How to Run a Social Media Campaign

Deciding to run a social media campaign can be a great way to reach out to your target audience. But there are a lot of areas to consider when it comes to how to run a social media campaign. Particularly a successful social media campaign that meets your goals.

Our blog considers the following areas to keep in mind when setting up your social media campaign:

  1. Setting your Goal
  2. Finding your audience
  3. Choosing your channels
  4. Campaign ideas
  5. Campaign rules
  6. Promotion and integration with digital campaigns
  7. Measurement
  8. Follow ups
  9. Learnings


Setting your goal

As with all marketing this is a fundamental starting point. What is the goal you are trying to achieve by running a social media campaign? Is it to generate leads, or sales, or to drive traffic to your website? Or maybe you want to grow your social media follower base or boost your brand awareness or brand engagement.

Whatever your goal you need to be specific about it. For example, your goal may be to increase visits to your website from social media by 10%. Or to achieve a 10% uplift in engagement with your social activity.

Setting a SMART goal will help you determine all of the other things mentioned in our list related to running a successful social media campaign. Critically, setting a goal enables you to understand what data you need to track and which KPIs you will be measuring your campaign against.

Make sure you know what your starting point is. If you are looking to increase engagement, use the free analytics tools on the social media platforms to see how your pages are currently performing, or if you’re looking to increase website traffic then set up your Google Analytics.  You’ll need to know this to demonstrate success and ROI later down the line.

Finding your audience

Once you have set your goal, you can then define the audience that you will be targeting. If your goal is to increase sales for example, and your product is aimed at 35-45 year olds, running a social media campaign which appeals to 16-25-year olds is unlikely to help you achieve this goal.

All social media sites have different audiences, so make sure that you use the platform that is most appropriate for your target audience.

If you are already using certain sites and want to improve engagement, make sure you understand the targeting capabilities of the social media site you are using.

Choosing your channel

Take a look at this useful post covering the demographics of social media users by site. This may help you choose which channel to use.

Also decide if you will just use one social media platform from which to run your campaign or if you will run the campaign across all of your social media properties. Some campaigns will have a bigger impact if they are run across multiple social platforms.

Campaign Ideas

This can be one of the most difficult areas when it comes to creating a successful social media campaign. Here are our top tips for how to come up with a campaign idea:

  1. Do some research online – take a look at what other brands are doing and what has been successful for them. Looking at brands outside of your industry may provide more inspiration than looking just at what other brands in your category have been doing. You also don’t want to copy what a competitor does. This is a useful look at social media campaigns which have been successful.
  2. Run some social listening – to see what people are talking about online and get an idea of what may resonate with your audience. It can also help you find trending topics to make the most of within your campaign
  3. Work with teams across your business – getting a group of people together to discuss ideas and themes can be a great way to come up with new ideas. Other teams may have customer insights that you are not aware of and which may help direct you in terms of generating your campaign.


Campaign Rules

If your campaign will be utilising a competition mechanism, then this will be particularly important. You must comply with any rules which apply to the competition that you are running and set out clear terms and conditions for users.

You’ll also need to comply with any specific rules which the social media site that you are choosing to use may also put in place.  Read our recent blog on 2020 Facebook competition rules for more information about Facebook.

You’ll need to write a set of terms and conditions for your competition which very clearly state things such as entry dates, when and how winners will be contacted, what data you will be collecting and how you will use this data.

If you are collecting user data for the competition or for use in future marketing, you will need to be very specific in terms of why you are collecting the data and what you intend to do with it. You will need to have an option for users to actively opt in to receiving any future marketing communications.  Ensure you comply with GDPR.

Neglecting to do this can see all of your hard work wasted and potentially legal repercussions for your business.

Promotion and integration with digital campaigns

How do you plan for people to find your campaign? Will you carry out paid marketing such as Facebook ads or promoted tweets to promote it? Has this been accounted for within your campaign budget?

It is also a good idea to integrate your social media campaign with other activity that you are currently running, particularly digital campaigns.

Update your digital campaign landing pages to include a mention of  your campaign and link to your social media campaign. Include a feature piece in your customer newsletter. Consider if you want to update your website to have a mention and link directing people to your chosen social media platform(s).

Integrating your campaign with existing activity is a cost-effective way to get your campaign in front of people. Whereas paid for activity may help you reach a new or wider audience than those who already exist on your email marketing list for example.


When you set the goal for your campaign, you’ll have defined your KPI’s. The key data that you want to track alongside targets. Before you set your campaign live make sure that you have sufficient tracking in place to provide the data that you need. It’s also a good idea to get reports set up so that you can start tracking activity as soon as your campaign goes live.

  • If your goal is linked to engagement, consider areas such as likes, comments, shares and clicks
  • If your goal is linked to awareness, then impressions and reach may be metrics to focus on
  • If your goal is linked to your website, then metrics such as website traffic, leads, conversions coming from your social campaign activity will be key

You can measure success of your social media campaign using the following:

Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics reports can help you track traffic coming from social media activity to your website so it will be important to have reports set up if your goal is centred around increasing traffic to your website

Social media analytics  –  Many social media sites have their own tracking systems in place which you can generally access at no cost. E.g. Facebook insights and Twitter Analytics. They often update in real time as well, making it straightforward to keep an eye on how your campaign is performing.

Third party solutions – Some third-party social media tracking tools allow you to  consolidate data from a number of different social platforms together in one place. Saving you time and effort in compiling reports, particularly if your campaign is running across a number of platforms. These typically come at a cost however, so weigh up the value to your business before going ahead.

Constant measurement will be key throughout the duration of your campaign. This can help you understand what is and isn’t working allowing you to make adjustments to your campaign. If you see things aren’t resonating with your users, try new things and shift towards those areas which are working.

Follow ups

If you do collect user data as part of your social media campaign, make sure that you follow up and make use of the data in the ways that you obtained consent for. The people that engaged with your campaign and consented to further contact are warm leads which you shouldn’t let go to waste. They have indicated that they are interested in your brand so  maintain the conversation.


Make sure you learning from your campaign. What worked. What didn’t work. It’s probably a good idea to summarise these once your campaign ends and circulate them to relevant areas of your business making this a formal part of your social campaign management.

Creating a social media campaign can be a great way to meet a wide range of business goals. But going into a social media campaign with a clear idea of what you want to achieve will be critical to success. ACES Marketing are a Surrey based marketing agency who can assist with social media management for your business. Get in touch with us today if you have any other questions about how to run a social media campaign.

Clare Wood avatar