How to Effectively Combine Social Media With Traditional Marketing
Many brands that are now using social media as part of their marketing strategy have most likely been using more traditional methods for years. It is all very well setting up a Twitter profile, writing a blog post now again and sending out the occasional tweet, but it is crucial that a brand’s social media efforts are strategically combined with traditional marketing for a seamless online and offline approach.
If you already have a fully integrated marketing approach in place, then you are doing a great job and one of very few brands out there. Most companies have to try and work out how they can combine their traditional marketing and PR campaigns with their social media and digital marketing efforts to get the best results.
Traditional media still plays an important part in marketing though – if you have ever been to Times Square in New York, then you will have seen all the bright, flashing billboards trying to grab your attention at all times of the day. So how can you blend the more traditional marketing methods with the power of social media? Here’s how:
Competitions are a great way to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your site. They can be run one of two ways: either host a competition online using your website, blog or social media channels that then results in an offline prize, or switch it round and do the same from offline to online.
If you decide to run a competition on your blog, the prize could be to feature the winner in your traditional marketing campaigns, say on a billboard, TV ad or in a brochure. If you run an offline campaign, then you could provide customers with discount codes or vouchers in-store that can only be used online or through your social media channels.
Everyone loves attending an event, and usually they come under the label of traditional marketing. You can hand out flyers to promote your event, but the best way to get the word out is to use your social media channels. Post regular tweets and statuses with different clues and tidbits of information about the event and really build a buzz with your online community.
Using tools such as Google Hangout, you could also host an online event and promote it using the more traditional methods such as press releases and newsletters. This will encourage your consumers to engage with your brand and build up a relationship with you both online and offline.
Good old-fashioned market research can involve anything from a do-it-yourself survey through your post-box, to a person standing in your local shopping centre trying to stop you and ask you questions about their products and services.
A much easier way to gather feedback about your brand and its offerings is through social media. Ask your fans and followers for their opinions and make sure you communicate with them so that they know you care about what they have to say.
Another great way to use your social media channels is to crowdsource for new product ideas, as finding out what it is your target audience actually wants from your brand is vital for a successful business plan.
Traditional advertising involves pages in the newspapers and billboards along the streets, but social media opens up a whole new realm of possibilities to take your advertising efforts to the next level.
Both Facebook and Twitter offer a range of different advertising options, including sponsored stories and promoted tweets, and help you to reach your target demographic in just a few clicks. If you still use the more traditional advertising methods such as TV and radio, then make sure you include information about your social media channels so that the audience can then find you online.
A great way to highlight what previous or current customers think about your brand is through the use of testimonials. Prospective customers will be really interested in the reputation your company has, and nothing sounds better than a strong recommendation from a reliable source.
If you want to post some testimonials on your website, then you can use an email marketing campaign or newsletter to direct people to a page where they can leave one – you can even give them a small discount to thank them after.
If you own a restaurant, for example, then send the bill with a small card telling customers where they can find your testimonials page. Alternatively, you can take reviews and testimonials sent to you on Facebook and Twitter (with their permission) and use them in your traditional marketing efforts.