15 Sep 2015 / by Maya Roeland / in BLOG
How To Create the Cross-Channel Social Media Mix
Social media has changed the lives of people around the world. Lets just stop for a moment and look at how different it is from ten or even five years ago. In the last decade, social media has significantly transformed most of our daily lives. Remember using a telephone landline instead of Skype, address book instead of Facebook, business card holder instead of LinkedIn?
Social media has changed not only how we interact with one another but also how we do business. Not integrating social media into company’s traditional marketing activities nowadays is like starting a business without telling anyone.
Surprisingly, there are still organizations who are not taking full advantage of what social media marketing can do for their brand.
Sometimes the social media team is soloed, outsourced, or even non-existent. But the only way to fully harness the power of social media marketing is to put it on the table with every other marketing channel and integrate it into a larger cross-channel marketing plan.
Here are five steps to create the cross-channel Social Media mix for success.
1. INCLUDE SOCIAL MEDIA IN YOUR MARKETING CALENDAR
Planning ahead is paramount in social media. Any person responsible for social media is typically heavily strapped for time. To ensure steady flow of quality content, you need to establish tactics around executing your content strategy. The tactics consists of mapping audience segmentation, content themes, planning your content calendar, tracking performance and organizing your team.
You do not have to have a fancy marketing calendar tool, you can just use a spreadsheet or a Google calendar. As long as it is available and visible to every member of your marketing or sales team – you are good to go.
Start with putting the big events like annual conferences on the calendar first, and then start filling in the spaces between. These are some of the items you should include on your marketing calendar:
- Public holidays, company holidays.
- Big events related to your industry
- Webinars and podcasts
- Upcoming blog posts
Once all of these items are in place on a calendar, your social media team can start creating and scheduling content to support these events.
2. MAKE ALL CONTENT SHAREABLE
Adding share buttons to your content can increase your brand reach significantly. There are paid options and free options. The major difference between the two will be the ability to customize the messaging, and the ability to track who has shared your content, on what network, and when. Every social media site has free plugins you can use on your landing pages.
Every major social media site has plugins that allow you to add share buttons to emails, seed the share message, and allow the user to complete the post outside of the email.
Tip: Do not assume your reader will get to the end of your blogpost or email. Add social share buttons to the top and bottom of your blogs and articles.
3. EMBED SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS ON A LANDING PAGE
Make it easy for your prospects and customers and integrate your social media feeds into a landing page or Facebook tab.
Ask conference attendees to post photos to Instagram with a specific hashtag. You can then display those photos realtime on a Facebook tab, a landing page or on a big screen during an event for everyone to see. It’s a good way to engage conference attendees. For example, we use a hashtag: #digital010.
Tip: Use Twitter’s own custom tweet widget to create a custom real-time Twitter timeline for your website.
4. BUILD CUSTOMER LOYALTY
Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and others can help provide businesses with opportunities to enhance customer relationships in real time.
- You can put social media to work to improve brand loyalty so customers will want to promote your company in a positive way:
- Monitor customer comments
- Address customer complaints, resolve the problem and blog about how you took care of it
- Engage customers by encouraging them to share feedback directly via comments
- Encourage satisfied customers to share their experiences
5. REWARD SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS
Influencers are industry experts or brand advocates who have earned the trust of their audience and have a large amount of followers. When you are planning out your marketing campaigns, always consider how you can leverage your social media influencers to expand your reach.
Tip: Interview your influencers and quote them in a piece of content. You will get new eyes and ears on your brand when they promote their quote to their connections on social networks.
As you see, Social Media is just another marketing channel. And, like all marketing channels, it’s most effective when integrated into a larger cross-channel marketing plan. Cross-channel, multichannel and omnichannel are all terms that have been around for several years now and reflect marketers’ priority for their strategies, campaigns, customer experience and customer journeys to span channels and devices.
Ths article was initially written for and published on Social Media Week