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What Building a Campaign Really Takes

It’s no secret that the advent and ever-increasing popularity of social media has changed the way the world communicates and — most importantly for you — has changed the way brands communicate with their customer audiences.
As marketers, it can be frightening sometimes to embrace the changes to the “traditional” model of communication. We’re constantly evaluating social media’s value and benefits to our brand, its marketing return on investment and wondering how to justify expenses to cover marketing costs.
Although valid in your concerns, there is no doubt that social media has forever changed the way we as individuals, brands and consumers “talk” to each other . . . and it’s not going anywhere.
Take a look at these key elements to building a successful social media campaign for your organization.
1. Set firm objectives
First things first — identify what you want to get out of your social media program. Just like when embarking on any marketing initiative, you need to define its goals — are you seeking to increase brand awareness, manage your company’s reputation, promote new products or generate qualified leads?

2. Listen and learn
Let’s be honest, it’s a crowded marketplace out there. The freedom of user-generated information has led to a chaotic, hard-to-reach market. Do your research before creating a strategic approach to your social media program. Monitor trends and breaking news in your industry, evaluate competitors, find out what customers are saying about your brand and explore the platforms they use.
3. Put a strategy in place
Armed with goals and research, it’s now time to start talking. Let your organization’s communications professionals take care of social media, or partner with an integrated marketing agency that knows the ins and outs of it. The biggest barrier for social media marketing isn’t cost, but the ability to dedicate time and resources.
PRSA CEO Michael Cherenson said in a recent blog post, “Technology is certainly a powerful tool for building relationships, but people and basic communication skills still come first.” Social media is about the people using it – your important audiences and customers who will make a difference in your bottom line.
4. Measure and Analyze
Now that you’ve implemented a social media program, measure your results and return on investment. The good news is that social media isn’t about numbers or impressions. What it comes down to is your engagement and interaction with audiences.
Go back to your objectives. Have you increased brand awareness? Generated qualified leads? Your answers will provide a benchmark for future social media initiatives.
Whether due to advances in technology and innovation, or in part because of changes in consumerism, the “traditional” structure of communication has been altered. We now have the ability to directly communicate with our core customers. Communication is getting back to its roots – connecting people and ideas.