Social Media Integration

Social Media Integration – Beginner’s Guide

Approximately 10 years ago before the birth of social media, marketers would tell you “The money is in the list” (email marketing). While this was true then – it is not today.

Statistics in January 2015 showed that 13.8 million Australians actively used Facebook, that’s 59% of the total population. With Twitter and LinkedIn just shy of 6 million Australian active users combined.

Regardless of the industry you operate in, with these kinds of numbers integrating social media within all communication channels should be your top priority.

 

What is social media integration?

Social media integration is quite simply publicising your social media accounts on all relevant communication mediums. From emails, newsletters, printed ads, in-store stickers, business cards and even merchandise. Any type of material you use to interact with others, be it online or offline.

 

What are the benefits of social media integration?

Consumers are not checking their emails several times a day, but they are checking their Twitter accounts and Facebook profiles. Industry standard email open rates are around 19.4% while a paid Facebook or Twitter ad will reach 100% of followers.

You can only truly take advantage of social media if your business has a healthy amount of targeted followers. If you haven’t already started building your online social media presence or are struggling, keep on reading.

There are many reasons why you should be utilising social media integration within all relevant communication channels, such as:

It’s economic – Integrating social media buttons is one of the cheapest ways to build a strong following.Adding icons on your website to join your Facebook or Twitter requires simple code, while business cards or flyers with your company’s social media details isn’t going to cost that much more.

Leads generation – Everybody who you interact with is either a potential lead, customer or a business contact who is interested in what your business has to offer or say.

Not only does social media integration allow you to build a very focused social media following with people who are more likely to share or interact with your content, but it’s a great way to generate free targeted leads.

Creating the perfect funnel –  Be it email marketing, car stickers, business cards, eBooks, or even free merchandise – why wouldn’t you encourage your customers and those your brand engages with to follow you on social media? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Placing a Twitter symbol with a link to your handle on all online content takes seconds and doesn’t ever need to be touched again. It’s not intrusive and presents the viewer with an option to follow you instantly.

This has become the least online marketing trend to strategically place social media icons on various mediums.

 

How to implement social media integration within your communication channels

There are two kinds of social media integration – online and offline. Online methods usually yield the greatest results because it takes just one click to like or follow.

However, offline methods do provide benefits that online channels don’t.

 

Online social media integration

Email newsletters – Almost all email automation software will allow you to place social media icons in the header or footer of each email without it coming across as too aggressive or pushy.

Take a look at the Jetstar newsletter, they have integrated their Facebook and Twitter profile within each newsletter. It’s nice and simple, doesn’t get in the way or look tacky:

jetstar email

Employee email signatures – You shouldn’t just be stopping at email newsletters. Create a default signature template that includes social media links for accounts your business actively uses and ensure all your employees use the template.

How many emails does your business send out a day? 100? 500? 1,000?

Your employees are only emailing clients, prospects and business contacts. These are the people you want following your social media accounts. If your business uses Gmail, read this how-to guide to creating your own signature. For Outlook users – click here.


Here’s the company signature for Hello Social, we have direct URLs to Facebook and Twitter:
max email

Website integration – Just like Jetstar placed small social media icons within their newsletter, you should be placing the same buttons in either the header or footer of your website.

Place them within the header or footer and not the body. The body of each webpage is unique while the header and footer will remain static throughout the site making icons viewable on every page.

Pro-tip: Header integration usually yields a higher click-through rate as not all users will scroll to the bottom of your site. Coles have blended their buttons in with their site. Websites that are hosted on WordPress only require you to download a plugin to achieve this. If your site is built on another platform, this shouldn’t take the developer more than 30 minutes of work as it’s a fairly inexpensive feature to setup.                                                       

But don’t just stop there. If your website has a blog you need to place share and follow links back to your accounts. For blog posts and articles we prefer more detailed buttons as shown below:

coles

Coles have attached a Twitter reader which shows their last tweet, this sort of integration is perfect for blogs and articles.

These types of pages are a bit more personal and having larger social widgets is acceptable compared to landing pages or pages where you’re offering your products or services.

But stop just there, at the bottom of each blog post Coles gives readers the opportunity to like and share their content via a number of social media channels. Free advertising!

colse taste

Online marketing collateral – This includes eBooks, white paper reports, case studies, brochures, posters and all other forms of ‘online print’. You only need to put a small icon in the corner of the page embedded with a link.

Tip: For eBooks and reports you can place your social handle on the footer of each page to gain maximum exposure.

Mobile apps – All major social media platforms have their own dedicated app, anyone with a smartphone will most likely have all social media apps already installed. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter are all in the top 10 list of most downloaded apps of all time.

If your business has a mobile app, implement social media integration. Within one click they are on your account, one more click and they have followed you.

LinkedIn – Getting your employees to create a full LinkedIn profile with direct links to all your social accounts is essential in growing your social media presence. Each time they get involved in a LinkedIn discussion, post an update or share some news everyone who views their comments will also see your brand re.

This type of integration is very useful for B2B companies as you will find a lot of your leads on LinkedIn.

Interlink your social accounts – If you specifically use Facebook to post special offers or Instagram to upload picture and videos, then use your other social media accounts to inter-promote all your content.

Pro-tip: Instagram allows you to link your Twitter and Facebook accounts together letting you can create a single update which will be fed to all accounts. Or you can use automation software such as Hootsuite.

 

Offline social media integration

Offline method of social media integration are just as important to grow your social media presence. You should be making use of QR codes when possible to save people the hassle of entering in your ID or searching for you manually, consumers are lazy.

QR codeIf the offline medium is small like a business card or receipt, don’t type out the full URL but opt for something like this:

Twitter: @HelloSocialAU

FB: /HelloSocial

People are more tech savvy than ever and there is no need to write out our your full URL. Offline methods include:

Business cards – are a very intimate way of connecting with someone as it usually involves a real-life interaction. Business cards are small making them unrealistic to integrate every social media profile you use. If you only have space for one, pick the channel that yields the greatest amount of engagement.

Pro-tip: What you shouldn’t do with business cards is use an employee’s personal social media details. Because if they leave your business you also lose a lead.

Pro-tip #2: If your business doesn’t make use of business cards, consider using them as a channel for solely handing out your social media handles. For example:

pelfusion

Car stickers – While not suitable for every industry, social media icons on car stickers do provide a lot of value. There is a good probability that many of your consumers will have similar lifestyles and interests. They will most likely visit a lot of the same places and these stickers become awesome offline lead magnets.

A potential prospect may see a car sticker advertising your brand and think “Oh, I will visit their website when I get home” but an hour or so later they completely forgot. Social media integrated car sticker will give them a reason to stop and follow you on social media there and then.

In-house integration – Everything from the posters on the walls, from the bags you place products into the receipts you hand your customers – why not place your social media handles over them?

Not only are you gaining targeted followers but customers will make it a habit to check your social media channels on a regular basis for offers and promotions. By constantly displaying social media icons creates an impression subconsciously that you’re a business who takes social media seriously and does it well.

Qantas has 253,000 Twitter followers, the majority of their followers are people who are waiting for special offers. By repeatedly displaying your social media icons will help your marketing efforts when it’s time to promote.

qantas post

A storefront in a popular mall will receive thousands of people walking past each day, a sticker on the window doesn’t take up much space and acts as another great lead magnet.

Live event and functions – If your business regularly hosts events or conventions, it’s a sensible idea to place social media identifiers on banners, invitation cards, tickets and posters.

If someone is attending an event of yours it’s safe to say they are interested in your business in one way or another. Maybe they feel a bit overwhelmed or have no idea who to talk to at the event, but with social media icons they can contact you directly later.

Printed marketing –  This can be everything from catalogues, leaflets, promotional newsletters, coupon vouchers or anything else your customers would take away and read at home.

When they do get across to reading, their mobile phone or PC will never be far away for them to follow you on social media and keep up-to-date with all your announcements.  

A QR code on printed materials makes things a lot easier.

Merchandise branding – If you often giveaway t-shirts, pens, bags, or anything else for free, place your social media tags on them. Whenever you’re giving away a free product people are fine with you advertising your brand, it’s pretty much expected.

Pro-tip: Do not brand social icons on products you actually sell. It’s pretty unethical to plaster advertisements on products then actually get customers to pay for them.

Product discount – If you love dessert you will have heard about YogurtLand. At certain stores they offer customers a 10% discount if they check-in on Facebook at a YogurtLand store or upload a picture of their dessert to Instagram and tag the brand.

Businesses are longer will businesses be sending out coupons, but rather encouraging customers to interact on social media to receive discounts.

This is win-win-win situation. You win because you increase your social reach, the customer receives a discount and the environment wins since it’s a much greener way to operate

Print ads – Whether you’re promoting in the local newspaper or a national magazine, you should always be mentioning your social media profiles or placing QR codes allowing people to follow your brand.

Printed adverts are still alive and kicking and Jetstar, for their 8th birthday, created an advert in several major Australian newspapers. Their advert had a signal leading to their Facebook Page:

news

Jetstar currently have over 404,000 Facebook likes.

 

What social media integration channels are best for your business?

Unless your business is very generic and markets to several demographics, not all the integration methods listed will be suitable for your business. For example, if your business is offering high-end professional services, making use of car stickers or listing your social media profiles on business cards is not really appropriate.

Click on the category below that best represents your business and start your integration process now!

 

Professional services

Online:

  • •  Email newsletters
  • •  Employee email signatures
  • •  Online marketing collateral
  • •  LinkedIn
  • •  Interlinking your social accounts

Offline:

  • •  Live event and functions
  • •  Printed material
  • •  Print ads

Social media is a pretty laid back environment and for businesses offering professional services, it can be quite difficult to remain professional and businesslike while implementing social media integration.

Keep your social media integration plain and simple. Use plain icons to promote your accounts and keep text to a minimum. For example:

Twitter:@Professional_services –  Good

To keep updated with all the latest news and promotions, follow us on Twitter: @Professional_services –  Bad

 

Retail

Implement every method suggested unless you’re selling high-end products that are luxurious (think Gucci shoes not 3D TVs). Luxury brands should avoid the following:

Offline:

  • •  Business cards
  • •  Car stickers
  • •  In-house integration
  • •  Merchandise branding
  • •  Product discounts

If your business is branded on being luxurious, exclusive, or privileged then having social media signals on shopping bags, free merchandise or offering check-in Facebook discounts is counter-intuitive to your image.

Shoppers want to feel special and exclusive when they visit your store, so the amount of offline integration should be limited to emphasise that.

 

eCommerce

Online:

  • •  Email newsletter
  • •  Employee email signatures
  • •  Website integration
  • •  Online marketing collateral
  • •  LinkedIn
  • •  Mobile apps
  • •  Interlink your social accounts

Offline:

  • •  Car stickers
  • •  Live event and functions
  • •  Written materials
  • •  Print ads      

As an eCommerce business you really should be utilising every single online integration channel. Each time an order over a specific amount is processed, consider offering additional freebies such as pens, car stickers, t-shirts and stickers with your social media branding.

You have no physical store so offline integration can become quite difficult and SEO is very expensive, making it difficult to get the word out about your online store. Using the methods listed above create an offline presence without having to spend a fortune. 

Offline social media integration is an untapped method of generating leads that many eCommerce businesses never knew existed.

 

Hospitality (pubs, clubs and restaurants)

Online:

  • •  Email  newsletter
  • •  Employee email signatures
  • •  Website integration
  • •  Online marketing collateral
  • •  LinkedIn
  • •  Mobile apps
  • •  Interlink your social accounts

Offline:

  • •  Business cards
  • •  Car stickers
  • •  In-house integration
  • •  Live event and functions
  • •  Printed marketing
  • •  Merchandise branding
  • •  Print ads
  • •  Product discount

Businesses in the hospitality industry should be milking social media integration for all they can. Both industries are based around social interactions and making use of social media will do wonders for your business.

Menus, coasters, posters on the wall and stickers should be placed all around your venue in a non-pushy way. People are always on their mobile phones in these sorts of places so considering offering a free Wi-Fi service to anyone who likes any of your social media channels.

 

Summary

You may be thinking that listing your social media profiles on car stickers or businesses cards will only gain you a couple of new followers a week. Stop thinking short-term and focus on the long-term strategy.

We have listed over 15 mediums above and will continue to add as the game adapts and more tactics become available.. Even if you only gain 4 new followers a week from each medium that amounts to 3,120 new targeted followers each year.

It’s been estimated that over 50% Australians spend 18 hours of each day online, with one minute of every five spent using social media. This is why social media integration is crucial to the growth of your business, as this is where your customers spend their time.

If you’re not giving your customers the opportunity to follow your social media channels at every appropriate moment, you will be losing business to your competitors who are.