Having outstanding content is crucial in a good social media campaign, but many times the overall framework around the campaign can make or break your initiatives. Not only do you want to make sure that your campaign is overwhelmingly successful, but that you can track all of the metrics of this success.
Content related items
- Thoroughly check your hosting - Make sure that your hosting can withstand a flurry of traffic – that can many times cripple a server. Contact your hosting provider and see if they could handle 25,000 visits in a 5 minute span. Many people think they are going to do alright, but end up crashing during primetime, wasting all their work.
- Doublecheck your content – Many times, even with excellent bandwidth and a reliable host, webmasters can shoot themselves in the foot in their execution of the content. Say you have 100 images to accompany a top 100 list and they all measure about 40kb an image. Your host’s processor might have the allotted amount of bandwidth for the data transfer, but the processor might get crushed trying to serve the 100 images to 10,000 visitors a minute and crash the site. Use things like Amazon S3 or Flickr for image hosting and YouTube or Vimeo for video hosting, so you won’t strain your own hosting resources.
- Think about social voting buttons & badges - One thing that can bring voting to a halt is the lack of voting buttons on a page. If using buttons and badges, make sure that each button is going to the specific place and pre-load as much as possible so that users won’t have to think as much.
- Look for events to avoid - Even the most awesome content in the world would have gotten lost during Michael Jackson’s funeral, when all of the social networks were crippled by the bandwidth. Many events are impossible to avoid, but there are so many others (elections/ceremonies/holidays …etc) which can be avoided.
- Schedule launch for primetime – Make sure that you are giving your content its due and launch when you think you will have the most success; don’t just launch when it is done. If launching on Twitter, select the time of day and week where you think you will have as much pickup as possible. Same with the social news/bookmarking sites, make sure to set yourself up to utilize your networks to the maximum.
- Analytics check - This is a no-brainer, make sure that you are tracking as much as possible during a campaign. Having instant access to traffic stats is ideal, as you will be able to find out what is working well and try to exploit similar outlets.
- Make sure additional support is ready - If looking to bolster your campaigns with other forms of marketing such as PPC campaigns, press releases, blogger outreach lists or contextual ads, make sure that they are all set and ready to launch. Many times these methods have an approval process or a good deal of footwork that have to be done before they can be launched. Make sure everything is buttoned down before launching.
- URL link check - View the number of inbound links to that specific page. Why? You should be tracking as many metrics as possible so that you can show detailed results to clients. Tracking the number of inbound links pre-launch will enable you to give your client direct results from the work that you have done.
- Domain link check - This is mainly for smaller websites, but is still a great practice to track for all clients. One of the byproducts of promoting a specific page is that the main domain will garner links as well as the specific page in question. For many sites, every link counts and you want to make sure that you track everything!
- Track overall pickups - Before launching, make sure that you have the proper resources to track all mentions of the campaign so that you will be able to justify the chatter about your campaign. SocialMention, WhosTalkin & Raven SEO Tools all have built in monitoring (as well as many others out there) that will allow you to really find (and save) what people are saying about you.
- URL ranking report - One of the main results that you will see from a successful social news site is a quick lift in the SERPs. Tools like SEMrush allow you to find out what a specific page is already ranking for (if ranking for anything at all). Then, 30 days after your campaign has ended, you will be able to show hard evidence of increases that your Social Media Campaign has made on your SEO efforts.
- Domain ranking report - Just like the ‘domain link check’ successful promotion of a specific article will most likely help your overall domain authority, so do some basic groundwork on how the entire site is performing in the SERPs before launching your campaigns.
With this checklist, you should be properly equipped to not only run a successful campaign, but also be able to show cold hard facts on the success of any campaign as well!