By Bob Speyer and Justin Delos Reyes, Web Success Team
Social Media has become an essential marketing platform for businesses of all sizes. However, it is not the “be all, end all” marketing tool. Traditional marketing is not dead. In fact, the success you achieve through Social Media is heavily dependant on it. Social Media should be an extension of your offline marketing efforts.
Cross-Promote Your Marketing Efforts
Take a look at your company’s marketing materials. Brochures, catalogs, business cards, sales letters, magazine ads, and billboards. Each should have the URL to at least one of your social media accounts on them. If these materials aren’t social-ready, your social media efforts are hurting because of it. Customers don’t want to go through the hassle of Googling your company to see if you have a Facebook Page; so make it easier for them to find you. A marketing document that is viewed, and is without a Facebook URL or Twitter handle, results in a missed opportunity for your business to gain customers.
A great example of a major brand who integrates social media into their advertisements is State Farm. State Farm typically shows its Facebook URL at the end of their commercials. The URL is not positioned at the bottom of the screen and it’s not buried in other text. The URL gets its own shot within the commercial and viewers are given ample time to read it. This strategy helps the company build its followers and fans while subtly showcasing the brand’s commitment to being where their customers are. Likewise on printed promotional materials, prominently featuring the social bookmarking URLs along with a promotional message (i.e. like us on Facebook and receive 20% off; or enter to win a free…) will help gain more friends or followers of your brand.
Maintain the Same Look
The branding you created to separate your company from the competition should be translated onto your Social Media pages and profiles. People will have an easier time recognizing your brand if the colors and logos you use online are the same as those published on print materials. Knowing this, you should approach the design of your Facebook Page or Twitter Profile in the same manner as you would a catalog, direct mail piece, or other marketing piece. Your Social Media accounts are a reflection of your brand and how they look is very much a part of your overall marketing success.
Send Consistent Messages
The messages you send through Social Media should not contradict the messages you publish on offline marketing materials. A customer should be able to read your company’s brochure and then visit your Facebook Page and see the same type of information. The messages you send can be said differently (all of the information in a brochure obviously can’t be said in 140 characters on Twitter), but the meaning and goals behind the messages should basically be the same. Consistency strengthens the level of familiarity customers have with your brand.
A Potent One-Two Punch
With the avalanche of online activity today, companies sometimes neglect the effectiveness of offline efforts. If you are a local advertiser, promoting through coupon books like ValuPak or sending out snail mail postcards can be eye-openers for your target market — mainly because of the lessening of direct mail volume and reduced mailbox clutter. Connecting these offline marketing opportunities with the social media can be a powerful one-two punch. Reel them in through offline and close the sale through your Facebook page or website.
Share Your Thoughts
How do you integrate offline marketing with social media?
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