Likes and shares on popular social media sites equals success in the online world – this is a misconception a vast majority of business managers base their social media campaigns on. However, it is important to bear in mind that likes and shares are a means to help your business model succeed online and not an end in itself. To make a social media campaign successful, it is imperative that business owners have clearly defined goals in mind. Asking the following five questions before formulating a social media campaign will go a long way in swinging the results in your favor:

  1. What are your targets and budget?

Even before you conceptualize a social media campaign, you must have your targets clearly chalked out in your mind. How many people do you intend to reach out to? How many likes, shares and reposts or followers are you looking at the end of the campaign? How many sign ups are you aiming at? The answers to these questions should be clear to you right at the onset. Budget should also be kept in mind while deciding the campaign. Huge goal with miniscule budget will ruin entire campaign.

  1. What is the duration of the campaign?

Are you looking a short-term campaign for promotion of a particular event or to announce the launch of a new service or is it going to be a long sustainable campaign aimed at building a brand image? The answer to these questions should determine the approach you adopt while launching a campaign. It is always better to be specific about the duration. So you should be able to answer clearly for how many days/months you intend to run the campaign? What is the minimum time you are willing to give to your campaign to measure its success? Remember that a brand building exercise can’t give results in 2 month similarly you can’t wait for 2 months to make your first order from ecommerce site.

  1. Who are your target audience?

The demographics of your target audience such as the age, gender, profession, interests and location, should also be pre-determined. With this knowledge to fall back on, you can use the right communities, forums, discussion groups as a launch pad for your social media campaign. This allows you to reach out to the targeted audience without wasting time on the ones who wouldn’t be interested in your product or services in the first place.

  1. Which medium yields best results?

Many business owners start their campaign on all popular social media platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram, but are unable to sustain them for long. Therefore, it is important to focus on social media sites that are conducive for promoting your company, products or services. For example, a recruitment company won’t benefit much from a social media campaign on Instagram. It is best to limit your campaign to a maximum of three most suitable platforms in the beginning, and further expand or reduce the channels as the campaign progresses. Besides, choosing the right creative content is essential for engaging the audience. For example, choosing the right #hashtags is crucial for success of a campaign being run on Twitter.

  1. How many elements does your campaign involve?

It is important to be clear about how many elements you intend to involve in a given social media campaign. Would you just like to post existing material on social media sites or prefer a more extensive campaign involving conceptualization, writing ad copy, creative design, posts and performance measurement? Clarity on this factor will help you in hiring the right kind of professionals for the job.

  1. What are the tools you are going to use to measure the performance of your campaign?

There are an umpteen number of tools and methods available for ascertaining the success of a social media campaign. You need to decide what works best for you. Are you looking at lead generation, total number of visits, conversion rate or customer retention? Pre-deciding the top three parameters for measuring performance allows you to get a handle on the direction your social media campaign takes.

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