Keys to Launching a Successful Social Media Campaign

In today’s world, people are always connected. According to Statista, 83.7% of the population owns a smartphone; which means there are 6,648 billion smartphone users in the world. In fact, an average person spends 4.8 hours a day on their mobile phone and users in Brazil, Indonesia, and South Korea devote more than five hours of their day checking them. Of that time, 142 minutes, more than two hours, are dedicated to social media consumption, with TikTok leading the way. In other words, we can reach 60% of the world’s population through social media. Of those, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram are the ones that have the largest audience.

What does this mean for marketers and business owners? Maria del Sol, Digital Marketing professor at Harbour.Space and digital advertising expert who has worked for companies such as Microsoft,, Facebook, and Glovo, explains the keys to being a marketer nowadays and tells us how to launch a successful social media campaign during her Space.Talk, a webinar series that Harbour.Space organizes with Barcelona Activa.

First, she reminds us that there is no such thing as primetime anymore. Second, you don’t need to pay extra for advertising. The name of the advertising game today is called “efficiency”: reaching more people at a lower cost. How do you do that? By paying special attention to the content you are creating and the target audience you are selecting.  

1. Creatives

As Maria del Sol tells us, “algorithms can be intelligent, but they can’t be creative”. MIT neuroscientists say that our brains can identify images seen in as little as 13 milliseconds. With the social media boom, this means that the content consumption is quick, frequent, and active. The main message of a ad has to be delivered in the first few seconds. However, not all content is created equal. We need to take into consideration the platforms where we are going to run our ads. 

  • Instant attention: Your video or image has to have a “stopping power”; it has to grab the person’s attention within the first 1-3 seconds. To achieve this, Maria suggests starting with the most captivating elements that show a clear message and evidently display the brand.  
  • Brand link: You have to present the brand from second "zero" and integrate it throughout the video. 
  • Maintain interest: Does your video retain attention through good storytelling or other striking techniques? Create visual surprises. 
  • Framing for mobile: Square 1:1 and vertical ads make a more visual impact. Remember, it’s always better to build vertical and always check the ratio for mobile framing. 
  • Think sound off: Design your video so that it is understood without sound, but enjoyable with it. As Maria states, “build for sound off, delight for sound on”. Tell your story visually and consider using captions, text, or graphics that help deliver your message. 
  • Highlight what matters: Highlight key elements using the right frame, graphic, or other visual techniques.
  • Business objective: Is your creative tied to your business goal? Does it address what you want to communicate?
  • Shoot high-res: In TikTok quality matters. Maria says that “the overwhelming majority of top-performing TikToks, 83.2% to be specific, have a video resolution of 720p or higher”. 
  • Make some noise!: In TikTok ads, you need to include sound. Be it a music track, a voiceover, or just you talking to the camera, the “sound-on” is a must-have. Maria tells us that “adding audio of any kind causes a significant lift in impressions compared to videos without audio, and more than 93% of the top-performing videos in TikTok use audio”. 
  • Keep it short and sweet, but not too brief: It’s true that on TikTok shorter videos perform better. However, the top-performing videos have a duration of 21 to 34 seconds on average.  
  • Go full screen: Maria emphasizes that “TikTok provides an immersive, full-screen, experience and more than 98% of the top-performing videos use that framing. Videos that use the full 9:16 aspect ratio see a 60.5% lift in impressions”. 
  • Think vertically: In TikTok video orientation matters. TikTok users don’t like to rotate their screen to watch the next video on their “for you page”. Besides, Maria says that videos shot in a vertical format see a 40.1% lift in impressions. 


Besides the platform, marketers need to understand that in social media content created by people, rather than the brand, is seen as more authentic and trustworthy. Maria tells us that this type of creative content has 12x more engagement and a +28% conversion rate. 


She states that the top UGC advertising creating trends are the following:

  • Testimonials from real users, actors, or influencers. 
  • Third-person and POV videos of them playing, winning, or using the app. 
  • Picture-in-picture video, where the user and product are captured in the same frame.
  • Tips and quizzes, where the influencers or people address their followers directly, resolve questions, and share the benefits of the product. 
  • Social connection, when a message about the product is highlighted with communication between the person/influencer and their followers.  
  • Commentaries are casual and real-time reactions and perspectives of the product. 

2. Target Audience

The second key to launching a successful social media campaign is selecting the right target audience. With digital, you can get as specific as you want, but Maria explains to us  that audiences are divided into three categories:

Types of Target Audience
Types of Target Audience
  • General audiences: Here you are looking for a specific age, gender, location, interest, and behaviour. Basically, it’s a sophisticated and precise segmentation of your audience. 
  • Custom audiences: You will select the people according to pixel audiences, page behaviour, or internal files. You will also look for previous clients, people who already registered on your site, or people who have played your game up to level 10. 
  • Lookalike audiences (LAL): This feature allows you to find users that are similar to your seed audience, but with different levels of assertiveness. You will find people that look like your original audience. The search can be as broad or as narrow as you decide (i.e. broad LAL 10%; narrow LAL 1%). 

Other Factors to Consider

Maria reminds us of these crucial points that will keep marketers from despairing: 

  • Despite all of our efforts, about 85-95% of the ads fail.
  • Great ads only last up to 10 weeks. Yes, 10 weeks is how long a winning ad lasts before burning out. 
  • You will probably need 30 more ad concepts before finding a new winner. 
  • Remember that videos last longer and communicate more than photographs, which burn out faster and need to change more quickly. 
  • The most important thing is to test, test, test, and then test some more. 
  • Don’t put all your budget into one target audience.
  • Try new things all the time. 

About Maria Sol Croci. Even though she is now a digital advertising expert, she began her career as an Industrial Engineer with a Master’s in Finance. While she was studying her bachelor’s degree back in Argentina she started working at Oracle and fell in love with tech companies. After Oracle she worked for Microsoft and, one of the three unicorn companies that started in Argentina. It was in that she began her path in digital advertising. She was so successful that Facebook hired her to manage their biggest accounts in South America: Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Telefónica, Nestlé, and Kimberly Clark, among many others. At Facebook, she learned about focusing on ad measurements and optimizing her client’s digital investment by using a data-driven approach. She moved to Barcelona where she is now the acting Brand Partnership Marketing Manager at Glovo and a mentor at Harbour.Space.

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