Every day hundreds of campaigns grace the pages of Facebook, and every day we here at Dialogue Consulting keep a lazy eye (but more often, a cocked eyebrow) on how many of them develop.

Campaigns range from the downright cringe-worthy  to the truly bizarre.

So what makes a blockbuster social campaign? If I could answer that question I would be sitting aboard my hypothetical yacht (the saucy-sue) sipping scotch against a picturesque Hawaiian sunset.

But then again I’m not, and then again, do you really want a blockbuster campaign?

If you want a blockbuster campaign then you’ll obviously want blockbuster production value. You’ll also be fully resourced and ready to deal with the boom as your audience level catapults into the stratosphere.

Nope, in my experience, it’s always better do to this:

Strong, steady increase in audience!

Than this:

Too many people, too quickly!

That’s not to say that a dramatically increased audience is always bad thing, but you do have to know what to do with them. Blockbusters campaigns are like winning the lottery. I’d rather talk about what helps make a successful one.

1. Research your audience.

This is the most common mistake. So many creative agencies are lazy and ignore this one key factor. Do your research. How old are they? What do they like? What do they dislike? Who do they know?

  • Why Do this?

So you don’t end up creating a campaign targeting the 18-25 markets that stars Sam Kekovich.  Nobody in that age range knows who Sam Kekovich is (see “cringe-worthy” link above).

2. Know how you want to be perceived and build content that communicates that.

What do you want to be thought of as? Know exactly what your key messages are. It’s then up to you to show not tell your audience why this is who you are. Always remember, you want to draw people to you.

  • Why do this?

So, that in your effort to stand out from the crowd, you don’t end up alienating your audience from you. Stephen Fry is unique, then again, so is the bearded bloke brandishing a broken bottle of Jack Daniels at the bus stop. Which one would you rather spend time with?

3.    Don’t just be prepared to talk back, plan to.

Social Media is all about two-way communication.  People engage with you in the space because they want to talk to you. This is an immensely valuable thing, don’t squander it, harness it.

  • Why do this?

So that you aren’t simply creating advertising. Particularly in the instance of young people (16 – 25), audiences have grown resistant to insistent “we’re the best” marketing and overly self-promotional commercials. They want to be talked to not at. These people are opinionated and they want to be listened to, not shouted at.  Always ask yourself how you could realistically give them what they want.

4.    Why do this?

It’s such a simple question to ask. But you need to be able to take a step back from your campaign project and ask this question. Why would people do this? Why would I do this? Why are people drawn to this idea? Why aren’t people participating? Often we get so entrenched in our projects that we lack the capacity to take the crucial step back and get perspective.

  • Consistent evaluation, willing adaptation!

Once you’ve found the problem, question how it can be solved. There’s no point flogging a dead horse, but in the fast moving world of Social Media, there’s always a chance for resurrection. Maybe your campaign is working, but not in the way you thought it would. The question of why becomes all the more critical.  Remember, you cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails!

Dialogue Consulting is now offering a new workshop, Social Media Campaign Development. The aim is for people to come together and have valuable discussions about these ideas. We will explore and learn from best and worst practice case studies, as well as equip people with a framework of how to construct their own campaigns. By the end of it, you will be fully equipped with the skills you need to manage a bigger project in the social media space.