Social media campaigns are focused and coordinated efforts that generate measurable results across social media platforms. Campaigns are a chance to switch things up, reach your audience in a new way, create memorable content and make a real impact on top-line business goals.

Managing social media presence with native tools can be challenging. But managing a dedicated multichannel social media campaign with native tools is virtually impossible. In this article, we’ll walk through some of the campaign management challenges social media teams frequently face and how a tool like Sprout can help alleviate them.

The most common social media campaign management challenges

For all the value they can bring, social media campaigns come with innate challenges. Raise your hand if you’ve ever tried to juggle:

  • Concepting, creating and scheduling dozens of social media posts across multiple networks
  • Managing your community and monitoring social for all campaign mentions and engagement opportunities
  • Tracking how your content is performing mid-campaign
  • Soliciting and curating user-generated content
  • Reporting on your campaign’s performance to your boss, client or other marketers
  • Ensuring messaging and content consistency when you have multiple team members or stakeholders involved in the publishing process
  • Optimizing your campaign to make sure your numbers keep growing

In most cases, these challenges stem not from people but from a lack of tools and infrastructure. Having the right social media campaign software can be the difference teams need to minimize manual effort, expedite planning and make the most of their campaign budgets.

7 ways to simplify social media campaign management

Whether you’re a brand marketer running multiple campaigns or an agency marketer managing multiple clients, an easy-to-use, turnkey solution that facilitates collaboration, execution and reporting all in one place can work wonders. We’ve created this guide to show you seven ways to simplify your social media campaign management—all using Sprout Social.

  1. Build your campaign in Sprout to set a strong foundation for reporting later
  2. Save your team time with a comprehensive publishing suite
  3. Bring team members, leaders and stakeholders into campaign planning with ease
  4. Optimize campaigns with real-time data and feedback
  5. Engage with your audience to create loyal fans
  6. Use social data to inspire confidence in your campaigns
  7. Hone in on the metrics that matter most

1. Build your campaign in Sprout to set a strong foundation for reporting later

Marketers continue to struggle to measure the ever-elusive ROI of social campaigns, but with the right infrastructure in place, tracking the performance and ROI of your campaign is simple. Given all the challenges of campaign management, having a tool like Sprout that centralizes your existing social publishing, customer care and reporting workflows is essential. With campaign management in Sprout, your posts are automatically incorporated into a tagging structure that organizes and tracks the success of your overall campaign and individual content.create new campaign in sprout

The first step is to create a new campaign. Sprout Campaigns provide the structure and simplicity to manage even the most complex campaigns–whether they span multiple networks, variable time periods, multiple KPIs or creative assets. Set the time frame of your campaign, which specific accounts are applicable and ensure consistency with a campaign brief to level-set content expectations and goals for the team. Sprout’s Advanced Plan users can even add media and text assets to campaigns – making it easy for your team to ensure the creative they use is on-brand and on-message.

As you run your campaign, you can use the Campaign Planner to evaluate how your current content is performing, fill potential gaps and use additional tags to test your content and continue optimizing your campaign. At our Sprout Sessions Digital event, speakers shared a number of ideas for how to use tags.

In addition to message tagging, Sprout users can add URL tracking to links to easily identify social referral traffic and conversions from social campaign posts in Google Analytics. Being intentional about your tagging and URL tracking will help later to report your results.

2. Save your team time with a comprehensive publishing suite

Once you’ve got your strategy squared away, goals set, creative assets prepped and campaign created, it’s time to start publishing.

Manually logging in and out of native platforms to schedule content is tedious.Sprout’s intuitive publishing tools help you map out your long-term campaign strategy and schedule content across different profiles and platforms simultaneously. The collaborative calendar is shared with all users in your plan, so marketers, clients and leaders can all view or contribute to your planning efforts. You can quickly filter the calendar to look at all of your scheduled social content, or isolate a specific campaign to fill in any content gaps. Campaign badges and campaign notes on the calendar make it even easier to identify your campaign specific content and information. This can also be helpful if you’re sharing your calendar with leadership or agency clients who want to focus specifically on upcoming campaign posts and strategy.

calendar showing campaign management in sprout

According to the Sprout Social Index™, consumers find short-form video 2.5x more engaging than long-form. Visually engaging content is an effective way to capture your audience’s attention while delivering information about your brand, product or service. When you’ve invested a lot of time creating beautiful assets to support your campaigns, it’s important to access them with ease as you start scheduling content. This accessibility is even more important as more people shift to working remotely.

Sprout’s Asset Library simplifies asset management, letting you create, organize, edit and publish assets from one place. Sprout integrates with Dropbox, Google Drive and Canva so you can add images or videos to your posts directly from the Compose window. If you feel more secure uploading directly from your computer, you can also easily drag and drop files into the Asset Library. These assets can be added directly to campaigns, ensuring only approved elements make it into your campaign.

Social platforms have adjusted their algorithms over the years to serve up more relevant content to users and prioritize paid content. As a result, 45% of consumers< now rely on suggestions in their feed and/or use discovery tools to find new accounts to like and follow, compared only 25% using hashtags for the same purpose. While campaign hashtags are still an effective way to encourage engagement among your audience and create a thread of connected content on social, brands also need to embrace other tactics to get eyes on their content.

Including strategic CTAs that drive action and publishing your content at the right time are both crucial to driving authentic engagement and optimizing campaign outcomes. Sprout’s patented ViralPost® technology analyzes your audience data to find the times most likely to reach your largest audience and receive real-time engagement updates. Use Optimal Send Times in Compose to schedule with precision and choose the best times to post that are specifically calculated for that profile on that day. Or, configure your Sprout Queue with ViralPost®, an automated approach that schedules your content for you while still optimizing your post times.

compose social posts with viralpost in sprout

3. Bring team members, leaders and stakeholders into campaign planning with ease

Because social campaigns ladder up to larger marketing initiatives, brands often implement an approval process that safeguards brand standards. Sprout’s approval workflows let stakeholders review, comment and give final sign off on scheduled posts. This level of governance ensures that marketing leaders feel informed and confident about how social supports campaign goals. In the Campaign Planner, you can see which of your campaign related posts are still out for approval—a good way to track content that still needs stakeholder review.

content approval in sprout

In addition to message approvals, you can share campaign calendar views and campaign specific reports with relevant stakeholders to keep them informed of content plans and overall performance.

4. Optimize campaigns with real-time data and feedback

Social campaigns aren’t something you can just set and forget. Consistent management maximizes impact.

While SMMs won’t need to do a full-blown report on campaigns every day, they should be keeping an eye on performance. If you notice a post performing well, you can apply those insights to your future content and potentially enhance your campaign in real-time. Additionally, if a Facebook post is resonating with your audience particularly well, or one of your more essential posts is garnering low impressions, you have the option to boost those posts directly in Sprout. A little paid jolt can make a big difference for your campaign. The Campaign Planner lets you quickly identify top performing content during the actual campaign (or, on the flip side, content that is not performing as high as you expected) to help inform whether you should do a content pivot.
Inbound messages can also help you revamp content in real-time. The Smart Inbox centralizes messages from your audience, providing opportunities to engage with new customers and gauge the reaction to your campaign. To organize your inbox, apply message tags as they come in to categorize and separate campaign feedback, leads and customer support.

smart inbox in sprout social

Sprout’s Inbox Rules allow Advanced Plan users to create automated systems that categorize and apply tags of your choice to specific inbound messages that meet certain criteria. You can also add incoming messages to your campaign – this can help customer care teams to prioritize campaign-related content and track the inbound conversations the campaign generates. From there, you can surface specific Inbox Views that show only messages relevant to that topic. For example, you can create inboxes specific to your campaign, customer service issues or product feedback. Based on the rules you establish, you can then set up Automated Alerts to receive notifications about the messages you deem most important.

5. Engage with your audience to create loyal fans

Marketers and consumers agree that engagement with audiences is a hallmark of best-in-class brands on social.

While a lot of inbound messages may relate to customer service issues, there are many other reasons consumers reach out on social. In the Sprout Social Index™, Edition XVII: Accelerate, we found that 78% of consumers agree that social media is the fastest and most direct way to connect with a brand.

If someone’s loving your campaign, don’t ignore it. It’s just as important to respond and show your appreciation to those consumers as it is to resolve customer complaints. It can go a long way in building customer loyalty, especially if those consumers are continually engaging with you and your content.

In Sprout, users can view conversation history between your team and contacts. With that context, you can personalize responses and nurture a lasting customer relationship. In the same window, you can add contacts to VIP Lists, which is useful when identifying brand evangelists and potential ambassadors or influencers for your next campaign.

6. Use social data to inspire confidence in your campaigns

Campaigns are all about the payoff, but only 29% of social marketers use social data to assess campaign performance. There’s a lot to be learned from social data and without it, you can miss out on valuable insights that support top-line goals.

Sprout’s robust analytics and reporting capabilities help you track campaign success and generate reports that inspire confidence, not confusion. Add outgoing posts to your campaign in Compose to easily track performance inthe Tag Performance Report and narrow in on metrics like engagements, impressions and clicks.

tag report in sprout social

While explaining your overall campaign performance is essential for reporting, digging into your top and lowest performing is also critical. Filter the Post Performance Report by your campaign to sort your content by whichever KPIs matter most. This will help you uncover themes around which posts performed well and which didn’t so you can optimize for future campaigns. And if you forgot to add posts to your campaign when initially scheduling, don’t worry—you can retroactively do that in the Post Performance Report. Rather than adding posts individually to your campaign, users with Premium Analytics can tag them in bulk. For instance, if several posts with the campaign hashtag were sent out not added to your campaign, use the search feature to bring those posts to the forefront and tag them all at once.

post performance report in sprout social

7. Hone in on the metrics that matter most

If your brand has built a paid strategy for your campaign, your bosses will be especially curious to know how that money was spent. Sprout’s Paid Performance Reports help track performance and inform budget decisions on the fly for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn campaigns. The reports are digestible and focus on the metrics that clients and executives alike will care about most, like cost per conversion, cost per click, total spend and more.

If you’re on the organic side and working with a media buyer or paid social expert, these reports can also help you share insights and collaborate to improve both the paid and organic efforts of your campaign.

And to bring it all home, don’t just tell your clients and executives how your campaign performed, show them. With Sprout’s Premium Analytics you can tailor a report specific to your campaign with custom reporting options. In addition to the out-of-the-box reports offered, you can build a report from scratch by adding and arranging data and text widgets in a way that tells a story and clearly demonstrates campaign success. Once you’ve drilled into the data that underscores the value of social, share it with your social team and beyond.

Social media campaign management can be seamless

Putting it simply, Sprout takes the pain out of campaigns. Dad jokes aside, Sprout can truly help nurture your campaigns, community and company goals.

Sprout removes the busywork from your process, streamlines content creation and simplifies reporting so you can focus more time on optimizing your campaign, tending to your customers and looking forward to your next project.

Try Sprout Social for free with a 30-day trial. Already a customer and need help getting started with custom reports? Find more in-depth how-tos on creating custom reports here.