There are various types of social media successes out there. For some companies, it's getting 10,000 Likes on their Facebook Page. For others, it's going viral on YouTube. Sometimes, social media success comes in the form of a celebrity or influencer Re-tweeting your blog post.

Whatever your social media goal is though, you should know that these successes don't happen overnight. Great social media marketers don't just push out content and hope that it spreads like wildfire. Nope, the best social media campaigns are planned.

Just take a look at the Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise video that was used to promote the 2013 Carrie film. It was well-thought out of, expertly produced, and was launched at just the right time complete with its very own hashtag. The result? More than 47 million views, countless media mentions, and tons of buzz.

Now, this isn't to say that you need a production crew and a huge budget to execute a successful social media plan. Having a ton of resources isn't always necessary. But the following qualities sure are:

Thoughtful or Research-Based

Whether you're writing a blog post, creating an infographic, or publishing a tweet, always have some insights or data behind it. One of the reasons why social media campaigns backfire is that the companies behind them don't think it through. They publish content on a whim, or they pull some social stunt without first determining if it would be well-received by their audience.

pic1Consider what happened to Belvedere Vodka. Last year, the company posted a photo of a woman being grabbed by a man from behind, with a caption that read, Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly. Needless to say, the post sparked a lot of outrage and received media attention for all the wrong reasons.

Obviously, someone in Belvederes marketing team did not fully consider the ramifications of their actions. Had they taken a moment to conduct a survey or test about the post, the company couldve avoided the PR disaster.

Dont make the same mistake. Before typing up a blog post or creating an image to put online, do your research and make sure that what you're creating is something that your audience would actually appreciate.

For instance, before you spend a ton of money producing an elaborate video, test the concept on your audience to see if itll click. Or spend time on forums and Linkedin Groups to get a feel of what your target users actually care about. Determine the topics and content types that would resonate most with your audience and base your campaign decisions on those insights. Doing so will save you a lot of time from creating something that your audience doesn't want or need.


Have one clear end goal for you campaigns. Why are you doing it? What do you want to achieve? And don't just mention vague terms such as engagement or buzz. Be specific. For example, you can say something like, Our goal is to have x amount of sales by end of the month or We would like this campaign to increase or email subscribers by 50%.

Know exactly what it is that you want to get out of your campaigns. Be focused. This will enable you to make better decisions, itll keep you from being distracted, and it will enable you create more compelling and targeted content.


Produce content or campaigns around whatevers trending in the world or in your industry. you're bound to get more shares and attention.

Case in point: When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their baby boy back in July, several brands unveiled ads in line with the news. Oreo published an image of a bottle of milk together and an Oreo cookie with the caption, Long live the creme, while Starbucks tweeted a photo of three coffee cups with the caption And then there were three. Toilet paper company Charmin on the other hand, announced that it was time to Get the throne ready! there's a new cub in the Royal family.

These brands successfully rode the Royal Baby wave and got significant media coverage and buzz in doing so.

pic2Always be on the lookout for new and significant events, not just in terms of pop culture or the world, but also in your specific market. Global events (such as the Royal Baby news) are generally easy to track. Just keep an eye on what's trending worldwide on Twitter or Google+ or use Google Trends to identify any hot searches that you can incorporate into your campaigns.

To track trending topics in your particular niche, subscribe to relevant blogs in your market or sign up for industry-specific newsletters. Check out SmartBrief, a service that offers email subscriptions for several industries, including business, travel, tech, healthcare, and more. By signing up for the topics that are relevant to your audience, you'll not only stay updated with what's going in your niche, but you'll get daily campaign or post ideas delivered straight to your inbox.


Analytics should be a key component in any social media campaign, not an afterthought. Tracking the performance of your content will give you valuable insights on what worked, what didnt, and why, so you can tweak and optimize your campaigns, accordingly.

There are several free social media analytics tools that can help you monitor your campaigns. Use them. Facebook for instance, has a great Insights section that details the reach and engagement level of your posts, so you know which types of content are resonating with your audience. Twitter may not have its built-in analytics tool, but you can use services such as Buffer to get deeper insights on how your posts are doing. Google Analytics and other blog plugins help you track what's going on your website, while URL shorteners such as and give you insights on which links are getting the most clicks.

Want to go bigger and deeper? Check out Social Report, an analytics service that lets you track metrics across all the major social networks, including YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Yelp, and more. Social Report gets you organized by putting all your social accounts in one dashboard, so you can quickly see what's going with your audience and find ways to engage them.

Can you name other qualities that successful social media campaigns must have? Share them in the comments below.