Say you want to create a social media campaign. The first question you can ask yourself is, “Why?” We hear it everyday — from our coworkers, from the articles we read online, from our friends…a good social media campaign gets good, no — really good, buzz. And really good buzz means a nice pat on the back from our boss. It means a healthy boost in sales. And ultimately, it means more loyal customers that you can count on to engage with your brand. 

A really good social campaign will evoke emotion. Whether that means pulling [hard] on your heart strings or coming out of left field with something they might never have expected. You want to create a moment for your audience to have the chance to feel something which will encourage them to participate and share. The more authentic and genuine the feeling that you choose relay, the more successful your campaign will be. 

When your campaign comes to an end, you’re going to want to be able to share the results. In order to show that your campaign was successful, you need to begin with a clearly defined set of goals. What is it that you’re hoping to achieve? If you’re a small or medium sized brand, you may want to achieve more brand awareness. A good way to increase your awareness is by encouraging your audience to share as part of your campaign. Maybe you want to drive more traffic to your website (don’t we all?!). By directing your audience to your site to take the next step in a contest or sweeps you can start to familiarize them with your brand on a more intimate level. Getting more site traffic is great, but loyalty is even better. Maybe you choose to have your campaign ask them to visit your website often to complete a puzzle. Increasing conversion is on everybody's wish list. Tapping into emotion gives your target customers a reason to buy…and then buy again. 

The options seem endless (and sometimes overwhelming) when you start to think about where you’re going to run your social campaign. You’ve got Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Vine…and all of these platforms seem to be begging for your attention - how do you choose the right one for your campaign? 

As much as we all like it to be “all about us — all the time,” when choosing the platform for your campaign, it’s all about them. Where do they spend the majority of their time? Where are they engaging with your brand the most? If you’re going to ask your audience to take an action as part of this campaign (like a regram, repin, donation, reply, etc), where are they most comfortable taking that action? Most often, you’ll find that your audience may be more active with your brand on a few platforms. Listening to and acknowledging their behaviors across these platforms is important, but in the end it’s more about how you engage them and less about where you engage them.  

One of my favorite social campaigns from this year was created by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). They ran a Snapchat campaign called “The Last Selfie” that was intended to reach a younger demographic and bring awareness to endangered species. The connection is brilliant. These endangered animals are disappearing from our planet in what seems to be a blink of an eye. WWF played on this idea by choosing Snapchat as the platform for their campaign. A snap disappears within 10 seconds, much like a blink of an eye. The campaign successfully led to more brand awareness and increased donations through the entire month. 

When you boil it all down, you’ll always come back to the same, imperative question…the WHY in all of this. Try asking yourself why three times (this tactic is something I’ve learned while reading the book Contagious by Jonah Berger). 1. Why are we running this social campaign? 2. Why is that reason important? 3. Why is this message important to our audience? 

Once you can answer those three “why questions” confidently, you’ll be able to work through the fine details and build a successful social media campaign for your brand that creates buzz, relates to your audience, and taps into emotion.