This is the first in a series of 3 posts
Without a doubt a part of social media is trial and error because when it comes down to it people are unpredictable. Sure we tend to follow certain patterns and rhythms, but under it all we ‘re unpredictable creatures who sometimes make erratic decisions that make no sense. I see it everyday and I’m sure you do too, this behavior makes it so you can’t know for 100% sure how something is going to work until you try it. However, with social media, you can hedge your bets with some good planning and integration.
I’ve been saying for a while that social media is a tool, however that tool is comprised of other tools like a Swiss army knife. It’s so versatile and potentially powerful that you can use it to achieve just about any goal you have online, but where it gains a lot of power is when you integrate it into your other marketing and business operations.
Using social media to enhance what you’re already doing and tap into your existing networks and communities has a lot of underlying power to it. It really is like having a built in fan base right when you start.
Do you have a newsletter you’re running? If you do then you already have a great list of possible fans you can connect with when you get started. Do you run a direct mail campaign of some sort? Add your social info on there as well. Let people know where to find you.
When you’re integrating the two you want to use offline resources to drive online traffic and you want your online resources to support and compliment your offline efforts. When you create this environment where each piece is working with and building off of the other then you will be able to build a stronger connection in everything that you do.
When you’re getting ready to get things integrated the first thing you’ll want to do is…
Analyze your existing online and offline marketing campaigns.
Look for where your social media and other online marketing compliments your other marketing efforts and how you can help them work together. Where can you cross promote? Do any of the online and offline promotions work well together and have the ability to convert online to offline and vice versa? Do a good audit of them to help you see what everything is looking like.
Take a look at them from separate points of view and break them up. Look at them individually and think about what each piece could use to give it a boost. Chances are you’re going to see that you already have something or are planning something that will compliment it.
After analyzing your existing online and offline campaigns the next thing you’ll want to do is…
Audit your existing online and offline marketing campaigns
Make sure they are up to snuff and working like they should be. Make sure that everything is in working order and that if you’re running any kind of giveaways, discount codes, promotional offers, etc. that it’s represented right across your platforms.
There’s nothing more frustrating to a potential buyer than seeing different prices on the site, social platforms, fliers, etc. Get all your ducks in a row so that the pieces you’ve already identified as working together will so so seamlessly.
After you audit, the next thing to do is…
Plan your online and offline marketing campaign integration
Never underestimate the power of sitting down and planning it all out. Get on paper (well a google, open office, word or other doc anyways) what your strategy is. What’s going to go with what, why, how you’re going to measure the results, etc.
Take some time here and look at the best way to approach each side. A good plan makes everything easier.
After planning then you’ll want to…
Execute your online and offline marketing campaign integration
Now that everything’s in place… jump in.
Get everything up and running and start watching the pieces fall in place together. While implementing your integration you might see that things don’t work exactly as planned, that they work better than planned, or exactly as planned. Either way be sure you’re watching, monitoring, and looking for ways to make it work better, integrate more, and build upon what you’ve created.
What do you think? Thoughts, ideas, tips, links, extras? Please place ’em in the comments. I love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading,
Josh “Shua” Peters
p.s. Above I mentioned that this is a 3 part post. First is an overview placed here. The second will be looking at Offline Marking The Third will cover the online marketing. They will appear on the SMCSLC blog and the UtahPulse Social Media Minute and I’ll link them from here