How To Integrate Social Media Into Your Marketing Plan
Social media marketing is more than just social media. Although it can be a tremendous boost to your marketing initiatives, it seldom stands alone. Social media works and we have proof – an over 1 million dollar sale from Flickr, but it doesn’t magically work by itself. We have used social media to identify and help new customers we never would’ve found without social media, but it’s only PART of our marketing plan. The tips below have helped our strategy:

Social Media / Blogging – Blogging several times a week with a mix of video and photoblogs can be spread throughout specific categories on your blog, targeting multiple demographics. Posts can be shared through Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, Google +, and Pinterest – all leading back to your blog and website.

Trade Shows – We exhibit at 10-12 shows annually, and we use social media to announce our participation, to give the booth location, and as a call to action. For a call to action example, you can use the show’s hashtag as a call to action for a giveaway at your exhibit.

Networking – Your sales and marketing staff can take advantage of multiple networking opportunities. We are involved in several local chambers of commerce, industry associations (including board membership), and social media events, and we sponsor events such as Masters of Business Online and Blog Indiana. Social media is used to broadcast the events in real-time, share knowledge, and make followers aware of your participation. You can even create networking groups, like our Friend Up Group.

Presenting – Your sales and marketing staff can offer presentations on a variety of subjects – leadership, social media, and industry related topics. We’ve presented at social media gatherings and blogging events, as well as chambers, clubs, seminars, and schools.

PrintYou can use brochures to highlight your products and services; most can be shared through e-mail and social media.

Public Relations – By submitting press releases to relevant media outlets, your organization can gain exposure in national trade publications and/or quoted in local press. Social media has helped us broadcast published press releases.

Sales Consultants – We have six sales consultants who not only followup marketing generated leads, but prospect as well. LinkedIn is one example of using social media as a prospecting tool. When loyal customers advance their careers or change organizations, we stay connected with them, thanks to LinkedIn’s help. This strategy has reaped several new business opportunities.

If you want the best of both worlds, integrate social media into your existing marketing plan and continue to use your proven marketing tools. Whether you’re a one-horse show, or you have a complete marketing team, you should use what works for you. Successful traditional marketing efforts should be enhanced by social media – not replaced by it. How have you used social media with traditional marketing efforts?

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