7 Ways to Blend Social Media and Traditional Marketing
Daniel Kehrer shares 7 ways to get the most out of your social media and traditional marketing methods.
By Daniel Kehrer
Successfully marketing a small business today takes a multipronged approach. The latest studies show that most small business owners still rely on traditional channels to produce effective, reliable results. But other marketing methods – and social media marketing in particular – are growing rapidly. If blended properly with traditional ads, the combined effort can supercharge your sales.
It’s not a contest between different ways to market. You don’t have to choose one or the other. Today’s customers cross easily between online and offline worlds. Your goal is to reach them and reinforce your message in both places, giving you greater control over your message.
It’s also important to blend channels because each one plays a different role in influencing how customers discover you and make their purchase decisions. For example, a print ad might stimulate a customer to want to learn more about what you offer, causing them to search social media for more information.
Here are seven ways to blend social media with traditional marketing:
- Make print a social driver. If you are like many other small businesses and your Facebook page is becoming your main online hub, print and other traditional marketing tools can be used to help drive people to your page. Promote your Facebook address on counter cards, posters, invoices, receipts, brochures, napkins and menus. Post your Twitter address in the window. Put your social media listings on everything from cups to coupons.
- Showcase social mentions in print. Use your print ads to showcase what others are saying about your business, products or services through Facebook, review sites, Twitter or elsewhere. This helps amplify the buzz about your business and can generate (or reinforce) all-important word-of-mouth.
- Capture the cross-promotional power of QR codes. These handy devices are an ideal tool for integrating print ads with your digital presence. The website DexSocial.com has helpful articles on QR code basics for small business.
- Create an offline promotion with an online benefit. For example, a cosmetics store can offer a free makeover along with a photo of the customer (with your brand or logo in the background) that the customer and you can use on Facebook or other social media sites. A photography business might do something similar.
- Build engagement and lists with email signup sheets or opt-in cards. Customers are sometimes reluctant to provide an email address, so this works best if combined with a promotion or when they are enjoying a product or service you’ve just provided. Remember that most customers – even your most loyal – will not join your social media circle on their own. They need to be asked or nudged by you. You can also use print to promote rewards for customers who take certain actions online – such as liking you on Facebook or sharing your posted content with others.
- Get everyone in your business involved. Every employee should be trained to inform customers of your social media presence and to recommend they visit you on Facebook. Think of it as pure one-on-one offline marketing.
- Cross-sell continuously online and offline. Each time you use a marketing channel, mention the other channels you are using and what you are doing there. For example, your emails, direct mail promotions and yellow pages ads should all mention how to find you on social media. On the flip side, your Facebook page and Twitter tweets can tell people to be on the lookout for a special offer that’s coming through another channel.
A word of caution: Don’t make the common mistake of simply printing a Facebook or Twitter logo in your ad to indicate you are on those platforms. Online, where such logos can be made “clickable,” it works. But you can’t click a print ad, so you should spell out the web address and if possible, include a QR code as well.
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