Top social media campaigns

SOCIAL media is a great business tool, but how many companies are actually using it well?

With so many SMEs and huge brands now using sites like Twitter and Facebook to promote themselves, simply creating a basic fan page isn't enough.

Businesses need to be creating and designing social media marketing campaigns to connect with customers, create a good reputation and, most importantly, add to the bottom line.

It's true, huge businesses like Coca Cola and US telco Comcast have the money and resources to create huge social campaigns, but effectiveness in social media isn't limited by cost.

Experts say you should be contributing at least some of your budget towards this type of thing. A recent Melbourne IT survey reveals online businesses are actually more likely to be earning higher revenues if they are using social media.

SR7 chief executive James Griffin says there are a few main characteristics of a successful social media campaign, and they play a crucial part in determining whether your business is received as a welcome invitation, or just a piece of spam.

"I think the thing we push most is understanding what you're doing everything for. Whether it's to gain sales, or followers, or just to get more coverage of your brand, that will sketch the foundation of your campaign and then influence your choices. So understanding is key."

"If you have no idea what you're looking for, then things can go bad. It's hard to go to the boss and say you've put time and resources into a project that hasn't delivered a solid benefit. You have to know what you're going to do straight from the start."

DDB digital strategist Con Frantzeskos says campaigns shouldn't be centred on a "gimmick". You should be offering something valuable to your fans and listening to them, or risk facing a harsh backlash.

"Everything should be about finding online communities, listening to them, and then understanding what they want. Based on that, you can create campaigns that integrate Facebook and Twitter and all of these other sites."

There are hundreds of examples to choose from, but here are 10 of the most innovative, and successful, social media marketing campaigns.

This article first appeared on SmartCompany.com.au, Australia’s premier site for business advice, news, forums and blogs.

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