social media campaign
Social Media

Simple Steps when Running a Social Media Campaign

 

Twitter is often seen as a quick fix to getting a lot of attention for a campaign or charity. It can be very useful, but there are a few pitfalls that should be avoided. Here are some tips to help you run a successful Twitter campaign

Whether you are campaigning to raise money for charity, or to raise awareness of an issue, you will likely be looking for the greatest possible public exposure without spending any money on advertising.

You might be told, ‘Sign up to Twitter, is great for getting publicity‘, which is not wrong but it is not quite that simple. Here are a few tips on how to organise a Twitter Campaign. 

 

Start by setting up a Twitter account. Add a picture to your profile – It can be something to do with your campaign, your logo or a photo of yourself. Under no circumstances should you leave the Twitter egg as people will not follow you, thinking you are a spam account. 

Add some information about yourself and your campaign. It needs to be short and snappy as you only have 160 characters. Don’t forget to link to your blog or website. 

 

The first problem is that if you are new to Twitter, you will not have any followers. Simply tweeting, ‘We are hoping to raise money for X, please read and RT’ is not going to help you much because no one will see the tweet.

Following other Twitter users who tweet about the same issues, and connecting with them is a good way of building a network. for example, if you are campaigning for AIDS/HIV awareness, then enter the search term, ‘HIV’ into Twitter search and select ‘people’.

 

social media campaign

 

 

Then look for tweets using the clever little Twitter hashtag #

The hashtag is used to collate tweets on a particular topic. In the above example, if you type ‘aids’ into the search box and click ‘tweets’, rather than ‘people’ you will see sick jokes and lots of unrelated tweets. Searching for #aids turns up this 

 

social media campaign

 

 

Search for media outlets, particularly those in your vicinity. Local radio, newspaper and TV shows are always on the look out for local interest stories. Look for journalists who write about your issue, on both a local and national level.

Use Twitter search to find people and businesses in your area by putting the # hashtag in front of your city or town name.

Once you have found some people to follow, start communicating with them. Don’t jump in with a request to RT your issue, but comment on something that they have tweeted or RT one of their tweets with a comment. 

This takes time, you cannot do this in a day or two so be patient. Twitter is all about communication and the easiest way to get new followers is to chat to those you follow. Don’t waste time trying to get a response from a celebrity, concentrate on normal everyday people. Look for ‘influencers’ – people with at least a thousand followers.

 

After a few days, you will find that there are some people on your timeline who you often agree with, or like chatting with. Check out who they follow and who follows them by clicking on their profile and follow those you like the look of. Looking at the last few tweets will give you and idea if they are worth following.

 

 

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A common mistake made when campaigning is tweeting celebrities and asking them to RT a comment or link. People like Stephen Fry, Philip Schofield, Lily Allen and Victoria Beckham get thousands of requests like this, and the chance of them seeing your tweet is minimal so save your energy and try something else. 

Twitter ‘slebs’ may still be able to help you. Have a look at organisations and charities that already work in the area that you are trying to promote, and check if they have any celebrity involvement.  Email the publicity officer of the charity or celebrity and ask them to pass on your request to the Twitter team. 
 
Sending out mass ‘please RT’ tweets may also mean that your Twitter account is marked as suspected Spam and suspended for several days, or you may annoy your followers and get unfollowed fast.  I have rarely seen this tactic be successful so is really to be avoided. 
 
 
Once you have some followers, start tweeting – not just about your campaign or issue, but about other stuff too. No one wants to follow someone who simply tweets the same thing all day. Communicate with your followers, chat to them about the articles that they have linked to. 
 
If you are using a blog (and it is the easiest way of getting all your information on one page) then you can start tweeting links. Take one sentence out of your blog post that awakes interest and tweet it with a link to your blog. If you can, limit the tweet to 120 characters so that your followers can RT and add a comment. 
 
Hashtags are very important here. Choose a memorable hashtag and use it when you tweet about your campaign. Keep it short to leave room for people to RT. 
 
 
Take part in some Twitter webchats, or start your own. Answer questions or ask your own questions. Get a discussion started. 
 
 
Find influential bloggers on your topic and ask them if they would be interested in writing about your issue. You can offer to write a blog post, or invite them to do a guest post on your blog.  Depending on your topic, you could approach blogger groups – LoveAllBlogs has a list of UK based blogger networks here, and the eBuzzing charts might help too. For political blogs try this list of top UK political blogs or this one. 
 
If your issue is in any way parenting related, you could approach the large parenting networks Mumsnet BloggersBritmums and Netmums directly and ask if they would be able to help.  Their bloggers do not restrict themselves to writing only about parenting, so there is a good chance you will find someone there who can help. Joining in one or two of these networks could help you find other like-minded people.
 
I have started a Activist Bloglist to help you find other bloggers. Do let me know if you want to be included on the list.
 
Don’t forget to add a Twitter button to your blog so that anyone who finds your blog can click through and find you on Twitter. Setting up a Facebook page will help you reach those who are not on Twitter.