If you’re a member of a team rather than its leader, you know how hard it can be to break free from inertia on your ideas. Your team lead probably does know best about most aspects of your business, but what if your boss is lukewarm to the idea of running a social media campaign?
Below you’ll find talking points that will definitely start (if not finish) the conversation regarding your first social media campaign. The most important thing about these suggestions? They’re all true. The best social media campaigns are one of the most effective ways to generate leads, collect user-generated content, and build engagement with your fans. So without further ado, let’s review the key principles of why companies shouldn’t wait a day longer to launch their first marketing campaign.
3 benefits of social media campaigns
1. Level the playing field
Every year, more and more companies invest in social media. Oracle conducted a survey earlier this year that found that not only were nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of companies polled going to increase their marketing budgets, 77 percent were going to increase their digital marketing budgets. In North America alone, spending on social media advertising is going to surpass $10 billion this year.
Not every organization has a six-figure marketing budget. But there’s no way to conduct business in the 21st century without at least some social media presence. Absence from Facebook and Twitter now would be like ripping yourself out of every Yellow Pages book in the world.
Which is why one of your best arguments in favor of social marketing campaigning is that campaigns can help your business avoid the arms race of social media spending. Campaigns platforms give you the freedom to launch a broad variety of social initiatives and running a campaign allows you to sidestep the businesses that are throwing money at their everyday statuses and Tweets.
Social media campaigns provide a competitive advantage
The chief investment in social campaigning is the man hours it takes to conceive and design the campaign. Paid promotion can help, but some of our most successful clients have earned tens of thousands of email addresses from single sweepstakes campaigns all because they put another promotional channel to the test. Do you have a newsletter? One of our online retail clients boosted their holiday sweeps with their email subscribers and saw a surge of entries as a result. Facebook has just introduced some substantial changes to Facebook Pages, including an enhanced Call to Action button that can link to any site you wish. Connecting that button to your campaign and providing links from your Twitter and Instagram bios can highlight your initiative to millions of people around the world.
There are a lot of articles out there that debate the return on investment (ROI) of social media, but the ROI of social media campaigns is actually quite calculable. All you have to know is how much an email address is worth to your business and how much you spend on creating branded imagery.
To find the average total annual value of your email marketing, calculate the revenue from your current email campaigns (such as click-through buys and purchases made by people who have opened your marketing emails) and then divide it by your number of subscribers. Everyone has different spending on their branded photography and video production. If you want to pitch social marketing campaigns without doing a bunch of research and/or math, the Database Marketing Institute says the average total annual value of an email address is $19.36. This is a fairly balanced estimate: some other figures include TheDrum.com’s calculation of £84.50, and Topspin’s poll of the music industry found that the average worth of an email to a band was $3.78.
That client that plugged its sweepstakes in its newsletter earned 97,000 leads from that campaign. Using the $19.36 figure, they have a database of qualified leads worth $1,877,920.
Your boss’s number one responsibility is making sure your team or your business earns more than it spends. Running a social marketing campaign is a fantastic way to do just that.
2. Reach Your Customers Where They Are
Unfortunately, your fans are not waiting with confetti cannons, banners, and ticker tape. They’re waiting for you to be active on social media like you wait at the DMV. If you need to really convince your boss about social marketing campaigns, odds are your business is not the most active on social media. On the other hand, if you can comfortably argue for social campaigns, it’s unlikely your company’s completely inactive. As long as you have something to build off of.
LoudDoor conducted a survey of which brands have the most engaged fans on Facebook. These companies give their fans an opportunity to win special offers and give an inside-view of life at the company with user-generated content—both things that social media campaigns can provide.
You can get caught in a chicken vs. egg dilemma; people are more likely to follow brands that they’re already more likely to buy from. Because Millennials are considered to be the generation of social media, most polls of social behavior start with them. And on Twitter and Facebook, 37 percent of Millennials follow a brand to participate in contests. Pinterest is a different case: there, 38 percent of Millennials followed a company in order to share their satisfaction through user-generated content.
Just so you have some more numbers to make your case with, that’s over 30 million Millennials who want to engage in social media contests with brands. That’s the equivalent of Venezuela.
And that’s just in one demographic. By the end of the year, 56.1 percent of the US population will be on social media. So with over 100 million Americans eager to take part in social media campaigns, how, in good conscience, can your boss ignore them?
3. Grow Your Online Reputation With Social Media Campaigns
Once you run a campaign, you’ll have a hoard of either qualified leads or user-generated content. Both of these things are self-perpetuating—and profitable.
Obviously leads are profitable. But they’re not just profitable because they’re identified future customers. Customers who are subscribers to your newsletter spend 82 percent more than those who don’t. The more subscribers you have, the more people who are going to know about your next social marketing campaign when you tell them about it in said newsletter. As they enter, the campaign spreads to everyone in their social networks. The median number of Facebook friends is 200. Running social marketing campaigns exponentially grows your database of leads.
User-generated content nearly inspires itself. Fans are willing to create original content if they believe it will be acknowledged: one Photo Contest, if it’s well-promoted, can demonstrate to your fan base that you’re excited that they care. Odds are good that your business actually is excited that they care—it’s just a matter of showing that excitement to your fans.
User-generated content isn’t innately profitable, but you can make it so. One of the rising trends of social media is social commerce: that is, using the photographs and videos that your fans create in tribute to your products as the images on your online catalog to inspire shoppers. It works, especially on younger buyers: 84 percent of Millennials admit that user-generated content on a business’s website has some influence on what they buy. If just over 30 million Millennials are interested in entering social contests, and your average Millennial spends $2,000 online each year, that puts $60 billion on the table.
But if your boss wants to stake a claim in some of that fortune, your business is going to have to run its first social marketing campaign.
If your boss has a rebuttal to any of the points above, leave it in the comments so we can refute it. If you’re ready to launch your first social media marketing campaign, get started today.