What do you need to run a successful social media campaign? Time and money.
You need time to research the web, get to know the people you want to connect with, develop your message, and build relationships based on mutual trust and values.
You need money for advertising, landing pages, applications, multimedia, and any other flashy gizmos.
There are very few organizations that have very much time or money to dedicate to a social media campaign. Oftentimes they will contribute what resources they can, watch their campaign flap around like a fish out of water and then declare defeat.
If you have little time and money, it is best to double up on one and go little to none on the other. There are many free sites and
tools available and most campaigns can be run without spending money on advertising, landing pages and so forth. However, you will need to double or maybe triple the time you spend creating content, engaging in dialog, and promoting your efforts throughout social networks. You will also need to allocate time upfront to develop realistic goals and milestones that map to your actions and results on a weekly basis.
If your boss knocks on your door and tells you there is an event happening next week that he wants you to promote via social media, and you do not already have an engaged community you can work with, ask for a big check. You can be successful in social media within a short period of time if you are able to buy some attention. This is more than buying advertising space, you will need to get some creative folks involved as well.
If you find yourself without time or money and with a demanding boss who wants to see this social media stuff work, no need to fret. Set up appropriate expectations. What can you get done in a week and how does the value of what you accomplish relate to the ROI of traditional communications. For example, can you find the right people are twitter to mention your initiative? Can you align with a partner who has a large Facebook fan base? Can you make your initiative newsworthy and get the attention of the media? When it comes time to report your results, highlight how social media outperformed the expected results of traditional communications. For example, your Cost Per Impression in social media vs traditional advertising might be much lower. Also, explain how social media efforts can be even more successful give more time or more money.
However, if you start spending the time upfront to build and nurture your community the majority of your work will be done when you boss asks you to work miracles without a wand.
“To be prepared is half the victory.”
– Miguel de Cervantes