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5 Easy Steps to Running Your First Social Media Campaign

Written by on January 29, 2020

Most brands that have gone viral and gotten a steady stream of sales and success took the time to execute a well thought out social media campaign. Yet other brands have gone viral and become an overnight success without a social media campaign in place.

You might be wondering, “Do I really need a social media campaign?”

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The answer is yes, you do. And here’s why.

Going viral is not a foolproof plan, 99% of the time it’s a rare occurrence, if not dumb luck. The other 1% is a well-planned campaign by a team of social media marketers who keep their eyes open for the next big thing, hitting the mark by becoming the internet’s next big “thing.”

The reason only 1% of brands go viral with a social media plan is because the other 99% of brands don’t have a social media marketing plan.

The 1% never looked so good! So why not join them? 

Here are five easy steps to running your first social media campaign along with real-life brand examples.

1. Create a Campaign Goal?

It all starts with a goal, and this will help you to decide what actions or tools you’ll need along the way. You should never have more than one goal unless you’re a multi-million dollar cooperation looking to create a complex social media campaign to help meet local or international goals.

Sticking to a singular goal allows you to be more specific about what you want a social media campaign to accomplish. Simply stating that you want to increase sales is pretty vague. Instead, decide how do you plan to increase sales. 

Here are a few campaign goals you can consider choosing:

Get Feedback, Reviews or UCG from Customers

Online reviews and feedback can affect a customer’s perception of you.

If you’re currently suffering from negative reviews or no reviews at all, create a social media campaign on a mission to rebrand your online. You can encourage or collect positive reviews from real customers and fans.

Grow Your Email Subscriber Lists

Use your social media to increase your email subscribers. Create “gated content,” this is content that viewers will have to offer something (data or an email) to get free access. You can utilize this by offering free eBooks, webinars, or access to discounts. Utilize the link in your bio or post so that your followers can easily find and access this content. Before you start building your email list, be sure to clean up your list of old/discontinued emails.

Increasing Website Traffic

Brands like Verge and Vice use social media to drive readers to new or popular articles posted on their website. Unlike other brands that usually have a service or item to sell, If you have a blog and you’d like to increase blog traffic and readers. 

Use your social media campaign to find a tribe of loyal readers and subscribers. You’ll need to have access to Google Analytics, Tag Manager, and URL tracking to effectively track your website traffic metrics from social media.

Improve and Increase Online Brand Awareness

New brands or start-ups that have little to no social media presence should make it a priority to not only to sell products but to be recognized by customers and competitors in the industry on a global scale. When your goal is to increase brand awareness, your social media campaign should really be “How do I effectively promote my brand message or mission.”

Your brand is not your product; your brand is a solution you provide your customer’s problems. When you nail that down, you’ll automatically attract your ideal customer and create a community of superfans.

If you’re promoting your brand message or mission, ask yourself these four questions. Write a specific one-liner for each to get an idea of what you’ll be focusing on in your social media campaign. 

  1. We are a brand that you can trust?
  2. Our services give you a unique experience?
  3. Does our product fit into your lifestyle?
  4. Who are we as a brand, and why we exist?

Increase Service/ Product Purchases

I’m not a fan of the goal “increase sales'” because it leaves room for interpretation. We all want to increase sales for our brand, but when we focus in on a specific area, product, service, bundle or feature, it allows us to put all our effort and money in the right place. 

Spreading yourself too thin with the idealistic attempt to increase sales of your overall product list will only lose you money. Focus on one product, a niche or theme product (holidays, tech, fashion, or best sellers).

Social Media Campaign Example: Anese

Anese is known for its under-boob and booty scrub, two of the best sellers; however, they have about 7-10 other products that they sell. The key to their success was focusing on these two products. Their social media campaign was highlighting their two product best features with content, ads, and specials to drive purchases, and it worked! Take a page from Anese’s book. Focusing on everything will leave you with nothing.

2. Choose the Right Tools and Software for Your Social Media Campaign 

Abraham Lincoln once said that ” If I had four hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first two hours sharpening the axe.” The tools you use for your social media campaign contribute to its success. You’re not obligated to use the same tools, methods or software; it’s all about finding what works for you and your brand. Here are ten tools or software you can consider using for your social media tool.

Influencer Marketing 

89% of marketers say ROI (return on investment) from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels. When customers see real people loving your brand, it makes your products more approachable and encourages making a purchase. Use Influencers to drive purchases not only by using your products but offering a personalized discount for followers to use, and that you can track.

Hashtags and Branded Hashtags

Hashtags are discoverable tags that allow people who aren’t following your brand to find you easily. This tool is aligned with brand awareness and finding/using customer reviews. Take a look at The Roti Modern Mediterranean, a fabulous Indian and Mediterranean fusion restaurant uses Dallas hashtags to help them to be locally discovered.

Roti Modern Mediterranean

Social Commerce Shopping Features

Social commerce is an eCommerce platform that allows you to shop directly on a social media platform. Instagram, Facebook, Google, and Pinterest are top contenders in this arena. Switch to a business account, follow their guidelines, and start to benefit from their shopping features. 

This kind of tool isn’t new, as Facebook and Google have been ahead of the curve. Still, new features and gateways have presented itself and it looks promising as shoppers are beginning to embrace it into their day to day activities.


Discounts are a great way to entice shoppers to spend. Customers are always looking for deals on their favorite products. Use discounts in your social media campaign to help increase purchases on a specific product. You can also offer discounts for UGC or referrals to increase brand awareness, as well. 

Contest or Giveaway 

Did you know that Instagram accounts that hold contests grow their followers 70% faster on average than accounts that don’t? A social media campaign doesn’t have to be a marathon of ads. You can incorporate a well-crafted giveaway to reach your goals faster. You’ll need to think outside the box to come up with clever social media giveaway ideas.

Social Media Management Tools 

If you plan to use content marketing to boost your social media campaign efforts, then you’ll need to invest in social media management tips and tools. Here are five social media management tools you can use. Each comes with built-in analytics, and a few have auto-publishing features so you can post seamlessly.

Social Media Campaign Example: Uglies Kettle Chips

Uglies Kettle Chips has three known favors Barbeque, Sea Salt and, Salt and Vinegar. Since most User Generated Content and engagement comes from fans who love their salt and vinegar flavor, they decided to use that momentum to host a social media giveaway for that exact flavor. With 310 likes and 510 comments later, it’s safe to say their social media contest was a success. 

3. Choose the Right Platform for Your Social Media Campaign 

You can choose one or multiple platforms to curate your social media campaign. The best social media platform is where most of your target audience will be, otherwise, your marketing get ignored. Instead, use 1-3 of these top social media platforms for your next campaign: 


Stat: Approximately 80% of all Instagram users follow a business on Instagram. Followers are ready and willing to engage with businesses on the platform. 

Purpose: Image and aesthetic focus platform. Users want to be visually stimulated and connected to a brand.


Stat: 40% of users don’t like any brand pages – meaning paid adverts are the only way to reach them.

Purpose: Despite Instagram being one of the most popular platforms, Facebook ads still hold first place with ad revenue and ROI. 


Stat: 90 percent of weekly users use Pinterest to make purchase decisions

Purpose: Pinterest is a highly demographic focused platform. You can find specific groups (age, income, and location) of shoppers you can target and sell to on this platform.


Stat: YouTube is the 2nd most-visited website in existence and the second-largest search engine in the world.

Purpose: Video is dominating 2020 and beyond, use this platform to answer FAQ’s, product tutorials, and reviews to increase brand awareness and purchases.

Social Media Campaign Example: Backcountry

Backcountry is an online clothing brand that sells outdoor gear, so to help with brand awareness, they created a contest to bring in more sales and UGC (User Generated Content). Contestants simply had to share pictures of their own best-ever experiences with a simple tag #goatworthy.

4. Choose Your Social Media Campaign Budget

If you plan to spend money, have a budget in mind. Keeping track of your spending can save you a lot more money in the long run. A dollar here and there, and before you know it all adds up, and you find yourself spending more than you make.Here are a few questions to ask when you’re considering a social media campaign budget:

  • What is my budget for each social media platform? 
  • Does this include sponsored ads?
  • Will you be paying influencers?
  • What does it cost to create good content?
  • What’s the price of shooting/editing a video?
  • Do I need to hire an agency or social media manager?

Social Media Campaign Example: Sunny Co giveaway’s

Take Sunny Co, a popular swimsuit brand Sunny Co held an annual giveaway to win a free red bathing suit to anyone who simply reposted (or retweeted) and tagged the brand in their giveaway post. Their second attempt at the giveaway was so successful that on Instagram alone, they received 56,549 likes and 11.4k comments. 

The price of going viral came with heavy backlash. The owners of the company had to potentially give away tens of thousands of FREE bathing suits, with no shipping fees in place to cushion the cost. They lost more money than expected but learned on their third attempt, which was equally as successful.

5. Define What Success Look Like to You? 

Define what success looks like and how to measure it, to sum it all up; this is called a KPI (key performance indicator). You’ll also need to know if your social media campaigns ROI was worth it, even if you didn’t meet your goals.

If you’re not familiar with the word ROI, it stands for ‘Return On Investment’, a metric that shows how much revenue or non-monetary value like comments or email sign-ups you’ve received from your social media activities. 

Calculating your ROI allows you to analyze if your social media efforts are bringing in revenue or costing you. It’s about investing in the platform that gives back the most to you. After measuring and monitoring your social media ROI, you can use this formula below to give yourself a number to use and compare.

Profit – the money you’ve earned from your social media marketing efforts (i.e. how many completed orders you received)

Investment – the total cost of your social media marketing efforts (e.g. Facebook ad spend) 

While it’s easy to use this formula to calculate your tracking profits and revenue, it gets a little harder when it comes to content, and intangible results like ebook downloads, which is why using UTM links are so important to help you with tracking.

This allows you to know what and how to measure your marketing efforts to determine if you’ve met your goal or missed the mark. Success can look like a lot of things to different brands, success for a social media campaign can be either:

  • An increase in social media followers, particularly targeted and engaged Instagram Followers.
  • Increase in engagement, views, or likes per post
  • Increased in purchases and overall sales
  • A steady stream of website traffic
  • X amount of downloads for your ebook


Here’s a recap of the five easy steps to running your first social media campaign: 

  1. Create a Campaign Goal
  2. Choose the Right Tools and Software for Your Social Media Campaign 
  3. Choose the Right Platform for Your Social Media Campaign 
  4. Choose Your Social Media Campaign Budge
  5. Define What Success Look Like to You

Lastly test, measure, and repeat. You’ll have to do these three steps regardless of how airtight your social media campaign plan is, there’s always room for improvement. 

Victoria is a Marketing Generalist at Wishpond specializing in all things content and digital marketing. She’s head over heels in love with blogging. Follow her on Twitter @vicknwsbest or IG

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