How To Create A Social Media Campaign

Everyone understands the importance of social now, but most can get even more out of it with a strategic social campaign. If you already have marketing efforts executed, a social campaign can be another effective component to complement them. Here are some basic steps to get you from your brilliant idea(s) all the way through a successful social media campaign.

 

Determine Your Goals

Just like doing social for social’s sake is a cardinal sin, so is starting a social campaign without a goal. No goal? Don’t bother. If you’re having trouble thinking of one, increasing engagement across your accounts is a simple place to start, and if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can set goals to increase conversions and revenue.

Define Your Story

Social is sharing. Humans have been telling stories since the beginning of time, and despite all the time that’s passed since we were in caves, storytelling to accurately transfer ideas is something we haven’t lost. What’s unique about your school? Its students? Traditions? All these can help craft a compelling idea and as always, wrap it up in a concise hashtag so you can track it.

 

Choose Your Channel

Just keeping you on your toes. No, of course you don’t have to choose one channel. Choose the platforms that make sense for the campaign. Are you trying to get real-time engagement? Try Twitter, Snapchat, and/or Periscope. Know where your audience is and meet them there. With this in mind, never be afraid to experiment and try fresh concepts on new platforms. People tend to find great content no matter where it is, and being innovative on a new platform can really pay off.

Implement, Monitor, Adjust

You’ve done all your research, and know what you want to accomplish. Now go out and do it. Keeping a content calendar can be helpful with execution. Once you’ve been implementing, it’s time to monitor how things are going. Not going as well as you might have hoped, or come across new relevant information? Don’t panic, try tweaking your tactics a bit to help right the ship.

Measure

At this point, everything should be tracked and it’s time to see how your results stack up against your goals. Even if it didn’t turn out as well as you’d hoped – chin up, champ. You executed a social campaign from start to finish. Blew past your goals? While you’re popping that bottle of champagne, consider making a post to shout out everyone who helped you achieve them. Not only is it a good gesture, but you could technically use the engagement to count towards the campaign numbers as well.

Best Practices: Instagram Ads for Higher Education

After a rollout period as slow as Christmas, Instagram finally made its ad platform generally available.

Using the Facebook Power Editor, colleges and universities can use Instagram to promote clicks to your websites or landing pages with images or videos.

In our experiments with Instagram, we’ve taken some of our best practices from our social media and banner advertising campaigns and applied them to this new channel. We’re seeing that Instagram has been performing well in terms of click through rates – 2 -3% on average.

Best Practices for Higher Education Instagram Ads

Campaign Integration

As the name implies, these are ads. As such they should be consistent in tone and design with your other marketing campaigns. Even though Instagram is technically a social media  channel you are still using an ad that needs to conform to your brand and message – and contribute to your goals.

Use Email Lists for Remarketing

Speaking of campaign integration, get more out of your student search lists and your house lists by creating an audience segment with emails. Not all of your emails will find a match in Facebook, but the ones that do will be served ads that will help increase awareness and keep your school top of mind.

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Be Simple With Your Design

Instagram (and Facebook) require that no more than 20% of your image is covered by copy. This prevents you from using infographics or a large typeset design.  If you are going to add text to your image, keep it small and have a clear call to action such as “Apply Now” or “Come See Campus!”  Facebook provides a grid tool to verify that you are within its specs.

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Don’t Forget Your Logo

Even though you need to keep your image clutter-free, don’t forget to put your logo in the shot. Without the logo, it could look like just another image.  Depending on your brand and campaign guidelines, building recognition with a consistent look and feel.  Also, if you are going to show students, try to include them showing off their school colors.

Be Interesting

When our designers are looking for an Instagram image, they want it to be interesting. We like to find pictures that are dynamic, show action or even drama. Athletic shots or excited students in the stands tend to catch the eye more. Remember, you are interrupting someone’s social media experience. Use that opportunity to make an impression.

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Always Be Testing

When advertising in Instagram and Facebook, we create at least two different ads to see how they perform against a particular segment. We’ll create one with just an image, one with a CTA button. This way we can save a results database and make sure that we are always improving.

What have you found that works with your Instagram advertising. Tell us about it in the comments!