By Becky Livingston
The Accountant’s Social Media Handbook
Before you create your first online, social media marketing campaign, there are a few things to consider, such as:
- Which social media platform your firm is using and makes the most sense for your campaign – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, etc.?
- How do you plan to get the word out with cross-promotional efforts?
- How much information do you want/need to collect from participants? This goes back to the marketing funnel and what you’re offering the audience.
In many cases, social media campaigns range from voting contests, newsletter sign-ups, interactive quizzes, and so much more. Before you begin, have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. For example, it may be as simple as a free download for a whitepaper or to “win” a tax return review from your firm. With those goals in mind, research and choose the right campaign for the goal, before you begin to build it.
To engage your audience at a deeper level, asking them to participate with a like, plus or a share isn’t enough. You need to facilitate an experience that excites and motivates them to action.
Which platform(s) makes the most sense for your brand and why?
Which supplemental platform will you use to generate awareness for your promotion and why?
How does this platform relate to your brand, project and product(s)?
- Build the campaign with sharing features included. Incentivize people to share the content to increase their chances of “winning,” e.g., the more you share, the more chances you have to win.
- The more fields you ask for and require, the less likely someone is to complete the task. Make participating as easy as possible.
- Identify the “prize” – what will a person “get”?
- Know how your platform manages the campaign.
- Define your audience and their social platforms.
- Consider the supplemental posts – where else will you promote?
- Define success metrics.
- Create content – copy, images, apps, video, etc.
- Prepare the landing page to collect input from visitors.
- Create additional online ad space account(s), e.g., AdWords.
- Test the landing page on desktop, mobile, and tablet; friends and family testing.
- Monitor / adjust.
Campaign Development Activity
- Review the process steps and begin thinking about a campaign.
- This campaign will be part of your project.
- Create as much graphically as you can to represent the campaign, or develop a real campaign.
- Identify the “prize” – what will a person get? What is it you are providing to the visitor? Is it a tangible prize or simply online recognition? If a tangible, remember to have the product in stock and all legalese finalized prior to the promotion. Consider the legal promotional language as well.
- Know how your platform manages the campaign. What platform are you using for the main landing site or promotional place? e.g., Website, YouTube channel, Facebook app, etc.
- Define your audience and their social platforms. Who are they? What time of day are they online? What type of media do they prefer, video, audio, images, text, etc.?
- Consider the supplemental posts – where else will you promote? What other social media platforms do you need to consider and what do those posts look like?
- Define success metrics. How will you know if your campaign is successful? What is the end game – impressions, website visits, email address collection, fans/follower increase, channel following, etc.?
- Create content – copy, images, apps, video, etc. What do you need created? Who will create it? What will it look like? What should it say?
- Prepare the landing page to collect input from visitors. If you are directing visitors to a landing page, pin board, form page, etc. it must be created. For example, in Pinterest you may want to create a community board to collect photo contributions and posts. For Facebook, you would create an app landing page to collect information within the platform, or you could direct the visitor to a landing page on your website. With Google+, you cannot promote a product, but you can link to another page where the promotion sits. So, a website landing page may be critical. Twitter also requires another landing “spot” as you cannot easily collect information. It’s a great supplemental platform.
- Create additional online ad account(s), e.g., AdWords, when needed. What are those platforms and what are the logins for the account?
- Test the landing page on desktop, mobile, and tablet – friends and family testing. This is a crucial step many novices forget. They figure if it works on one platform, it must work on all of them. When, where and with whom do you plan to test? Do you need others involved, e.g., IT?
- Launch. What is the launch date? What support efforts do you have in place? Have you informed your team about the launch so they too can promote? Who else needs to be informed?
- Monitor and adjust. Watch the campaign’s success. Adjust the campaign as needed, for example, refreshing images, adjusting copy, etc.
- Report. Define the reporting metrics you need to demonstrate success/failure. Who will get the reports and in what format? How often? By whom?