If you’re with the majority, you’ve become fairly active in the social sphere. Tweeting, posting, commenting and the like. But to what end? We’ve begun to see a shift in social… while it does enjoy a life of its own, companies are beginning to understand that it’s simply part of a larger plan. The line between your online and offline marketing efforts should begin to blur. The idea of social is truly that – to interact with others.
Here, a few ways to blur the lines between online and offline marketing:
- Host a local event. Network f2f with people whom you only know online. Shake hands, have a conversation, bring someone with you. Get social! Then video tape the event and edit it for your blog or website, Post photos on pinterest and instagram. You might even post a short list of questions for attendees to consider before the event. After the event, create an infograph of the answers. See? The line is blurred already!
- Write a personal letter – on real stationary –to a rock star follower who engages with your brand via social (retweets you often, or mentions you in blog posts, for example). Put it in an envelope with a real stamp and mail it. I know – crazy, huh? But watch the impact it has on the recipient.
- If you run a sweepstakes or contest that’s 100% online, create a Grand Prize event that brings it to life. Videotape the winner being handed his new car key, big check, or speedboat (you get the picture), and share it via social platforms. Not only will you bring your social campaign to life, and generate additional PR for your promotion, you’ll also remind consumers that yes, someone really does win these things.
- Give bloggers the VIP treatment. If you’re hosting an event, invite local bloggers to stop by before the public storms the location. Roll out the red carpet and give them something fantastic to write about! Even if the event is closed to the public, those bloggers will help spread the word about what a cool brand you are – and you’ll build interest for your brand.
- Fulfillment is the logistics end of your marketing programs. Many marketers don’t think about Fulfillment when it comes to Social, but even social media is the delivery of a (virtual) promise! Send your new followers some swag… a t-shirt, mug, or other small premium, as a thank you for engaging with you online. Be sure you include your social contact info on anything you send out – it takes your message to the streets!
- There are thousands of infographs being posted, shared and seen on social platforms like Pinterest, reddit and corporate blogs. Take this idea a step further. Once you’ve shared your infograph socially, bring it to life! For example, at my former agency, we had one of our infographs printed on heavy vinyl (banner stock), added a dowel at bottom and a ribbon for hanging at the top and sent it out to brands interested in games as a marketing tactic. We received dozens of calls and emails from both clients and prospective clients thanking us for the banner and telling us it was hanging in their office for reference.
Regardless of what social platforms you utilize, finding ways to engage with online followers and friends in a real, dimensional way, will work to bring your brand to life, and give customers (followers, friends and connections) a chance to see that you’re more than just an avatar or icon.
Navigating and managing your brand’s social media presence can be overwhelming. Creating brand cohesion across across all channels is terribly important. And the right words – well, they mean everything. I’d love to help you out with any or all of these three. Would you like to chat? Let’s connect and create something fantastic! firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was originally posted at SJI @ the mic.