The title of this article is a little bit misleading, there is no such thing as “other marketing” once you come to the understanding that social media is not a separate entity unto itself. It is marketing. It is communications. It is PR. It is website design. It’s technology.
That being said, here are three easy ways you can eliminate the gap between social media and your other marketing activities. In turn you will leverage social technologies to make your “other” marketing activities much more effective in driving reach and interest.
1. Email Marketing Integration
Social Sharing in Email
Benefit: Reach and Referral
Depending on which ESP (email service provider) you use, you can integrate social sharing to your next email newsletter or promotion. It works just like it does on website pages; the sharing buttons are displayed in the email template and upon “tweeting this newsletter” the recipient shares a link to the Web version of your email. Your ESP will need to have two features to accomplish this: 1. View HTML/Web version of the email, 2. Social sharing. If they do then implementation is as simple as a setting on your email template. Silverpop, and other services like ConstantContact and Exact Target offer these settings. Check with your ESP to find if they do and which buttons to flip on to make it happen.
2. Website Integration
Every website should have a social component to it or you can consider it outdated. I know, that’s an ugly word that will make any marketer (and believe me, their visitors) cringe. In lieu of a redesign or having to overhaul your technology, here are two fairly simple things you can add to your web pages without breaking bank or your developer’s back.
Social Sharing Buttons
Benefit: Reach and Referral
People share content, not pages. Keep this in mind when considering where to place a social sharing button. You know the little icons added for your convenience to share this content with your network at the top and bottom of this blog post. They come in many shapes and forms, and you can customize them to a large degree. Essentially it’s a snippet of code that you copy and paste into your website template. Ideally at the top or bottom, or near the content that is deserving of being passed along to other people. Not in the footer or side bar. My favorite sharing tool is Addthis.com or Sharethis.com.
Subscribe Tool Bar
Benefit: Grow your audience via collecting subscriptions across brand communication channels
A brand communication channel is any medium you use to talk to your audience in which they can opt-in to. Traditionally you would think of email marketing. However, becoming a Facebook fan or following your brand on Twitter holds the same merits. If your website lacks buttons linking to your channels you are missing out on your low hanging fruit. This is your audience, get them on board.
Implementation is simple. You’ll need to identify a section of your website template that can handle a set of small linked images. Ideally this will be in the header, sidebar or footer. Be sure to communicate that this is where to follow and connect with your brand (so it’s not confused with sharing). Some standard titles:
Items to consider including in your subscribe tool bar include: Facebook page, Twitter page, LinkedIn business profile or group, YouTube, Flickr, RSS feed or Blog, Email opt-in form, or live chat.
3. Offline Marketing
Put It In Print
Benefit: Grow your audience via collecting subscriptions across brand communication channels AND nurture customer loyalty
I love it when I get my bill at a restaurant when it comes with a friendly little insert with their Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter information. Even better, a special offer for connecting with them on these channels. Don’t forget to promote not only your website, but your key social media channels such as Facebook or even Foursquare if you want people to check-in right now at your venue (or event). Two items to include in print: a recognizable icon and your handle or full URL. That way they will get the visual cue and also not get lost searching through a sea of Facebook Pages that may or may not be yours.
The concept here is pretty simple; make it easy for people to share your content and subscribe to your brand however they want to do it.
Melonie, great post! If more businesses focused on these important basic integration areas they would be wayyyy better off than with constantly jumping into the latest marketing fad or new shiny online tool. Integrated Marketing rocks, thanks for the reminder!