A successful campaign can make or break your Q4. But a successful campaign takes a bit of time and some good planning to pull off. It also requires you to use a bunch of different social media channels in order to reach the most people. That can be tough if you don`t know exactly how to use each of the social networks to their full potential.
The first step to a cohesive campaign is knowing what you should post to each of the major social networks.
What to post to Facebook: Facebook has the most users of any social site, and also has the most extensive advertising and business options for small businesses. Whether you`re sharing a picture, video, text post, link or other type of media, Facebook is a great place to share your news, new arrivals, promotions and more. Video will give you the best bang for your buck as it gets the best organic (free) reach out of every kind of media. In order to make sure your posts are seen, you`ll want to advertise them. Two things you shouldn`t be sharing on Facebook? Hashtags and long-winded posts. Keep hashtags to Instagram and Twitter and keep longer posts on your website or blog and share a link on Facebook instead.
What to post to Instagram: Instagram is very visual, and is great for photos and short videos. Your feed should include a good variety of behind-the-scenes looks, people and products - using photos shot in-store, not stock photos. And when it comes to hashtags, try to include between 15 and 30 to get the best engagement.
What to post to Pinterest: Pinterest is great at driving traffic to websites, so it`s a fantastic place to share products, company news, blog posts, press and anything else you may want to bring attention to outside of your social sites. Note that even if you DON`T sell online, Pinterest can still work for you. Pinterest is often used as a shopping AND wish list tool that can sell a "look" or "style" in addition to a specific piece.
What to post to SnapChat: Snapchat is great for time-sensitive content and offers, and live, behind-the-scenes looks. Because snaps disappear after a few seconds, and Stories disappear after a day, limited-time discounts and promotions perform well here, as do live updates from events or markets.
What to Post to Twitter: Twitter is the most text-focused platform on this list, and it`s also the platform where it`s most important to keep text short and sweet. While you can post product photos and sale information on Twitter, that isn`t what works best on the platform. Twitter has transitioned to be a place to share news, so it`s a good place to share news, blog posts and press releases.
So now you know what to post, but here is how often you should post to...
- Facebook: No less than 3/week and no more than 2/day
- Instagram: 1-2 times/day
- Pinterest: 11 times/day
- SnapChat: The jury is still out! So, when applicable
- Twitter: 15 times/day
While each campaign will differ from the next, you`ll want to be consistent in giving customers enough time to prepare. For events, open houses, fundraisers or anything that requires someone to purchase a ticket or RSVP. For smaller events, like sales or promotions, start discussing them about two weeks ahead of time. Let`s take a look at how you would promote a holiday open house, keeping in mind that your campaign may differ based on which channels you use/who is managing your social media:
4 Weeks Out
- A month out, create the Facebook event page. Be sure to include as much information about the event as possible, and provide detailed location information, down to parking options. Once you`ve created the event page, be sure to advertise it to people in your area to get more local people to attend.
- When you create your event page, it will automatically post to your page`s Timeline, but you`ll want to edit that post to include text inviting customers to the event.
- Create an event graphic (we like to use Canva.com) that you`ll be able to share on other social networks. While a square image works best on Instagram, horizontal photos work best on Pinterest, so you may want to create a few versions of the graphic.
- Share the event photo on Instagram, using plenty of local hashtags. If you`re featuring any specific designer for the event, hashtag those brands as well.
- Use Twitter to invite local bloggers and influencers to your event. Be sure to share the Facebook Event Page.
- Create a board on Pinterest for the event and pin any products you might be featuring for the event.
- Snap a photo of some in-store product and include the event info over the photo. Be sure to include a link to the event page.
3 Weeks Out
- At some point during the week, go live on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to personally invite users to your event.
- Mention the event about every other day on your social networks. Posts may include clues as to what prize will be given away at the event, trivia questions about a featured designer, or behind-the-scenes photos to get people excited. It is acceptable and encouraged to include the event link in these posts.
2 Weeks Out
- Continue to mention the event every couple of days leading up to the event, using different types of content (video, live video, photo).
- If you plan on doing a contest to go along with the event, consider starting it now.
1 Week Out
- Start mentioning the event daily, once again going live on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to remind people to attend.
- Be sure to share photos and videos of you setting up on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
- Go live during the event to show people how much fun everyone is having!
- If you`re running Facebook and Instagram ads, these should expire on this day.
You`ll follow a similar course of actions to promote a sale, with a shorter timeline and with or without an event page. The key to having a successful campaign is to use each of the social networks as they are intended, not simply posting content because you can. Each network may have its own unique benefit, but by using them together, you can get more event attendees, more customers in your door and more sales during Q4!