What exactly can you do to integrate your social marketing with the rest of your content program? To borrow a cliche, think synergy. By thinking strategically and using one program to feed the other, you can stoke higher the fires of buyer interest and create an even more engaged and loyal online customer base.
So, you’ve done everything right – your brand is on all of the popular social media sites, and you’re cranking out the content. But, have you considered how aligned your social presence is with your greater sales and marketing goals? You’d be surprised how many brands falter when it comes to this important step.
The cause of this gap isn’t much of a mystery – many brands still manage their social media marketing in a silo, often handing the reins over to a social coordinator or intern who isn’t familiar with department and company goals.
The result of this approach is a social presence that lacks impact and doesn’t drive the brand forward. While the content may be engaging or cool, the disconnect with the other marketing programs make it a wasted opportunity to truly further goals.
Here are a few key practices to develop and execute as part of an integrated and synergistic social program.
Pick Platforms Where Your Customers Live
Just because Facebook has over a billion users doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best place for your brand. Face it, in this ever-connected world, your audience is active on any number of social platforms.
It doesn’t pay to spread yourself thin, to simply have a token presence on every network available. Instead, focus on social platforms that allow your brand’s personality and style to shine through. This ensures that your content is more likely to be found by readers and viewers who will engage without much prompting.
Align With Marketing Goals
As with any other asset, be sure your social activity is connected to a specific purpose, such as moving the buyer through the funnel or generating product awareness. Pro-tip: make sure your social media team has someone sitting in on key strategy and goal-setting meetings so they are in the loop and aligned with the same objectives and can execute them.
Promote Existing Content
Whether it’s a SlideShare, white paper, webinar, or video, be sure to tap into your followers and clue them into the great content that lives on your other sites.
Remember, social is all about interaction. Don’t simply drop a link to these other assets; give a sneak peek or present a challenging thought and ask for feedback.
Turn Conversations Into Momentum
Too often, marketers will use social media to announce a contest or promote a sale or event – then fail to ever follow up. Do this and you’re going to lose your leads.
Be sure to keep driving the momentum forward by asking for event feedback, announcing contest winners, or creating a special hashtag that lets users discuss the sale or event.
Integrate Your Social With Email Marketing
Don’t forget about your email list! Link to your social content in emails and ask readers to take a poll, enter a contest, or simply leave feedback and comments.
For instance, you might ask your email database to vote on a selection of product names when you have a new product line coming out. Facebook allows polls, while Twitter followers can vote by response.
The key here is to make sure you’re an active participant. Don’t just yell into your corporate bullhorn
An Example: The Social/Content Marketing Loop In Action
Let’s say you’re planning to hold a webinar. Your first step is promoting the webinar on all your social media accounts and calling out any speakers or influencers involved in it.
But that’s where a lot of companies will stop. Instead, keep the momentum going by tweeting a few quotes from the webinar and linking to the recorded version.
After that, write a blog post about the webinar and tie-in the topic to a thought-provoking question or surprising fact from the live event. Then send out an email to your list, linking to the blog post and inviting comments. The blog post should contain links to other relevant social content as well.
From a single event, you’ve created a loop of engagement that involves everyone on your email list, all webinar attendees and registrants, your social followers and any followers of the influencers involved in the webinar.
Integrating social selling with your content and email marketing offers many advantages for your team. Just remember to keep the conversation aligned with your goals and always keep momentum strong – and you’ll soon see new followers, deeper engagement and stronger relationships with your buyers.
Is your social presence aligned with your greater sales and marketing goals?