Humanities: Social Media Marketing

Building a social media campaign

Background

A social media marketer uses social media platforms and websites to promote a service or product. Marketing is valuable to the organization as a way of providing publicity and garnering public interest. Marketing is used to promote events and also to maintain the reputation of an organization for an active and engaged audience. Marketers identify their target audiences and understand the company’s vision and goals before creating content. The professional may need to break down the users/audience/followers by demographic to understand how their product or service is being used and what is valued by those audiences. Social media marketers may write social media posts, press releases, and blogs to communicate their message. They consider design elements and tone, too, such as the use of humor and formality. Professionals may also conduct research into competitors to inform their marketing strategy and communication plans.

Your role

For this exercise, you are a social media marketing intern for a vegan Asian restaurant. You report to the Founder/CEO. You work with another team member on marketing and design. Depending on the company you many report to someone besides the Founder/CEO, especially if it’s a larger organization.

The Process of Writing for a Social Media Marketing Account

  1. Define the goals of the organization, method of communication, and style with organization leadership.
  2. Determine the landscape including competitors and audience.
  3. Create a strategy for content such as relevance, design, tone, and engagement.
  4. Create a plan for utilizing different platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook such as frequency for posting and who will provide photography or access to photographs (aka assets). The strategy may differ depending on the platform.
  5. Write content tailored to the platforms.
  6. Edit the content (either self-edit or send to a team member or communications team).
  7. Schedule posts (for example: 2-3 posts on Twitter and IG daily).

Task 1

Create a list of restaurants with a social media presence and define their strategy (style, tone, frequency). Consider restaurants with a big presence and those that hardly use social media.

Task 2

Schedule two weeks of posts of events or menu items that you aim to promote. To begin, look closely at your restaurant’s menu to see if there are any standout items that you can design a post around. Also look at the restaurant’s calendar for any upcoming specials that you can announce on social media: happy hours, live music, charity events, participation in local festivals, teacher specials, kids nights, etc. Finally, brainstorm broader ways to promote the restaurant—if national vegan food day is coming up, encourage your social media followers to celebrate with a trip to your restaurant.

Task 3

Design content or write several sample posts or tweets. For this task, become familiar with the platforms. For example, IG is more visual and doesn’t link other pages, and can include “stories”. For pictures, be aware of pixel size and copyright.

Sample Deliverable

Coming soon!

Resources:

  • Websites for free photography access: Unsplash and Pixabay

  • Sample posting sites: Planoly for IG, Preview for Instagram, Tweet Deck or Hoot Suite for Twitter, and FB planner for FB business plans. Note that some of these services are paid social media planning apps that you might use on the job.

Skills used to perform this task:

  • Writing in an engaging and concise manner
  • Strong editing
  • Creativity
  • Collaboration across functions (communications, design and leadership)
  • Research and analysis
  • Strategic thinking
  • Understanding and knowledge about brand competitors

Skills needed in social media careers:

  • Writing in different styles, and lengths
  • Critical/analytical thinking
  • Communicating & relationship-building with clients
  • Presentation skills
  • Time and project management
  • Market research
  • Business acumen
  • Networking
  • Effective writing for technical and non-technical audiences

You are viewing a job simulation. To get started, set up SMART Goals to perform this simulation in a reasonable timeline. If you have completed the task, fill out the Self-Reflection Sheet.

Simulation author: Alexandra Swanson, PhD candidate at Washington University in St. Louis
Simulation vetted by professionals in St. Louis