Types of Social Media Campaigns

Types of social media campaigns
Types of social media campaigns
Zellie Friedman
By Zellie Friedman

When it comes to social media campaigns for brands, the options are truly endless. Social is not black and white, which means the formula for what social campaign makes the most sense for your brand also isn’t necessarily clear. The best way to figure out what type of social campaign works best for your brand and your following is to test a variety of campaigns! That’s one of the best things about social media – if your campaign is an utter flop, all you can do is try again next week with a brand new idea.

Not sure where it starts when it comes to social media campaigns for your brand? Well, we’ll give you a head start there. We’ve outlined a few of our favorite different strategies and campaigns that you can easily implement into your social strategy, including polls, partnerships, events, giveaways, and charitable donations. Read on to figure out what the best option for your brand is!

Related: How to Craft Creative Social Media Campaigns

Polls

Polls are not only a great tool to increase your page engagement, but also to gain valuable insights into your customers. Polls can be used on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Stories, and Instagram Posts, although the way you will execute the poll will be different on each channel.

Polls on Facebook

Polls on Facebook can be conducted using the poll tool for Facebook posts if you only have two options. However, if you have more than two options you’ll need to create your own custom poll. If you would like to use Facebook’s built in poll feature, simply go to the “Write a Post” section of your Facebook page and select the 3 dots in the bottom right corner that give you more post type options. From the list of post options, you’ll select “poll”. This then creates the framework of a post where you can enter your caption (i.e. your poll question), your 2 poll options, length of the poll, and the accompanying GIF or image to go with each poll option.

Facebook allows you to search their bank of GIFs or you can upload your own, branded image. For polls that are just meant for entertainment purposes, we suggest using the built in GIF picker. If you have more than 2 options for your poll, you’ll need to create a custom image that outlines the various options for your poll and let your audience vote by “engagements”. This means, if you have 4 options for a poll, each option in the image will be tied to a different engagement: like, heart, haha, wow, angry, or sad. To “vote” your customer will just select the “engagement” that they are voting for. You can tally your winning option by seeing which engagement was used the most! Polls on Facebook can run for any length of time – even indefinitely!

Social Media Content Calendar

Polls on Instagram

We love the poll feature on Instagram! This simple tool can be used similarly to the poll on Facebook – to either build engagement or learn about your following! To incorporate a poll on your Instagram story, simply take a photo or video that you want to be the background. Next, you’ll swipe up from the bottom of the screen and select the poll option. You can either type your question in directly on the poll, or add your own text somewhere else on the image. The “Yes” and “No” options can be changed to any response you’d like. Need more directions on utilizing a poll on Instagram? Check out How to Use Instagram Story Polls.  Polls on Instagram last for 24 hours.

Polls on Twitter

Twitter was the first social network to implement poll capabilities. Twitter is also the only platform that allows you to have more than 2 options built into your poll, here you can have up to 4 choices. Unfortunately, visuals cannot be added to polls in Twitter which does make them slightly less exciting. Because of that, we recommend using Twitter polls when you have a question where you would like honest feedback, rather than just as an engagement purpose.

To implement a poll within your Twitter post, you’ll first need to begin a new Tweet. Once you’ve written your message, click the “poll icon” which looks like a horizontal bar graph. From here, you can add up to four options for your poll. Polls on Twitter are automatically set to a 1 day duration but can be edited to run for up to 7 names (and can run for as little as 5 minutes).

How to Use Polls for your Social Campaign

There are countless different ways and reasons to incorporate a poll campaign into your social media strategy. We love incorporating polls when you are working on launching a new product, or to get more insights into the type of content your customers want to see. They are amazing for customer research and give your audience a neutral way to provide feedback. If you aren’t ready to utilize polls in such a serious way on your social channels, then engagement focused polls will be the route to go. These polls could be simple questions that relate to the season or hobbies of your following. A few ideas are below:

  • Are you a cat or dog person?
  • What is the best meal of the day?
  • Are you a morning person or a night person?
  • What’s your favorite product?
  • Should we do free shipping or 20% off for our next sale?

Partnerships

Partnerships are a great way to reach a larger, relative audience on social media. If you pick strong partnerships for your brand, your reach, following size, and engagements can skyrocket. When picking a partnership you’ll want to consider what channels your audience spends the most time on, who your social persona is, and what other brands compliment your products. Once you’ve zoned in on who you’re going to reach, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to launch a partnership with influencers, Facebook Groups, or another brand.

Partnerships with Influencers

Influencer campaigns have drastically increased in popularity over the last couple of years. 

Influencer partnerships are typically coordinated on Instagram, although there are influencers on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter as well. Influencer partnerships used to be a relatively cheap way for brands to reach a new audience, however as the desire to partner with influencers grows, influencers have begun to raise their rates. We always suggest working with influencers who have 15k-50k followers for the most authentic following and cheapest rates. This isn’t to say that this range of influencers won’t charge for their posts.

For example: To have an influencer with 20k followers post 2x on their feed, 2x in their story, and provide 2-5 high-resolution images, you could pay anywhere from $150 to $1,000 on top of product costs.

While countless brands are already partnering with Instagram Influencers, it is still a bit of the wild west with no framework around rates, posting guarantees, or even captions. Our best advice would be to find only a few influencers to partner with that have high engagement, are reputable/easy to communicate with, and charge a relatively low rate. By building real, long-term relationships with your influencers, you can often lower rates over time.

RelatedHow to Measure the Success of Your Influencer Campaigns

Partnerships with Facebook Groups

We love the idea of bringing brands and Facebook Groups together. Facebook Groups are a valuable resource for brands because they house a large audience who is all interested in a particular niche and the group content ranks extremely high within the NewsFeed. In fact, when an admin of a group posts, push notifications are sent directly to the group members. This means, if a brand is able to partner with a group admin to promote in the feed, then everytime that admin posts about the brand their entire group following could get a push notification. Facebook Group partnerships are a newer strategy than Influencer Outreach which means at this time it is still a cheaper, and potentially more effective option, since you are able to share links on Facebook.

What makes a Facebook Group campaign difficult? The main issue we run into here is that only personal accounts can contact admins of groups. This means you won’t be able to message the admin of a group as your brand itself. The way we’ve been able to combat this is through creating a branded personal page for our agency with informative posts about our strategy. This way, when we reach out to a Facebook Group on behalf of our clients, we are able to immediately build trust and credibility with the admin.

Types of sicial media campaigns

You can work with Facebook Groups in a variety of different ways. A few of our favorite examples can be found below:

  • Group Sponsorship | When you sponsor a group you develop a long-term relationship that makes the group more like a “media buy” than “influencer campaign”. You will decide on a budget that you pay the group admin monthly in order to put your brand in the cover photo of the group and to share about your brand a predetermined number of times a month.
  • Organic Outreach | If you are hosting an event or running a really amazing promotion, then organic outreach might be right for your brand! For this type of outreach, you’ll simply message the admins of hyper relative groups explaining your event or offer, telling them why it will benefit their following, and then be asking that they share it! You want to make sure to show the overall value to the group rather than trying to be a promotion for your own brand.
  • Group Promotions | If you aren’t quite ready to invest in a full sponsorship, then one-off promotions are a great option! This type of partnership will be treated more like an influencer relationship, where you offer the admin free product or payment in return for posting a few times on the page or sharing a custom coupon code specifically for the group!

Partnerships with Other Brands

We love when brands come together! It can get easy to feel like you’re always in competition with everyone on social media – especially when you’re all fighting for limited attention on a fast-paced NewsFeed. However, that’s why brand partnerships are so crucial! Develop a list of brands that have similar (or larger) following sizes, offer a complimentary product to yours, and are active on social media – then start pitching the brands!

We suggest developing a contest or partnership outline that explains exactly what you’ll need from the other brand and what the benefit will be for both brands. We typically partner with brands for 1-3 month giveaways where each brand offers something of equal value and then promotes it to their audience. For this social campaign, we require that the audience follows each brand, and also tags two friends. This can significantly grow the following for both brands, and help build a connection between another well known brand.  

Events

When you think of social campaigns for brands, events probably aren’t the first strategy you’ll think of. That’s because historically, events have been used for individuals or small local companies as a way of bringing friends together and reminding them of an upcoming party or social event. However, brands can absolutely put events to use to maximize their social reach and relationships with their customers!

Making an Event

The best social channel to host your event is on Facebook. Facebook’s Event-Maker is available to business pages the same way it is available to individual pages. Events can be used for store openings, customer appreciation days, or even a big sale/promotion. To create an event for your brand, click on “events” from the left-hand tab options on your brand’s Facebook page. From there you can create your new event!  You’ll want to create a custom image for your event, and make sure that the bio is descriptive for what the event entails. Additionally, you can choose to invite your entire following or select people. We typically recommend sharing/promoting your event to your entire audience so that they can choose on their own whether or not they want to be a part of it.

Promoting Your Event

Creating your event is just the first step, next you need to find people to actually attend your event. We recommend creating your event page on Facebook at least one month prior to your event starting. Additionally, just because your event is hosted on Facebook doesn’t mean that Facebook is the only place you should promote your event. One of our best places to promote your event is in your Instagram Story and Highlights, especially if you have over 10,000 followers and can link in your story.

Your story and highlight will also be a fun place to share live photos and videos as your event is happening! Another crucial place to promote your event is in your email newsletter. Your email list is full of customers from all over that may be interested in attending your event! It’s a great place to bring overall awareness. If you’re worried that your event won’t interest your non-local newsletter members, then simply create a filter to only promote the event to your local audience!

Contests + Giveaways

Dare we say that contests and giveaways are the most common social campaign? Brands love using social contests to build their following and page engagement…and we can’t blame ‘em! As long as you stay within the social platform’s rules and regulations for giveaways, social contests can be one of the best ways to bump your pages overall engagement rate and introduce new potential customers to your brand.

How to Run a Successful Social Giveaway

If your goal is engagement and increased following, then the two most important things to keep in mind when structuring your social giveaway are repetition and ease of entry. Repetition is key for social contests since there are so many poor giveaways that many social users have lost trust in brand contests. When you run a social contest, we suggest running it on a weekly basis where you publicly announce the winner each week. By tagging last week’s winner in your post, you’ll prove to those considering entering that you do pick a winner, and your actual winner will be so excited that they’ll share the next giveaway with all of their friends! This really helps the snowball effect start. For ease of entry, you want the “ask” to be able to be completed within a matter of minutes. If a social contest has more than two steps, you should expect your number of entries to decline significantly. 

Our favorite way to run a social contest is a “tag 2 friends” giveaway. Since your customers will most likely tag their friends that will also be interested in your brand, this strategy can help significantly increase your rate of entry.

If you’d like to use social media giveaways as a way to catapult website traffic, email captures, or user generated content, then the above tips may not work. For a giveaway with a bigger “ask” like that, you’ll want to make sure you give your audience a prize that is large enough to encourage them to enter, and enough time to enter. One of the biggest mistakes brands make when running social contests is asking their audience to post something on their feed that they either don’t already have a photo of on their phone or wouldn’t be comfortable posting on their feed.

Additionally, if your goal is UGC including your product, keep in mind that only your past customers will be able to enter and this can also lower the total number of entries you get. If you’re driving people to your website to enter the contest, then we suggest not promoting the giveaway on your Instagram feed. While your story can still be used for this promotion, your feed may only confuse your audience. Also, keep in mind that when your customers are scrolling their feed they are often looking for entertainment – they might not want to click away from their feed spot to enter your contest. Because of this, social may not be the best place to promote a giveaway that is being hosted on your site.   

Giving Back

A more unique social campaign targeted at millennials would be a charitable promotion. Many brands are coming forward with emotional stories or charitable angles (think Toms Shoes) because the millennial audience is attracted to a product when they feel like they are doing something good. If your business structure was not originally set up with a giving back aspect tied to it, this can be a good one-time campaign to host on social media. There are a few different ways to incorporate giving back/charitable angles into your social strategy.

Donation Per Share

If you’re looking for a viral strategy, then running a “Donation per Share” campaign on Facebook could do the trick! We recommend creating a video or eye-catching post that tells the story of what your post is benefitting. Pick an organization or non-profit that is relative to your product (for example, if you sell pet products select a well-known rescue) and contact them to let the organization know you are planning to run this type of campaign.

Since you are not asking for anything from the non-profit, you will most likely not receive any pushback, and even have a new partner to promote the giving back campaign. From here, you’ll want to make sure your caption is clear and concise – let your audience know exactly what you will do for each share. We recommend picking a dollar amount that you’ll donate per share, which you can cap at a certain point. Be caution with this! We’ve seen pages with under 10,000 followers get more shares than they have followers from campaigns like this! It’s a great way to give back and reach a large, viral audience.

Percentage of Proceeds

A more simple promotion would be donating a certain percentage of your proceeds for a short period of time to a specific non-profit. You would promote this sale the same way you promote your regular sales, except the charitable messaging may entice your audience to shop even more! A great trick for getting your audience engaged with this type of campaign would be running a poll (see above!) to see what charity you should donate the proceeds to. Since your audience has a say in where their money is going, they’ll be more inclined to get involved in this campaign!

Non-Profit Partnership

Another great way to incorporate a charitable angle into your social campaign would be to partner long term a complimentary non-profit. This partnership could be any number of things that are mutually beneficial. Maybe you just post about the non-profit a few times a month, make co-branded content, or sponsor their events (…which you then could also do as a campaign on social!). For this to be successful, you need the non-profit to be invested in the relationship as well. They need to truly believe in your product and see the same vision that you have for your brand and this campaign. If you do not already have a personal relationship with the charity you’d like to partner with, we suggest creating a small pitch deck to really showcase how you can use your social following and customer base to drive more awareness for their cause. It can help your audience feel more emotionally invested in your brand and bring additional awareness to both you and the non-profit.

So, What Kind of Social Campaign Should You Implement?

Our best advice is to pick what you feel most excited about and start there. The beauty of social media is that you don’t have to pick only one strategy or campaign! Social media moves so quickly which makes it a great place to test out what works out for your brand before you implement something side wide. Think about the resources you have, who your target audience is, and what could give you the most traction the quickest! A social media campaign doesn’t have to be a year long thing! If you sit down, create a plan, and design a few posts then you have a social media campaign ready to implement! What is the most successful social campaign you’ve ever run? Let us know!

Social Media Assessment

Zellie is a Social Media Manager at Power Digital who is passionate about growing brands’ audiences and engagement on social organically. Zellie loves the challenge of working with clients from a variety of industries; from consumer pet products to B2B security companies.