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Make sure you think of social media when planning your next campaign

So many companies plan fantastic campaigns, with the aim of building their customer base; creating awareness or communicating with their current clients. They update banners on their websites, book adverts that will be used in the media and for the most part, they think they have thought of everything. Everything except social media, which should in fact, be the driving force behind the campaign – as it’s the most current conversation they are going to have with their customers.

Mark Stecker, CEO at Firewater, a digital marketing and PR agency, said too many consumers have had a negative experience with social media marketing, simply because the campaigns have not been designed in line with how people engage on the particular social media platforms. “Don’t design your campaign objectives and then brief your social media team after the fact. Engage with your social media team when strategising the campaign objects to unlock the hidden opportunities,” Stecker advised.

Of course it’s not as simple as posting a few pictures and hoping for the best. When looking at something as simple as a banner to advertise a campaign – one needs to look at guidelines set out by various platforms. Each social platform has its own rules and requirements as well as community etiquette. Facebook, for example, does not allow text heavy images to be advertised and will reject adverts that carry more than 20 percent text.  You also have to tread the fine line of the platform’s guidelines that try and respect the billions of people who utilise it.

Chief Digital officerStecker said many companies were also not utilising social media to its full potential or simply didn’t understand the medium. “We come across so many companies that  have social media accounts, but are posting when it suits them, not when it suits their audience.” Having a chief digital officer (CDO) or team that can assist with analytics and guide an organisation with their posts is vital. “Think about your own habits when it comes to social media. When are you most likely to go onto LinkedIn? Think about times of day and what you look for or how you engage with various products when on this platform. Your audiences’ habits won’t be too different from yours – so why do so many companies not take this into consideration?”

Giving an audience the right content, which is relevant and builds confidence in your brand, will ultimately lead to first choice in buying decisions. “The error so many brands make is pushing their ideas and conversations onto consumers. Your customers are already having their own conversations – the key with your content is to join this conversation and to be authentic.”

 Audience building is another task many companies struggle with. “Companies spend a fortune buying likes and boosting their posts to the largest possible audience – but when you look at the following and engagement, it is not their target audience.”

 Stecker advised companies and organisations not to focus on vanity metrics (likes, follows etc.); what is more important is the engagement. “You can have a thousand likes on a post, but if none of them are going to genuinely engage with the post or conversions into sales leads, what is the point?”

 Define an objective, develop a strategy and design your campaigns around this. Always ensure your social media campaign goals are aligned with your business goals. “That is what is going to set you apart from the rest.” Stecker said.

 Every post a company makes on social media is an opportunity for them to convert a follower into a sales lead. “Most sales people get excited about entering a room filled with people they can potentially sell to. So why are all the sales divisions not ecstatic about social media? There is an entire network out there for you to sell to – you just need to be able to have a conversation that resonates with them.” 

 Firewater specialises in driving sales and supporting customers using digital and PR. We thrive on collaboration and education that delivers tangible results. If you feel your brand has not made a connection with its social media audience, or if you lack an audience altogether -Contact Firewater on 011 262 6056, or visit





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