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We recently completed a globally-focused 10-day social media campaign for one of our clients which resulted in over 1,300 new Twitter followers, overwhelmingly positive Twitter sentiment and also generated over 250 new Facebook fans and traffic to the company’s website and blog.

Here are a few of the basics I used to get up the campaign, manage it, and measure it.

Benchmarks:  Before your first Tweet, make sure to take note of of how many people are already following you on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn (groups, etc.) so you can compare the before-and-after scenario.

Identifying goals:  While it’s easy to see the hard results – did your numbers go up or down – there’s more to social media metrics than hard numbers.  Sentiment is hard to quantify, but it’s easy to see.  In our campaign, one day we asked people to tell us why they liked what our client was doing.  We received such a great response – comments that were creative, funny, and inspiring.  Of course, you also open yourself up for negative commentary, but in our experience, we have found the community to be collaborative and supportive.  When a snarky comment did appear on another day, the community came to the defense.  A perfect validation of why it’s important to maintain an open dialogue and relationship with the community.

Tone of Voice: For our particular exercise, the voice we used for Tweeting was humorous, approachable and a bit irreverent.  We decided to use this tone as it not only caught the attention of the community but also made people smile, question, and comment.  It was in sync with the client’s brand and messaging.  All elements of the communication – from the press release, to the blog, to the Twitter feed, to the YouTube video, to the Facebook fan page and more reflected upon one another and carried this voice.

Once we had our basics down, then began the work.

We used a variety of free tools to make our job easier, as we provided daily reports on metrics, sentiment, and milestones (by the way, I did try out a couple of paid services, but I found I could gather the same information without paying the subscription fees).  Here are the tools we used:

Tweetdeck:  Tweetdeck’s desktop client was the hub of my Twitter communications.  I set up a few different search columns to make sure I had visibility into all sides of the conversation.  One column was dedicated to the hashtag we used, anothers to particular search terms, and of course others for @ replies and DMs.

Seesmic Web app:  I also used Seemic’s web app as it provided a cleaner and easier way for me to view responses and had a deeper historical view, which was important to me as we were managing this campaign across all time zones (i.e. 24 hours a day).

TwitterCounter:  A great chart that shows how many followers you have today, how many more you just accrued, and how many are predicted to come in a day more more.

Trendrr:  More useful charts and information on the number of mentions on Twitter, blogs, and search engines.

SocialOomph:  When you want to get your message out at 8:00AM in London but you’re based in San Francisco which is 8 hours behind, there’s an alternative to staying awake late or asking your colleagues in London to take on the task for you (assuming you have colleagues in London).  This is where SocialOomph comes in.  You can preschedule a Tweet to go out on a specific date/time.  It’s a great thing to use occassionally, but I don’t advocate you use it often, as the whole point of social media is the conversation, which means you have to have a real-live human on the both ends.

Another analytic tool I did not use during this last campaign but am considering for the future is SocialMention which provides a nice snapshot of all the social media elements you can imagine.

At the end of the campaign, it was gratifying and satisfying to see the upward trend of followers, the collection of great Tweets and comments from the community, and the impact on other social media touchpoints.  We embraced the community to share and ReTweet our news, tips, and were thrilled to see our messages amplified.