Ask the right questions from the start for a stronger social media campaign strategy.

A budget in the billions proves social media marketing is here to stay. And while a bigger budget is often better, more brands with more opportunity on social means more competition. To excel at social media marketing, you need a unique approach to overcome a consistent challenge.

Whether social media creative composes its own independent campaign or is part of one of your larger ones, approach your social media campaign strategy differently by updating your creative brief to include these five questions.


1. What is the desired audience reaction to social in this campaign?

Concentrating first on the reaction you’re looking to evoke—rather than the transaction—leads to focused creative that tells a good story and makes an impact. Pick just one of these objectives in your creative brief before producing assets. Then, you’ll set the right tone and energy for a campaign.

“Social is different—it’s a public venue in which we’re talking WITH a consumer, not AT a consumer, and our approach needs to reflect those differences. Social gives consumers a platform to respond and one in which the consumer expects to be heard.”

—Jackie Kolber, BMO Harris Bank social media manager

2. Why would this topic start a conversation?

When completing a creative brief, envision how the topics of your social marketing campaigns would get people talking, and how these topics are already being introduced in casual conversation.

If you’re selling insurance, recognize why people talk about insurance with their friends and family: it could be a pleasant discovery of unexpected coverage, like learning stolen items from your car are covered by renters insurance. Then, use those observations to create social concepts that could seamlessly fit into everyday conversation.

3. What other campaigns will be active at or near the same time?

Someone’s Facebook feed is unique and undeniably personal. So bombarding users with many different social marketing campaigns and messages at once can be a turnoff and even feel invasive.

When completing a creative brief, take into account your brand’s other campaigns that will be live before, during and after the one you’re producing. You’ll avoid over-saturating your audience with communications, and a holistic perspective will help you think more strategically.

4. Which social channels are best for the campaign?

During the creative brief process, imagine how various social media channels will affect your campaign. By starting with an evaluation of which ones will serve you best, you’ll end up with creative that’s on track and feels at home in its environment.

5. Bonus question for the creative team: How will the creative feel natural — not salesy — in its environment?

(This one doesn’t need to be included in the actual brief, but ensuring your creative team asks this question when producing content for social will go a long way to giving your audience what it really wants.)

Obviously, people don’t check their social channels to look at ads. Think how your campaign can exist on social media while keeping your brand and message prominent, but not overwhelming, to a user.

Say you’re promoting a low interest rate in a large campaign. While the rate itself may work best in print or out of home, communicating the campaign’s less technical details and focusing on the lifestyle benefits may work better for social. Decide which details to promote by evaluating what’s most consistent with why someone is inclined to check their Facebook in the first place.

Answering these questions in your creative brief—and holding your creative accountable to your answers—can help direct your social media campaign strategy to produce strong results.

Take a look at how we’ve used these questions to develop a social media campaign strategy that exceeded goals.