Social media networks are changing on what seems like a daily basis. From updates to terms of service to larger networks buying up their smaller counterparts, it often feels like creating a successful social media strategy is like trying to hit a moving target.
The fundamental concept for companies today to remember as they pursue their social media strategy is, integration. Too many marketers make the mistake of treating their social media campaign like an entirely different animal from other aspects of their marketing efforts.
How to Build an Integrated Social Media Strategy
To create an integrated social media strategy, first you’ve got to take a step backwards and consider your company’s brand. What’s your organization’s unique selling point? What’s the one message about your business that you would like to get across to customers and prospects? If you do not have this concept nailed down, your social media campaign will not be as successful as it could be, no matter how well you integrate it with your other efforts.
From there, you’ve got to come up with a plan for integrating social media into all of your other marketing initiatives. Marketing thought leader Jay Baer refers to this concept as a “tactically-agnostic social media strategy.” In other words, no matter what medium you are using to communicate with customers and prospects, you must find a way to integrate your social media campaign into the mix.
Actionable tips for Integrated Social Media
It is great to know how the theory of social media strategy integration works, but many marketers might be wondering what specifically they can do to better integrate their social media efforts into their brand message. Here are a few of the most practical tips to achieve integration:
- Focus on conveying your unique brand message, not fitting it into a particular social network. Too many companies make the mistake of trying to jump on the bandwagon for every new social network, and by the time they adapt their message to each network it is unrecognizable. Instead of this approach, choose your channels carefully, and it will be much easier to maintain the integrity of your company’s marketing voice and message.
- Talk about social media everywhere: your social media marketing should have some unique offerings that make it desirable for prospects and customers alike. Whether you offer discounts, special tips or other valuable tidbits, you should let people know what you can provide them through social media. Do this anytime you interact with them, from in-person networking events to direct mail flyers.
- Make sure your social media teams can interface with customers: too many times, marketing and social media personnel are isolated from the feedback and input from actual clients. They are forced to create their social media campaigns based on abstract buyer personas and research. Forbes says that for successful social media integration, social media marketers should be involved with communication objectives, since they know which platforms and approaches generate the most interest.
With these steps in place, you can get well on your way to a powerful social media strategy that serves your company’s entire marketing approach.