Why your Social Media Campaign is a lot like Chess


Daniel Matthews

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: March 22, 2021

It sounds intimidating. Chess is one of those games only some people have a talent for. The rest of us scratch our heads. We wonder if it would help to play against a computer & social media campaign is a lot like chess and more often. We hope a loss doesn’t mean our IQ is lower than the ant colony invading the house, swarming through the cracks every summer.

Just like in chess, those with something to say about your social media campaign stress the importance of developing a strategy and sticking with it. This doesn’t just apply to social media campaign marketing. Failure to respond appropriately to customers on any given social media platform can lead to a 15% increase in churn. What is churn? It’s that uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your customer’s stomach.

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If you want to win in the social media arena, if you want to avoid churn, your strategy is all-important.

Social Media Campaign & Marketing Strategy

Playing the field  

In his article on social media as a business tool, Dave Cartwright presents two different ways of approaching a social media strategy. The first involves a reactive strategy like 3 Ways E-Commerce Platforms Can Engage With Online Shoppers Via Social Media. Your social media presence is a matter of monitoring. You ask questions such as:

  • What are people saying about my business and my products?
  • How should I respond?

The second approach involves being proactive.

  • How can I present my brand as a consistent presence on networks?
  • Am I posting content and status updates? commenting on conversations? reaching out to influencers and asking them to get involved?
  • Am I maximizing my brand’s potential presence?
  • Am I synchronizing my social media marketing efforts with my other marketing efforts?

Cartwright’s point is that you’ve got to play it one way or the other.

But is a purely reactive strategy going to be effective? Many competitive businesses don’t think so. If you don’t play offense you won’t ever get a checkmate. A stalemate, perhaps; but you can’t win if you don’t advance your pieces on the board.

Advancing is all about adaptation. If you don’t adapt to the environment, you don’t advance. Although there are filters, the social media world is as human an environment as we can find on the internet.

Advancing on social media campaigns is about being human, engaged. Here are some ways to advance:

Using memes

It helps to get creative. One of my colleagues discovered memes are an effective way of engaging his audience. His audience likes the funny, cute memes—not necessarily thought-provokers. As with any type of content, what type of memes your audience likes will depend entirely on the audience.

Researchers at Indiana University Bloomington found you can predict the virility of a meme by analyzing the structure of its retweet network. Early on, if the meme is retweeted by a more diverse community of users, it is more likely to go viral. The researchers were able to use this analysis to predict which memes will go viral with over 60% accuracy.

Check out what memes have gone viral in your niche, analyze the audiences they appealed to early on, and harness creativity to make memes with these target communities in mind. There a lot of Twitter analytics tools you can use to help.

Diversifying content

Memes are fun. But any campaign that takes advantage of social media tools uses diverse methods to connect. The more diverse your content approach is, the more diverse your audience.

On Facebook, as well as any other network, when you respect your audience’s intelligence and work to paint a picture of who you are as a business, you are reaching out to a diverse audience. The 42% of people who expect you to respond to a customer query within an hour are not the same as the 58% who do not have that expectation.

Imagine if, after messaging you a question on Facebook, a customer (or potential customer) puts you out of their mind and continues to look at their News Feed.

Then, what if that same customer sees a post you’ve made about Obama’s new emissions standards and how your company is working to support efforts to fight climate change.

Now the customer knows you care about a big issue. Even if they don’t care about fighting climate change, or whatever you’re supporting, the message is still there. Once they receive your reply to their original query, your diversified content will have worked to create a bigger picture of who your company is.

Rebounding a miss

When a customer messages you with a complaint, or if you discover them ranting about your product’s failure on their timeline, it’s your chance to use customer service as the best kind of marketing tool.

The seeming failure of your product or service creates the chance for you to demonstrate a first-rate adaptation skill. You acknowledge the issue, you do your best to establish a working relationship and ensure satisfaction.

If the customer is truly social on this most social of internet mediums, others will find out about your good-faith efforts. And, if the person is irrational and you make it plain as day you’re trying to help them, people will judge for themselves. The bad publicity a complainer gives you is good publicity when you’re working hard to connect them to the right solution to the problem. We had tremendous feedback on this article Dawn of App Development.

The digital sunset

At the end of the day, the hero learns through experience, so don’t be afraid to try different approaches. Use analytics to figure out how you’re doing.

Remember that your strategy and your immersion in the social media campaign environment will inform results, and you’ll move the pieces of your campaign ever closer to where you want them on the board.

Daniel Matthews is a freelance writer from Boise, ID. He’s written for Social Media Today, Smart Data Collective, YFS Magazine, and Social Media Impact, among others. You can find him on Twitter

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