How To Avoid Downfalls Of Social Campaigns
To help you avoid the potential downfalls of a social campaign, the following is an easy to implement five-step guide to keep you on track.
STEP ONE: Set quantitative goals and measure them. Social campaigns such as Facebook applications are no longer "experimental." Brands are seeing real results and marketers have now reached a point where goals are moving beyond "branding" and "outreach" to "conversion" and "impression" metrics.
To spend effectively, it's is important to determine the goals upfront and, when possible, identify and establish clear target numbers. Campaign goals can be as varied as contest entries, donations made, downloads and/or installs performed, perception changes measured, clicks to site and email addresses collected. To fulfill these metrics, it is important to have the technology to support, track and report campaign success.
STEP TWO: Consider alternatives to custom application development. Building a successful application is the holy grail of social marketing campaigns. The promise of users interacting with your brand and sharing that experience with their friends free of charge is priceless. Marketers in the space have learned that not every approach is right for all projects or all budgets. It is important to tailor your campaign to your specific needs and goals.
Another factor to consider is the presence of sponsorships inside popular applications, which spare you the cost and time of development and user acquisition. Additionally, there are a number of general purpose applications that can be customized for your campaign and deployed quickly at a lower price point.
While custom application development is still the best route for large and truly unique campaigns, there is plenty of opportunity across the budget spectrum.
STEP THREE: Make sure you're building for today's platform. Social networks are evolving rapidly, so make sure you're not simply cloning or copying a successful campaign or application from the past. What worked on Facebook last year won't necessarily work again this year.
Viral channels on all social networks have changed--some are more restrictive and others offer new forms of communication. Developers often get requests for "profile widgets," which are not effective and profile boxes (on Facebook) are the least effective distribution channel. These days, Facebook customers should look to more feed-oriented applications whereas a profile approach is more appropriate on MySpace.
STEP FOUR: Save some budget for user seeding. Few campaigns take off on their own without at least an initial seed of users. Don't make the mistake of spending all of your money on a terrific party that nobody shows up to! The recommendation is to secure at least 25,000 seeded users for a custom application before it has a significant chance of going viral.
STEP FIVE: Add complexity over time. Unlike traditional media, social applications are easy to change over time. In fact, users of a successful application tend to demand it. If an application doesn't stay fresh, its user growth will slow and the life of the campaign will be shorter.
By adding features regularly after launch, you gain flexibility by making informed decisions and priorities based on what sticks with users. You can also get your application out there with a smaller budget and shorter development timeline.
In the end, it is possible for marketers feeling pressure due to budget constraints to orchestrate and execute an effective social media campaign tailored to meet both your campaigns needs and your company's budgetary restraints.