The use of social media in business has skyrocketed over the last few years, so much so, that it’s now impossible to ignore. Like any element of marketing, social media works best when it’s used strategically as part of a mix. Treat it as a standalone tactic at arm’s length from other activity and you’re at risk of a disjointed approach that yields little return on investment.
But how do you truly integrate it into your marketing plan and ensure it’s not a ‘satellite activity’? The key is to add a social media element to every other tactic, using it to support and extend the reach of your work.
Social media campaigns can generate huge media attention, just look at the examples of the ‘No Make Up Selfie’ and the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’. Get creative and use social media to harness PR opportunities. Some of our favourite examples of this from our client base are:
• SETsquared - we helped our client generate a huge buzz online by using a Thunderclap to get thousands of people to tweet simultaneously about an issue they backed
• Associated British Ports - we worked with Southampton’s port to create a social media competition where people tweet their photographs of the port. A winner is selected monthly and featured in the key local newspaper, The Southern Daily Echo, generating regular PR coverage.
• Spaceway - we entered the company into Theo Paphitis’ ‘Small Business Sunday’ Twitter competition and it won. Not only did it result in a chance to meet Theo and join his exclusive networking club, it also resulted in media coverage.
Social media has a part to play in every stage of an event. Take a conference for example, where it can be used to increase delegate numbers, expand reach and encourage engagement. Tactics used by social-savvy marketers include:
• Direct targeting of potential delegates via Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to invite them to the event
• Enabling automatic social sharing options when people sign up to attend, either through your email marketing system or through a website like EventBrite
• Live streaming of the event through Periscope or Meerkat to allow those unable to attend to tune in
• Sharing of images, quotes and videos live from the event
• Promotion of event hashtags on screens, delegate packs and pull-ups at the event to encourage social engagement
• Filming of vox pops and Q&As with delegates and speakers and sharing via YouTube after the event as legacy content
Social media creates another channel for marketers to widen the reach of the online content they create and get more value from it.
• Blogs can be shared on LinkedIn
• Content can be repurposed for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
• Presentations can be shared through Slideshare
• Thought leadership pieces can be posted in LinkedIn groups to spark debate
There is no escape now from the world of social media marketing. By failing to activity engage online, your business runs the risk of losing opportunities and social audiences.
Would you like to know more about how to integrate social media into your marketing? Get in touch with us to make it work for you.