Today’s post in our Social Resolutions for 2011 series is about integrating social media with traditional marketing for lead generation. This segment was also part of our January 11th Webcast that can be found here.
People often ask if social media efforts should replace traditional marketing. The answers to that question vary per individual, but we believe that traditional marketing is still very capable of targeting specific demographics. There is no doubt that social media is growing at an exponential rate, and is an increasingly important form of marketing. But social media should be used as a powerful tool to complement traditional marketing, not replace it. By combining both traditional and social marketing, you can create a campaign that incorporates strategies to both reach and engage as many potential customers as possible.
Socially participating with your customers through integration of campaigns across multiple networks allows you to get the best value from your marketing investment. When customers are talked with instead of talked to, they feel an emotional connection to your company, brand, or product. They will follow, listen to, and recommend you if they feel that your company is attentive and cares about them.
Don’t be afraid to promote yourself and ask others in your company to do the same – social media should be shared across your entire organization, not just marketing. Solicit the help of your sales and account management teams as well as other relevant internal departments to help spread the word. Get them to promote your initiatives by tweeting about it or sending emails to their customers and top prospects, and provide email templates to make it easier for them to help. There are various other methods to publicize these events:
- Put out a press release
- Get coverage on blogs, Twitter, and create groups on Facebook and LinkedIn
- Use free sites like Event Span to post your event online
- If co-presenting with a customer or partner, have them reach out to their network.
Sponsoring or exhibiting at traditional trade shows is still valuable, but promotion of these events can be enhanced through social efforts. Some activities to do so could include:
- Live tweeting of keynote presentation and other notable event happenings to engage the online audience as well as the physical
- Utilization of location-based channels like FourSquare to notify attendees of where your booth is and when you will be participating in panels or presentations
- Record live insights of attendees to create a compelling video for your blog or website
Web advertising can also be enhanced socially by working with sites and digital publications that focus on and integrate social media. Traditional email announcements and newsletters can similarly benefit by coordinating those promotional efforts with channels like CoTweet, Twitter, and LinkedIn Discussions.
For any traditional marketing activity you can use one or more of these approaches to socially enhance your campaign, depending on budget and relative importance. Integration of both efforts will strengthen your overall marketing efforts and increase lead generation, providing you with important chances for future conversion.
We’ve discussed how you can resolve to enhance lead generation through participation in social media, and tomorrow we’ll focus on optimizing your organization using social data, specifically around your digital channels as a continuation of our series of Social Resolutions for 2011.