Social Media Is Part of Your Marketing Strategy, Not Your Only Strategy
It’s really no surprise that even mom and pop shops these days are active on social media. I mean come on, who isn’t on Twitter or Facebook? And we’ve definitely seen the boom of social media marketing and how it’s helped numerous businesses (including those with smaller budgets) thrive. Social media turns the historically one-way line of communication from the brand to the customer into a two-way conversation back and forth from brand to customer and vice versa.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you should use only social media to help build your brand. Social media is great, but can be limited to developing relationships with individual relationships or a small group of people. After all, the whole point is to expose your company to as many people as possible, right?
The best way, then, is to integrate it with other types of marketing. So instead of thinking of social media as a standalone tactic, think about how you can sprinkle social media into your other marketing initiatives. If you nurture both traditional and social marketing, then you’ve got a very powerful combo there (shazam!).
Here are some suggestions to help amp up your marketing efforts:
Emails Are Your Best Friend
Got that email list? Have a lot of social media followers? Seriously, those two work together like peanut butter and jelly. Combine the two of them together, and you’d have one delicious marketing sandwich. Supercharge your marketing goals by using the following suggestions to integrate your social media and email marketing:
- Send text messages
- Make opt-in forms on Facebook and any other relevant social media channels
- Ask email subscribers to share and connect
- Include social media icons in emails
- Promote email signups on social media channels
- Send an email to your contacts alerting them to the new blog you just posted and ask for their feedback
QR Codes Are The New Black
You might see random little black dots in a square; I see infinite possibilities for marketing prowess. In the past few years, these little guys have exploded everywhere from packaging to consumer advertising. Recall the smartphone? Yeah, blame them for the explosion of putting barcode readers literally in people’s pockets. It’s so darn easy to access a brand’s websites through a QR code, which is why it has become a focus of many companies and their marketing efforts.
QR codes are so easily integrated that it’s a no brainer you need to start incorporating this little gem into your current marketing efforts. Go ahead; expose your business in real time to mobile audiences.
Here are some tips:
- Create high quality codes and test them before publishing
- Track scans with programs such as code management systems
- Ensure a positive user experience by linking to mobile optimized websites
- Plan where you will integrate QR codes in your marketing campaigns
See, not so hard, is it?
Give Them What They Want
And no, I’m not referring to giving in to every whim from your audience. I’m referring to providing stellar customer service through social media. Long gone are the days where customers can contact companies only through phones (and sometimes at their peril, particularly if it’s an automated service) and email.
As I’m sure you’ve discovered, many businesses have started to respond to customer queries and complaints through social media. Basically customers are using this means as a way to access a representative of the company, using non-traditional means. And if people are conversing online, shouldn’t you be where they are?
What I’d suggest is integrate your customer service procedures to social media as well. Think about dedicating a team to social media specifically for customer service (including separate social media accounts for such things), and hours of operation. Don’t forget to make that very clear to your customers, and respond in a timely fashion, especially when they are complaints!
Social Media and Live Events
Why not schedule your live event and integrate it with social media? Many companies have created buzz for their events by generating contests for followers, or even encourage conversations through live Twitter chats.
Gosh, there are so many creative ways you can use social media with live events. Have you thought about having people film clips asking questions to a keynote speaker, and answering the questions in real-time? Or even have people sign up to follow you on Twitter and they get a free door prize? The possibilities are endless. Just make sure your contest or event idea doesn’t violate the network’s terms of service.
Integrating Social Media With Your Market Research
Last but not least, the easiest step is just to ask your customers what they want. Simple, isn’t it? In fact, you can use this tactic to not only get feedback on current products, but also use data collected to create entirely new products.
There are simple ways to get feedback, such as using crowd sourcing programs and having people simply vote on tweets (or any other social media posts), and using a tool like Hootsuite to analyze the results.
Can you see how you can use social media as part of a broader marketing effort? What are you going to integrate today to help ramp up your business?