Break the Internet With Our Social Media Tips

OK, so you might not *break the internet*, but our handy Four Cs will help your club build an easy — and effective — social media campaign.

By Bethany Bogacki, Student Programs content manager

A social media campaign is like a road trip. Just like you need a car, fuel, friends and map for a great road trip, you need the four Cs — content, coordination, collaboration and crusade — for an effective social media campaign. Of course, you’re the driver of the car, and with the four Cs, we’re confident you’ll achieve results.

Remember, social media is just a tool, not the solution — just like a road trip isn’t the destination, it’s the journey!

Prepare Your Road Map

Before you get started on your road trip, you have to chart your course, right? For a social media campaign, you’ll do this by determining your:

  • Campaign goal
  • Campaign dates
  • Audience (who you’re trying to engage)
  • Who’s involved (stakeholders, Operation Smile Student Programs staff support, clubs)
  • Budget, if any

Content

Knowing what you’re going to share is the most important element of any campaign – basically, it’s the vehicle you’ll take on this metaphorical road trip. You’ll need to have your:

  • Message – what do you want your audience to take away from your campaign?
  • Call to action – what do you want your audience to do as part of this campaign?
  • Copy assets (stories, quotes, blogs, testimonials)
  • Multimedia assets (photos, videos, graphics)
  • Supporting assets (Snapchat filters, webpages, links to already-prepared resources, hashtags)

Once you have all these pieces together, you should work to see how you can package it up and draft posts to share.

Coordination

This is when you put your content into action – it’s the fuel you need to make it to your road-trip destination. Make sure you answer these questions:

  • On which platforms will your content will be shared? Consider your audience when you make this decision, because who you want to reach will determine which platform you want to use. For example, if you wanted to target parents and teachers as part of your campaign, do you think Facebook or TikTok would be the best place to reach them? You’d probably want to choose Facebook (unless your parents are *that* cool) because, nine times out of 10, Facebook is where parents live online.
  • Are there any accounts that you have to tag? If you have supporters who will help amplify your message, make sure you tag them in your post so they definitely see it’s live. We love when you tag @osstudpro, so please do keep us in mind!
  • When will you share (day, time)? Again, consider your audience here. Would you want to post at 4 in the morning your time? Probably not, right, because most of your audience might be asleep. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and think about what time they’d be most likely to see your great content.
  • Are there are any ideal awareness days (such as World Smile Day in October) that would be relevant to your campaign? What would social media be without awareness days or holidays? Checking the United Nation’s awareness calendar is often a great place to start, and many of their holidays are relevant to Operation Smile’s work.
  • How often will you share your messages? Remember, it’s very important to post consistently, so choose a pace you can sustain regularly. We recommend that you start out with one day a week — we like Smile Saturday, for example. But no matter which day or pace you choose, make sure you stick with it. Consistency builds credibility, as I like to say, and when your audience goes stretches without hearing from you, it’s likely they’ll unfollow.
  • How will you measure the success of your campaign? Success looks different for each campaign. Is it how many people followed you or liked your posts (also known as engagement) or is how how many people ended up attending your event? Whatever your end goal is, make sure you have a tangible way to measure it, so you have an idea of how you could improve for next time.

Collaboration

You guessed it – following along with our road-trip metaphor, this piece is all about the squad you bring with you on your road trip!

Think through all your connections who can support your campaign on their own channels. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Does your club have social media platforms that can help amplify?
  • Many teachers are on social media – especially Twitter. Can they promote your event?
  • Many schools have their own accounts, too, and many are active on Twitter. How can they help?
  • Can your friends help spread the word on their personal accounts?
  • What about athletic teams? Can they post or promote your event during gametime or via their own networks?
  • Parents are great resources, too, and they’re usually on different platforms than you and your classmates. Can they post to their networks and reach another audience?
  • And while we’re been largely focusing on social media, don’t forget about email! Not only does email go directly to an inbox, but it often reaches a whole lot of people! Does your school have an email listserv or newsletter that they send to students or parents? Maybe administrators would be open to sharing your  message in those emails!
  • Are there other clubs/organizations at your school that can amplify your message?
  • Do you know anyone in your community who has a larger following who might be able to share? Consider these people microinfluencers who could be open to boosting your message through their personal or business channels.
  • Think about your greater community. Can Rotary and other volunteer groups, churches, scout organizations help promote?

Crusade

This is all about the implementation of your campaign – it’s putting the pedal to the metal and using your map to get to where you want to go! Be sure to consider:

  • If the campaign doesn’t go exactly the way you hoped it would, what is your just-in-case plan? How and what will you adjust to reach your goal? Is it the timing of your posts? Is it what you post? All campaigns have to clear a couple hurdles, so just be on your toes and ready to pivot!
  • Social media is social for a reason, and keeping up with your audience as they like, comment and share could make all the difference in the efficacy of your campaign. In the industry, this is called community management: Who on your team will be responsible for answering those comments and messages? Who will track the hashtag? Who will monitor the numbers?
  • Every campaign will teach you something. What are you learning during this one? How will this experience help any future campaigns?

Bethany is the content manager for Operation Smile Student Programs. That’s really just a fancy way of saying she’s in charge of all the words you see here on this site and our @osstudpro social media channels. She’s a lifelong journalist who honed her social media-management chops during her recent stint at a regional media group, where she managed channels for multiple publications. She’s more than happy to to help you with your club’s social media goals!