Social media can be a very fun form of marketing when all goes well. As social marketers, we get to connect and interact with hundreds, if not thousands, of people every day. However, there are instances where things backfire and a situation can get extremely stressful. It's a lot like quicksand. No matter how hard you fight or what you try, you just keep sinking. This sinking can be avoided with proper planning and preparation. Here are four questions that you need to ask yourself before doing anything on a social channel.
1) What are my expectations?
Setting expectations is one of the most important things you can do when planning a social campaign. Without stating what you think might happen, there is no way to know if your way of thinking is on target. This question can provide a great learning experience that will benefit you throughout your career. We have all gotten super excited about a plan or campaign, only to watch it receive little to no buzz. Setting expectations can help you calibrate your efforts and develop realistic goals for your overall social strategy.
2) Would I share this?
If you wouldn't share a piece of content, why would anyone else? One of the major mistakes we see is that content creators fail to put themselves in the role of the fan/follower. After all, that's who we are creating content for, right? Keep their interests and needs in mind, and your efforts will be rewarded with engagement. You might find yourself constantly having to alter content, but it will be worth it when you see that it rack up likes, shares and comments.
3) What if it goes viral?
If I had a nickel for every time someone has asked how they can make content go viral, I would have a lot of nickels. Everyone wants to achieve the pinnacle of social media by having their content, sale, or campaign go viral. Very few things actually do go viral, but what if it does? Can you handle the amount of customer engagements coming? Is your team prepared to handle possible customer service issues that might arise from increased business volume? Can your company financially handle giving 50% off to potentially thousands of people? I have seen all of these scenarios play out and for those who are not ready, going viral can be a bad thing. Always prepare for the best case and worst case scenarios.
4) How am I tracking this effort?
Was your campaign a success? How do you know? Setting appropriate KPIs is vital to any social campaign. Data paralysis is very real and can stop your creative juices from flowing. Before you kick off your campaign, decide on what factors will be your performance indicators. Do you want more fans? How about more website traffic? It is very import to decide exactly how you want to measure your efforts. At the end of the day, none of us can justify our efforts if we don't have appropriate tracking metrics in place.
What are some of the questions you ask yourself when planning a social campaign?