Picture the scene: your marketing team has come up with a fantastic idea for a social media campaign. Perhaps you’re going to invite fans to send in their pictures of something, accompanied by a dedicated hashtag? Or you might decide to invite consumers to like your page on Facebook, to be in with the chance of winning something? Whatever it is, you’re probably sure it’s going to be a raving success… and it is!

You’ve gained lots of new followers, lots of likes and shares on Facebook – not to mention being added to lots of circles on Google+. So, now what – the hard work is done, right?

Wrong! It’s only the beginning

Don’t be a one-hit wonder. Sure, it’s fantastic that you’ve made such a mark on social media; however what really matters is how you follow it up. Social media marketing is something that requires an ongoing commitment. What happens to all those followers and fans you’ve gained? The worst thing you could do is leave them hanging; wondering what happened to that dynamic, interesting brand that caught their eye.

The key now is working out how to keep your newfound audience engaged. Unfortunately, few brands can afford to launch new competitions each week or month, so you’ll have to rely on something else – content and cracking customer service.

Make it a valuable experience

Consumers don’t have to follow you on Twitter or like you on Facebook… and if you don’t give them a reason to, they simply won’t. Be sure to offer relevant, valuable content that is of interest to your target audience. Keep it varied, too – you can use anything from blogs, news articles and videos to podcasts, webinars or infographics. The key is keeping it exciting and stimulating – which means creating content that speaks to your followers’ individual needs.

Hello, is it me you’re looking for?

Image c/o coedmagazine.com

What’s more, it’s crucial to talk to your followers and fans. No, not via the telephone, Lionel Ritchie style… respond to their comments on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and any other networks you’re using. If they ask you a question, do your best to answer it – or point them in the direction of someone who can. If they have a complaint, deal with it efficiently and without argument. You may not agree with what they’ve said, but the worst thing you can do is ignore their comment, as they’ll only get angrier – something your other followers will pick up on.

Yes, you’ll inevitably need to launch other big campaigns in the future – be it on a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly basis – but  you may find that it’s actually what you do on social media during the months you aren’t actively campaigning that really matters.