5 Tips for Creating a Social Media Campaign to Encourage People to Stop Smoking

Quitting smoking is a rough road for anyone who has tried. Every year that passes, is one more year that can damage your lungs. Many community organizations and energized adults want to encourage those trying to quit by crafting social media campaigns.

Knowing you are not alone, are supported by a network trying to quit, and have resources at the ready when a craving hits are crucial for success. Social media campaigns promote those ideals and can remind you that there are practical tips and emotional support available year-round.

In this age of 24/7 media saturation, advocacy to change hearts and minds must start with crafting an effective campaign. With content bombarding us by Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, how do you get your message through? Branding your message is an important first step in getting the attention of your audience. When you have a clear brand, your message is more easily distilled and the people you want to reach will notice.

Companies like Black Buffalo have grasped that concept in promoting their products as a potential aid in quitting smoking. The smokeless tobacco alternative maker has branded itself by respecting the personal tradition and ritual of smoking. Their website, https://blackbuffalo.com/, communicates a clear identity for who they intend to reach, and their brand is quickly growing across the US.

While your campaign may not offer nicotine replacements or other products that consumers can use to help them quit smoking, creating a strong identity will make your message recognizable. You want people to see your campaign’s logo and colors, read your slogans and phrases, and know without a doubt that your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever platform you are using, is the place to go when they want help kicking the habit.

1. Know Your Audience

Creating a meaningful campaign requires finding your target audience. Just like yelling information in a grocery store randomly does not communicate news efficiently, neither does posting an isolated idea on Facebook or Twitter. They are such large platforms, your voice will be drowned out by whatever the next celebrity scandal brings.

A message needs to be crafted to a chosen audience focused on age, location, and interests. Every platform lets you choose from those demographics when paying for a targeted post, but it also helps to do your research.

If your audience consists of people between the ages of 21 to 29, the language you choose for your post will be substantially different from the language for an audience of 40-year-olds. Everything from slang terms to cultural references should change. Recent slang terms like “stan” and “bae” could be incorporated in the message, while a 40-year-old may not understand what those terms mean. Choosing an audience you understand will ensure you communicate the subject well without ostracizing the people you want to reach.

2. Post! Post! Post!

Post early and post often. Creating new content will cause an uptick in your exposure. Plan for specific times each day for new messages to post. Early afternoon is the optimal time to post new content. More eyes see the content and more clicks are gained during that specific period.

Be imaginative and creative with your posts. But more than anything else be consistent with your frequency and content. Each week choose an area of quitting tobacco to target with your posts across platforms.

One week could focus on strategies for adapting tobacco-free alternatives to one’s daily routine and the next you can focus on relapse prevention. Use similar topics of conversation and the same hashtags to establish a seamless campaign.

3. Live Video is Your Friend

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all have GO LIVE options. Use them frequently and practice being camera ready. Rehearse with camera angles and locations to craft a video that pops. Make the colors and energy jump from the screen in order to grab the attention of posters scrolling by the live video. Be aware of your surroundings when you decide to shoot the video.

You cannot have licensed music or brand names behind or on your clothing. After your live video is completed, it can be saved and disseminated across Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Twitter. However, if the video contains copyrighted material, the artists or brands routinely request social media platforms to remove them. You do not want all your hard work to be removed because of a simple problem that could have been avoided with a little preplanning.

4. Keep the Dialogue Going

A social media campaign creates a space for dialogue, not just preaching. Ask open ended questions in your posts and provide facts that will make the audience want more information:

  • What is stopping you from quitting smoking?
  • What resources do you need to help with your journey?
  • What steps can you take to finally be smoke-free?
  • It takes 8-10 times to quit smoking, how can you quit for good?

You want to encourage readers to ask questions and give suggestions. Make sure you respond with tips, tricks, and resources promptly. Forgetting about a post or not responding are missed opportunities to engage with the target audience.

Quitting smoking is a series of small decisions you make every hour. Remember the majority of smokers want to quit. Providing a safe place to ask “dumb” questions and support each other in the process is priceless.

5. Create Memes to Add Humor and Inspire Thought

Memes are the living embodiment of the old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Creating a relevant meme can do half the work of your campaign for you. Your audience will copy and share an effective meme freely across their preferred social media sites. They are an efficient and effective tool to convey basic, important ideas or concepts. Universities even study the effects of memes on political discourse.

6. Keep at It!

Quitting smoking takes dedication. So does a campaign to help others. Remember that staying consistent and persistent is key to success!