Paid social media campaigns can have a very positive effect on the platform. They help increase visibility, can boost user sign-up and generate conversation. However, we understand they can be quite time-consuming to set-up and to manage - and we're here to help. If you've selected the "social media campaigns" package, we can run social media campaigns on your behalf. 

This guide lists everything we need from you in order to run social media campaigns on your behalf. It focuses on Facebook and Instagram, because these are the platforms we recommend using in most cases. 

The first step is to define the aims and objectives of your campaign. We need you to answer these four questions:

  • How many people do you want to reach?
  • Who are the people that you want to reach? Are you after a specific audience, or is it all citizens?
  • What action do you want users to take? Do you want people to know about a certain event (=see the ad), read something (=visit a website), register / participate for something (=interact with the website)?

Timeline: we need the answer to these questions at least 10 days before the start of the campaign.
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We then need to start setting up the ad. At this stage, we need:

  • Preferred visuals (if any). If there's a visual you've created, we can use it for the campaign. If you don't have one, that's ok too - we can create one for you!
  •  Ideas for copy (if any). Let us know if you had any specific text in mind. We can also provide suggestions.
  • Once the ad is drafted, we'll always run the copy, visuals and targeting by you. We need a formal validation before launching the campaign. 

Timeline: we need to have the ad validated at least 5 days before the start of the campaign. 

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The third step is implementing the ad and launching the campaign. There are two options you need to choose from. 

(1) We run the campaign from the CitizenLab account. This is the easiest option. It means that the ad will have Citizenlab's logo, but the visuals and message can all be branded by the city. A paid ad can reach anyone anywhere in the world, so it doesn't matter if we're not in the same geographical location. In this case, there's nothing more we need from you.

(2) We run the campaign from your city's Ads account. This means that citizens immediately recognise who the ad is coming from, but it's more complicated to set-up: you have to add the CitizenLab team and payment methods to your account for the length of the campaign, and remove them when it's done. If that's how you prefer to go, then there's a few more steps to take:

From there, we'll add our own methods of payment, which we'll then delete later on.

Timeline : we need to know which account we will be running the ad from at least 10 days before the beginning of the campaign. If we are running it from your account, we need to be added to the account at least 3 days before the campaign starts. 

We hope this was useful - if you have any questions, let us know! If you want to know more about communicating about your participation platform, check out our communications kit.

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