Blending social media and print campaigns is something that companies are increasingly needing to learn how to do successfully to stay current with the times. Big media has caught on with live tweeting during TV shows and multiple hashtags being shown on episodes of the reality TV show Survivor to encourage interaction and opinion sharing with viewers. The same approach needs to be taken with print marketing to blend the worlds of print media and social networks together seamlessly.
Let’s explore how the social media world and print marketing can work congruently and successfully together for brand building and increased brand interaction.
When Print Comes Before Social
There are times when a customer will receive some print media before they ever consider jumping on their favorite social media channels. Perhaps they visited a booth at a trade convention and picked up print media that way, they heard about the company through a friend and requested a product brochure through the mail, or downloaded it online from your web site.
The assumption is that in this interconnected world we all now live in, social media comes before everything, but that’s simply not always the case. The reason is: It depends. Once the print media is in their hands, it’s important to encourage the customer to visit the social media channels that they prefer and interact more with the brand, sending a message on FB, posting an encouraging tweet directed at the company’s Twitter account, etc. When hearing from people directly, it’s often the best way to learn what the company is doing right and what the company is doing wrong which allows for quick adjustments.
Consistency Matters More Than Volume Posting
With social media interaction, the thinking is that more is better. More frequent posts on Facebook increase interaction, so goes the thinking. Tweet 15 times a day to boost the level of response. What is often discovered over time though, is that the consistency and the quality of the social media posts and replies/re-tweets tends to matter more.
Being consistent means posting on Facebook on a regular basis, in a somewhat predictable fashion and not sporadically with ineffective content. People want to be entertained, enlightened or just surprised by social media. A channel that’s always serious loses some of the people who are searching for the personality behind the company, or their company ‘voice’.
Keeping the Company ‘Voice’ The Same Throughout
We all have different voices in varied situations. Sometimes we’re serious, other times we’re playful. It’s important to find a balance for that and not go too far in online communications as even a deleted tweet will have been captured, re-tweeted and distributed far and wide. The posted tweet just never goes away fully. By offering a voice that people recognize in all company communications, from social media to print media and on the web site too, customers appreciate the consistency.
With greater consistency, the level of trust established between the brand and its customers only increases. Even when someone posts a complaint on a social channel, as long as the company handles it professionally and well, generally customers will be forgiving; we all make mistakes after all.
Social interactions matched with meaningful marketing materials provides good balance and enables you to use each channel of communication in different ways. A custom business envelope can say more than a 500-word Facebook post, or a tweet, ever could. Online print shops (like Company Folders) offer foil stamping and embossing to ensure that you achieve both the look and feel that can bring attention to your social media profiles.
Showcase Your Print Media Online for Higher Open Rates
Facebook has a clever feature that allows you to target Facebook ads to people on your direct mailing list. By using a Facebook advertisement to reach the people on the list who will receive direct mail within a given time frame, you can show the way the mailing looks on their computing device before they receive it.
By getting their attention, you plant a seed in their mind and just like recognizing a company logo once having seen it before, when the Facebook ad looks like the print media, it’s more likely to be opened and consumed quickly. Doing both is also a neat way to connect social accounts to physical mail in ways most companies fail to consider trying to do or are not aware that it’s even possible.
Have an Email List? Do They Use Social Media?
Every company should be working their email list to build it up and interact with their customers and prospective customers. Notify subscribers about a new product release, an updated version or a new blog post with important information about a product recall. Either way, staying in touch via email is important because unlike with social media accounts, the company has control over the email mailing list in a way that they never will via social media.
Using the email list to promote the social channels that the company uses is a great way to interact on a different level. The one-on-one and group communication methods used on social media are very different to the one directional email newsletter. Promoting social accounts prominently helps to encourage subscribers to get on board with their social usage. When they like what you have to say in your emails and the linked articles from your web site, they’re more likely to want a closer connection to interact when necessary or when they prefer it.
Choosing Social Platforms Wisely
For huge conglomerates, interacting across every major social media channel makes sense using the maxim: Be where the customers are. For smaller businesses, the situation is different because there are so many useful social media channels now and not enough time to use all of them. What is helpful for SMEs is that not every social channel is suitable for their business or the type of communication they wish to have with their audience. It also won’t be possible to match their company’s voice with every channel as some, like Instagram, won’t necessarily be suitable at all for serious business customers.
Don’t Hide Your Social Contact Info in Print Marketing
One of the mistakes that companies make is not ensuring their social media details are visible across all print marketing materials. It gets kind of forgotten or is barely a footnote, perhaps with the assumption that everyone is already obviously signed up.
For companies in a position to do so, offering an incentive to sign up to a social channel and supplying proof of it is a good way to encourage interaction. A coupon with a discount on their next purpose or exclusive early bird access to a forthcoming product launch are two ways to increase the number of people who read a mailing and jump on the social accounts.
Remembering to integrate social media and print marketing might seem like an obvious point, but often the people who create the print marketing are not the same ones who manage the social media accounts. A meeting of minds must happen to cross-pollinate the sign ups across print and digital successfully.
How to Define Your Brand’s “Twitter Voice”
That’s where your Twitter voice comes in. It’s the strategy and tone that should flow easily through your entire profile. Want to know how to find yours? Read on below.
What Is a Twitter Brand?
To define what a Twitter brand is, let’s look at someone who’s rocking their own unique one. That brand…Wendy’s. The other-wise and previously non-opinionated chain makes a splash on Twitter.
No one was expecting them to “come after” other burger chains or even individual users like they do. It made a lot of people not only laugh but respect Wendy’s more.
And due to the way they conduct themselves on Twitter, we know Wendy’s doesn’t mess around with sub-par ingredients and practices.
Like the time they tweeted about using never frozen beef, unlike other big chains. A twitter user (who has since deactivated their account) tweeted them back saying that was impossible.
Wendy’s fired back a tweet saying something like “don’t blame us because you forgot refrigerators exist”.
A harmless comment in the long run, but it got the point across. We could write a whole article about Wendy’s tweets, but we’ll leave you with one more before we move on.
In a response to Bailey (@Mr._Anderson 36) tweet “@Wendy’s Where’s the beef?” The account replied:
“@Mr_Anderson36 In our cheeseburgers and on our timeline”. In case you’re behind on the times, beef is another term for a drama or disagreement.
Not into the catty stuff? Smart Circle tweets are inspiring, instead.
Defining Your Own Twitter Voice: How to Do It
First thing first, you need to understand yourself as a brand. What’s your image? What’s your brand definition? What’s your mission? If you are or you work at a well-established business, this is probably all wrapped up in your past work.
That means the about page where your mission statement and purpose are, but also the tone in past articles and publications. Even your Instagram captions define and describe your brand.
So if you can’t write out who your brand is and describe it in three ways, do some research. That’s step one.
Step 2: Find Your Audience’s Interests
Wendy’s is lucky in that they have a pretty wide audience. They know that they’re the “one” different competitor between McDonald’s and Burger King. At least that’s how they’ve always marketed themselves.
And they know that their followers see them that way too. If they didn’t, they’d go to one of the other chains instead of Wendy’s. So it was easy for Wendy’s to know that poking fun at the other brands would go over well, as a marketing tactic.
But you may not have that clear cut of an audience and there’s no one secret to finding out what they like. Okay, there is – research and hard work. Check out your current followers and audience. Who do they follow?
Who do they retweet? What tone are those tweets? That’s where you should aim to meet them (where they already are).
Step 3 (The Final Step): Be Consistent
Wendy’s doesn’t always tweet mean things, but if you look through their Twitter, you can definitely see their attitude. You don’t have to be catty or clever all the time but sprinkle those tweets through.
You want people to expect that from you. Deliver it more than or at fifty percent of the time.
Follow these steps and you’ll find your Twitter voice. It’ll take research and practice, but you’ll come off as and be more authentic along the way.
Want to know that we practice what we preach? Follow us on Twitter.
How Social Media Can Influence Buying Decisions?
Social media started out as an online platform for people to share personal photos and communicate with others. However, it has systemically evolved to become the holy grail of marketing.
Recent research reveals that social media is playing a major role on influencing buying decisions. This means that it’s about time that companies start paying more attention to their social strategy.
It’s unfortunate to see companies diving into social media marketing without any clear strategy. These firms only end up with disappointment. There’s strong evidence that shows that if social media is approached correctly, it can influence people’s buying decisions. But, how does social media influence buying decisions?
In order for you to understand how social media influences buying decisions, you should comprehend the psychology behind decisions. Buying decisions are much more complex than you think. Social media has gained a lot of traction for influencing consumer decisions because of these reasons:
Emotions can Influence Decisions
Buyers are influenced by emotions. People make buying decisions using both the right and left regions of the brain. They aren’t robots, so it’s highly unlikely that they’ll make decisions based only on analytical and logical basis. Think about when you’re buying a smartphone. You may have seen a photo of a cell phone on a social media post by the company selling it and then rationalized your buying decisions by checking its specs. This can happen with anyone.
Indeed, many people who purchase something say that they landed on it and had not thought about buying something like it. The reason is that emotions can sometimes affect our decisions and we can end up buying something we hadn’t planned.
We Are Naturally Suspicious
Sales representatives usually find it hard to convince people to buy. That’s because we’re naturally suspicious. Strong emphasis must be placed on establishing trust and credibility with customers before one can pitch their idea. In this regard, social media is extremely effective as people trust a product when they see that their family or friend have bought the same. They’re influenced by people they can trust.
People feel safer to move in large groups. That’s because human beings generally have crowd mentality. Thus, it’s easier to sway people when they’re in group. That is one of the reasons social media is so powerful in influencing buying decisions. People will be convinced to buy something if they see their peers purchasing the same. All a company has to do is show them how their friends and peers have benefited from the same product. Thus, positive customer reviews are extremely important for social media marketing.
These are just a few of the ways in which social media influences people’s buying decisions. If you’re looking to promote your product or service, you should consider using social media as it has the ability to reach potential customers and influence their purchase decision.
Which Social Media Platform Performs The Best For Start Ups
Social media is an essential marketing tool for startups. It’s a great way to get your message out there for not much money, although it does take some effort to get noticed. When you launch your business, it’s a good idea to establish a presence on social media as soon as you can.
Stretching yourself across every social media platform isn’t really possible, especially when you’re short on time and money, so choosing the best one or two platforms to focus on is smart. There are several big name players in social media, and choosing between them take some thought.
Does One Social Media Platform Work for All Startups?
The first question that you might have is whether there’s one social media platform that will work for all startups. If there’s a king of all social media, you want to be on it. However, there isn’t exactly one social media platform that will work for everyone. Each platform has different benefits and it suitable for various content and differing audiences.
B2B brands might find that professional network LinkedIn is the best option for them. Fashion retailers could find a highly visual platform like Instagram to be the right choice for them. You can expand your social media presence later, but if you want to start with just one, you need to think about which one is best for your startup specifically.
What to Consider to Choose the Best Network
You might want to take the overall numbers of each of the highest performing platforms. If you’re looking for the biggest audience, you’ll find it on Facebook where more than two billion people can be found each month. It’s followed by the likes of YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram and Tumblr. However, numbers aren’t everything. It’s not just about founding the most users, but also the most suitable audience for your startup. When you’re trying to decide which platform to start with, you should consider the demographics of your target audience.
Younger social media users are increasingly choosing platforms like Instagram and Snapchat over Facebook. Pinterest has more female users than male, while LinkedIn is clearly better for targeting other businesses and professionals.
You need to think about your goals before you choose a social media platform. What sort of content will you be sharing? How do you want to communicate with your audience?
The Benefits of the Major Players
Every social media platform offers different benefits to startups. It’s important to know how each one could help you to reach your audience and promote your startup business.
Facebook has the most users of any social network, but it’s important to recognize that things are starting to shift. There’s a great range of users across different ages, locations and genders, but younger people are starting to move away from it. Facebook is excellent for posting a range of different content, from links and text posts to images and videos. It also has its own PPC advertising platform, and you can pay to promote your posts too.
LinkedIn is best for any startups trying to reach professionals and other businesses. If you’re promoting a B2B business, looking for staff or perhaps trying to connect with other business people for funding purposes, LinkedIn is a great choice.
Twitter can help you to get in touch with professionals, but it’s good for B2C brands too. The short posts can be good for conversation and banter, and several brands have found success with humorous Twitter interactions. Twitter doesn’t have the highest user base, but there are still plenty of people on there.
Instagram is a visual platform, perfect for sharing photos, videos and Stories, which lets you share a series of photos or video clips. The audience on Instagram is a little younger than some other platforms, so it’s ideal for finding a younger audience.
Using Social Media Together With Your Blog
Blog posts provide the perfect content to share on social media. A business blog is an essential content marketing strategy, so get started by setting up a blog on your website. By writing regular posts and sharing them on your social media channels, you can bring more people to your site. When you share on social media, for example by creating a Facebook post or tweeting a link to your blog post, you can use social media tools to monitor the performance of your post and see how people are engaging in it. For example, Facebook offers you analytics so you can see how many people have clicked on your link, on your post or on your page.
You need to choose the right social media platform for your startup by considering your audience. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn may be better for sharing blog posts than more visual networks.
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