Social media outlets have proven themselves to be difficult mediums for marketing campaigns. Over the past several years, the data on online advertisements through Facebook, for instance, has shown that marketing campaigns are much less successful than previously thought.
Ads running throughout the application have become so ubiquitous that social media users have learned to psychologically block them out. Clever product placements inside seemingly innocuous Facebook wall statuses or peppered throughout the comments of a picture or video have also yielded poor results. In the best case scenario, these kinds of product placement ads are just seen as annoying.
In the worst case scenario, they are seen as in-genuine acts and can actually backfire and reflect negatively on the company. It turns out, social media users have gotten extremely savvy at communication ver the past few years and are excellent at sniffing out phonies.
Real social causes, however, have proven to be very successful in social media outlets. Genuine efforts to run a campaign social justice or environmental cleanup have done especially well on social media sites. If Kony 2012 taught us anything about social media, it is that people are listening and ready to take action for a worthy cause.
1. Be real – no one likes a fake, and the smart modern consumer can sense an illegitimate advertisement strategy from a mile away. Authentic posts are not hard to come by when you truly believe in what you are writing.
2. Do not try boil the ocean. Only take on as many channels of communication as you can handle. Start simple, with a Facebook group, single Twitter account, Pinterest Pinboard and an Instagram account. Managing those alone will be difficult enough at first. At the beginning of a social media campaign, content generation is key and it can be a daunting task as a lone organizer is trying to generate post after post on their own. Eventually as more followers come, they will help generate the content and the whole thing, if all goes well, will have a bit of a snowball effect. One thing to make things easier and get interest early is to post a lot of fun content.
3. Narrow your focus – finding a niche focus topic can really help you channel your efforts in the right direction. If your focus is too broad, you could easily end up bogging down in too much information and little opportunity for focused action. Focusing on local geographic areas or activities such as biking campaigns or other groups within your area can really mobilize a group of individuals to do some real environmental good outside the confines of their computer.
4. Communicate – social media requires that you are, you know, social with people. Prompt communication is key to keep the conversation and interest level going.
5. Keep your eyes open for new recruits – it is important that you spend a lot of your time, especially at the beginning finding like minded individuals who share your environmental passion and can help you achieve your goal. It is always easier to do something like this as a team as opposed to trying to go it alone.