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How to plan a social media marketing campaign, step by step

Author's avatar By Lilach Bullock 07 Jun, 2022
Essential Essential topic

To make sure your campaign is as successful as possible, you need to plan and strategize the campaign in advance.

Wondering how to plan a social media marketing campaign?

If you have a new feature coming out, a holiday that you want to capitalize on, or maybe you’re releasing a brand new product, there are always plenty of reasons to start a new campaign.

But in order to make sure your campaign is as successful as possible, you need to plan and strategize the campaign in advance.

That's why you need a data-driven marketing strategy to help shape the direction of your social media campaign to improve your chances of achieving your goals.

1. Set social media campaign goals

The first question you need to ask before a campaign is: why am I running this campaign? Answering this question will determine other steps you take during your campaign.

Generally, common goals for running social media campaigns include:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Acquiring leads
  • Increasing sales
  • Acquiring customers
  • Increasing engagement

However, after setting these goals, you need to be specific. What level of brand awareness do you want to achieve with your campaigns? More website traffic? 2,000 new followers?

To set effective goals, they need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Then, after setting your goals, it's vital to state the metrics you'll use to measure the achievement of your goals.

Make no mistake, goals are extremely important. In a CoSchedule survey, it was found that marketers who set goals were 376% more likely to report success.

Moreso, it affects every aspect of your social media campaign and helps to determine its success or failure.

2. Create buyer personas

Even if you create the best campaign content ever, if you're not targeting the right audience with your content, the campaign will likely fail. That's why you need to understand your ideal target before a campaign.

A buyer persona is a document that contains extensive details of your ideal customers. This helps you to create messages in your campaigns that can resonate with your target audience.

Some details to have in your buyer persona include:

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Income
  • Location
  • Pain points
  • Favorite social media channels
  • Hobbies
  • Interests

Knowing these details will help you create messages to build trust and convince your prospects to take action.

With a tool like Facebook Audience Insights, you can input a few details and then get more details from Facebook's huge database.

Meta audience insights

Meta audience overviews

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3. Choose your social media channels

When running a social media campaign, you're likely to get better results when you focus on a few social media channels.

From your buyer persona, you have an idea of your ideal audience's favourite social media channels. Most times, it also depends on the type of product or service you're offering. For instance, LinkedIn is a popular network for B2B companies because many decision-makers are present on the platform.

Another way to select social media channels for your campaign is to look at past results on your website analytics. Which channels have referred more visitors to your website in the past? Which channels have brought in more leads? Are there any quick fixes you can make?

Stating these channels will affect your campaign as each channel has its best practices. Furthermore, each channel has its best content type and posting frequency. For example, what works on Twitter won’t necessarily work on Instagram and there’s a huge difference between LinkedIn and most other major social networks.

Our free guide outlines the most common 10 social media marketing mistakes we see every day, so you don't have to!

4. Have a social media calendar

When you run a social media campaign, timing is very important.

Using a social media calendar, you can outline your content from the beginning of your campaign to the end.

Social media calendar

With a calendar in place, your team can focus on what needs to be done at a particular time. Some important tasks to have in your calendar include:

  • Content creation overview to track that content is created in time.
  • Content curation posts: when to share curated content.
  • Employee advocacy posts: if/when your employees share updates from their personal accounts.
  • Social media updates for each channel, throughout the campaign.

Your social media calendar will help ensure that you don’t miss any important steps in your strategy, while also helping you be more productive with your time.

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5. Research the right tools to boost productivity

If you're running a social media campaign, you'll inevitably need tools at various stages of your campaign. You can increase your chances of success if you have a list of the tools you want to use at each stage of your social media campaign.

Here are some aspects where tools are vital:

Content creation

Visuals have become a vital part of social media marketing. For instance, tweets with images get 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets.

Therefore, you need to create images and videos to reach your audience. A popular tool you can use to create images for your campaign is Canva. It provides templates of the ideal image size for various channels.

Social media campaign tool


For your videos, a tool that makes the process easy is Animoto.

Content curation

To meet your content needs on social media, you'll need more than the content you produce. Sharing relevant content from other sources will help keep your audience engaged during your campaign.

One problem though is that sourcing for these pieces of content manually is ineffective and a time drain. A tool such as Quuu or Curata can find relevant content for your pages.

Social media management

Tasks such as sharing updates, scheduling updates, social listening, collaborating with team members, and others can be accomplished through a social media management tool.

Consequently, you and your team members can carry out your social tasks on a single platform and save a lot of time. Agorapulse is an effective tool for social media management that can meet your team’s needs.


Social media analytics

You need social media analytics tools from the start of your campaign; once you know what your KPIs (key performance indicators) are, use social analytics tools to track them and see how your campaign is evolving.

With this data, you can then adjust and optimize your campaign for maximized results. To help, tools like Cyfe allow you to connect your different social network analytics, along with your website traffic so that you can track all of your results in one place.

6. Carry out competitive analysis

Performing competitive analysis can help you understand what your competitors’ strategy is like as well as see what tactics and channels work for them and which don’t. This can then inform your own social campaign strategy.

Some vital parts to watch from your competitors are:

  • Social channels used
  • Type of content shared
  • Frequency of social updates
  • Results generated

Apart from watching your competitors for their great practices, you also need to watch out for their mistakes. Thereby, you can exploit them to gain an edge over your competitors.

7. Put a system in place to track performance

Tracking performance for your campaign helps to determine the success or failure of your campaigns. More so, it can provide insights to help adjust your social media strategy even while a campaign is still running.

Another benefit you get from tracking your metrics is that it can necessitate changes for your future campaigns. It's vital to note though, that the metrics you track for your campaigns will depend on your goals.

For instance, you can use UTM parameters to track traffic from your campaign to your website. A tool such as Google Analytics will provide details about traffic from a source and its behavior on your website.

Google Analytics social media


To increase the chances of success for your social media marketing campaign, you need a robust plan in place before you start.

This starts with setting your goals. Then, you need to understand your audience, use a social content calendar to plan the actual content, use the right tools to run your campaign, and track your campaign performance throughout.

By following these steps, you’re well on your way to developing a successful social media campaign.

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Author's avatar

By Lilach Bullock

Lilach Bullock is highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient of a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business. Check out her site Lilach Bullock or connect with her on LinkedIn

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