When organizations put together a social media campaigns one of the most common aims is earned media. In other words they want people seeing the campaign to talk about it, share it and to become amplifiers for the organizations message.
Social Media Campaigns are not Advertising
Pushing out messages on Twitter or Facebook or any number of other social networking platforms does not form social media campaigns. I know that seems like advice from at least three years ago, and yet it stands repeating because of the number of companies that still think that this is the way to get their message across. This should amaze me but it doesn’t, most organizations are slow to change and slow to adopt new thinking. The idea that someone will want to share your message simply because it comes from your organization and well why wouldn’t they? After all its your message!
Of course the opposite is also true, “We should make this ‘viral’, everyone will share this” is the chant heard from exec’s who think they get it. Social Media campaigns = free media and thousands of people will talk about us if we use the right networks. The easiest way to make something go viral is to piss someone off. That will get your message repeated though probably not in the way you wanted. Putting cute kittens in your message doesn’t make it viral.
3 Ingredients your Social Media campaigns need
So what are these three ingredients? What is the secret sauce that successful social media campaigns have in common that everyone can use? Actually they are very simple. Fun, Shareability and Repeatability. Those three ingredients, when combined make for the perfect mix.
- Fun – it has to have an element of humor or at least a sense of not taking itself too seriously – after all your product or service is probably not saving lives (there are exceptions I know)
- Shareability – in essence this is what earned media is – sharing. So make it easy for the audience to share it. That means suitable for the workplace, suitable for granny and your kids. I’m not being prudish here, this is just sensible, you want the widest possible audience for your product or service. Now if you have a very narrow niche, that’s ok – make it suitable for that niche if they are the only ones you want to attract, but think that philosophy through first. Think about how nintendo, by introducing the Wii took gaming out of the realms of just the hardcore gamers and brought it to the family room, they re-thought their audience.
- Repeatability – Scientists have an test for any new theories or experiments. The conditions and results have to be repeatable before its accepted. Someone else has to to be able to replicate the experiment and achieve the same results without having to change any of the conditions. This is true for marketing and in particular Social Media. If one person finds your campaign engaging, then it has to be repeatable by others without them changing anything, so for example if it works on PC’s it has to work on Mac’s and it has to work on phones and tablets and Facebook and Twitter – you get the point. The audience decides where they engage with you not the other way around.
What are the ingredients you find essential for social media campaigns?