Marlon Brando gave a stellar performance in the movie The Godfather, but imagine Francis Ford Coppola trying to make the movie with only Brando — without Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, James Caan and Diane Keaton. That would never have worked. To make The Godfather a huge success, the actors all worked together synergistically, and the result was a masterpiece that garnered 32 awards — including 3 Oscars — and 19 nominations.
Likewise, marketing efforts that rely on social media alone aren’t likely to succeed on a grand scale. No matter if you’re trying to find candidates or sales leads, in order to make the most of what social media can offer, marketing teams must integrate social media with other marketing initiatives, and tie the elements of each campaign directly to their business objectives. High engagement metrics are meaningless if the efforts that lead to them are not connected to your business objectives. Below are some ways you can integrate social media with your other marketing initiatives, and align your efforts with your business objectives.
What: Amplify your live or virtual event with a Twitter hashtag. A hashtag is a phrase — often unique — that is preceded by a pound sign (#). Hashtags are used to locate messages on a specific topic.
How: Create a hashtag for your event, include the hashtag on all printed materials, signage, promotional email messages, tweets promoting the event and Google+ and Facebook invitations. Ask attendees to use the hashtag by including it in your slide decks, and invite them to live-tweet your event.
What: Capture new email subscribers on Twitter by offering exclusive downloadable content. Twitter has a product called Lead Generation Cards. Lead Generation Cards allow you to offer exclusive downloadable content to Twitter users in exchange for the email addresses they have attached to their Twitter accounts. When they click on your offer tweet to expand it, users will see a button authorizing you to capture their email address in exchange for the content.
How: Tweet an offer for a free white paper on the fastest growing fields for the current year. Collect email addresses for future email marketing campaigns.
What: Enhance your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts by sharing your blog posts on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and SlideShare (yes, SlideShare).
How: Social signals are a key component of Google’s ranking, so make sure you are sharing via social media all the great content you publish on your blog. You can use hashtags on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook to increase your posts’ visibility, so remember to add hashtags on phrases your audience is likely to search for. Share your posts via LinkedIn as well. You can promote them via your status update or share them in pertinent groups. But don’t simply post the title of the blog post, start by asking a question or citing an important fact from the blog post as an introduction. And finally, SlideShare is a valuable, but often overlooked, place to post your blog. It’s not just for PowerPoint presentations anymore! Forbes calls SlideShare the “quiet giant of content marketing.” If you haven’t considered SlideShare as a place to promote your blog, head over there and check it out.
Effective social media campaigns are not standalone efforts. They are part of larger integrated marketing programs. Make sure to keep that in mind as you think about planning your marketing programs for 2014 and beyond.