still be difficult to understand for a newbie.


  • Sep 25 Posted 5 years ago James Bozian (not verified)

    What a great and helpful post! Thank you.

  • Dec 29 Posted 6 years ago Reginald Jackson (not verified)

    Nice tips and I like your theme-brings home the point quite well. Thanks.

  • Dec 23 Posted 6 years ago Jay Cabana (not verified)

    Great read! Been looking for this for quite sometime. Thanks!

  • Jun 10 Posted 7 years ago kwameboame @ Suranga I agree with you totally. awesome points.

     @ Mary. I agree that relationships are built over time but my question is, if your audience doesn't find you to be interesting or if your campaign doesn't give them any value (emotional or insightful), why would they want to even start a relationship with you?

     They good ones catch on like wildfire, it blazes so hard that people can see the smoke from afar and go take a look. If they find it fascinating, they may join in.


    Thanks for the comments guys.


  • Jun 6 Posted 7 years ago kwameboame
    Thanks for all your tips and comments.

    Sorry for the late reply. Had no internet access for 48 hrs straight.

    @ Judith. Thanks. I'm glad you found it useful.
    @ Jonathon. You make a good point with Dell selling through twitter. The type of selling I mentioned in this list is the type of selling that most of us hate; The hard sell. That's why I put it this way: 'sell'. If Dell was aggressive, believe me, they will not have made any profit using Twitter.

    @ Darren. Taking the law into consideration is a great addition I never thought off. Thanks for adding this to the list. You just made it 26 :).

    @ Paolo. Value provision sure is a full time job. Some businesses still don't get this anyways. I know lots of them.

  • Jun 4 Posted 7 years ago PaoloDeRiz Excellent post! In my opinion, providing value is the big challenge, and it's a full-time job.
  • Jun 4 Posted 7 years ago MeganZuniga Great tips! I totally agree that it shouldn't sound like you're selling something. Nothing turns out people more than sales talk. I'm adding that they should spread influence. Great effective marketing campaigns move people through influence. It's how Coke and other great brands has been successful all these years. Another tip I would add is to not be afraid to try and think of something fresh and creative. Mostly people would use social media to advertise their promos. Which to me is sometimes a cheap trick (and more often than not, companies use promos just to gain followers and fans).

    PS...Sharing tips on managing social media by focusing on the most important factor in social media, your customers: http://sn.im/wyeua

  • DarrenCahr's picture
    Jun 3 Posted 7 years ago DarrenCahr Great article -- but you are forgetting one critical element of a successful social media campaign: proper legal clearance.  Too many folks fail to recognize that while social media is a powerful tool, it also presents most businesses with a variety of fairly novel legal issues that need to be addressed before going live.  I've talked about some of them on my blog (www.legallysocial.com) and here, but in short (1) you have to think about content control (those videos are great, for example, so long as you've got a handle on copyrights and rights of publicity), (2) you have to think about who is speaking in your name (Twitter is great, but who exactly is pretending to be you? See: http://www.legallysocial.com/archives/97), (3) what exactly are you doing with that data you're collecting? Is it adequately described in your privacy policy? and (4) what types of interaction are you permitting from the public, and how are you monitoring that activity and/or controlling it.  There are dozens of other issues, and they need to be considered before you get started on a new campaign -- if you do, your social media adventures will be far more rewarding (and less likely to get people mad at you later!)
  • Jun 3 Posted 7 years ago mikejason This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are great and
    needs to be appreciated by everyone.

     Law Help


  • Jun 3 Posted 7 years ago JudithCopeland Well said. straight to the point. Really well done.
  • Jun 3 Posted 7 years ago kwameboame Thanks for your input Brandon.

    The word value has different meanings at different times. Gifts, content and conversations are all forms of value provision. 

    What is tricky is the delivery process of the value.

    Enjoy your day.
  • Jun 3 Posted 7 years ago BrandonWatt Great suggestions!  I have suggested many of these to a client recently.

    Providing value can be especially tricky and is something I have struggled with in my own blog.

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