Video Essentials

What Is a Social Media Campaign?

The current buzzword in online video is “social media.” The idea is that by creating a social media campaign for your company’s online video efforts, you can let sites and services like Facebook and Twitter do the work of promotion for you.

It’s pretty enticing: getting viewers to watch your videos is one of the biggest hurdles for many companies, and videos that are passed along by a friend are more likely to be watched.

But what is a social media campaign, and how exactly do you create one? To find out these basics, we spoke to an expert: Joe Matsushima, co-founder of The Denizen Company, which specializes in social media and viral videos.

A social media campaign is one that uses or is initiated through social media platforms, says Matsushima, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and others. Or it could simply be one where the message travels by word of mouth, thanks to your audience.

“It has to be entertaining to them, they have to get something out of it and they have to want to spread the word about your campaign,” he adds.

In a social media campaign, the advertiser has to create something that appeals to viewers, so that they choose to get involved. You need the audience to feel invested, so that they’ll help you get your message out.

Creating a Campaign
To actually start a social media campaign, Matsushima says, you’ll need to determine which platform works best for your business. YouTube is effective for video campaigns, while Twitter is less so. If you want to create a discussion, however, Twitter is a better choice.

Decide on your campaign’s goals and create your strategy. Do you want to promote a product or service? What result do you want to occur after the campaign?

Many campaigns start on Facebook, says Matsushima, since that’s the dominant player. You can create a fan page for free, which is useful as a destination for hard-core fans. If you’re goal is to drive awareness, definitely start with Facebook. As you expand your campaign, move out to other platforms, such as Twitter.

When expanding, look at the unique audiences of the different social media platforms. MySpace may have been eclipsed by Facebook, but it’s still strong with music-lovers and is definitely relevant for a music campaign. “It may not be as cool or as hip as Facebook, but if you’re looking for a certain type of audience, then maybe you should look at it,” Matsushima says.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. This isn’t a vertical system, he notes, but one where you’re free to try different ideas on different platforms. You could run a blog on Tumblr, advertise specials on Twitter, keep a fan site on Facebook, and launch new videos on YouTube.

Social media now is like e-mail marketing at its infancy, says Matsushima. That started as a service for fans, then grew into something more complex. If you’re starting out, create a simple space for your fans to hang out. After than, ideas will come to you on how to run campaigns and achieve company goals. Run with it and see which direction it takes you.


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