Practical Ecommerce

8 Ways to Integrate Social Media with Existing Marketing

Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ can be high efficiency platforms that serve as a hub for all your social media engagement activities.

Video and photo sharing sites such as YouTube, Flickr, and Instagram can be repositories to archive content that is distributed through other channels. Blogs can become niche-market penetration tools to reach individual audience segments.

That said, social media should not be viewed as a standalone channel that is separate from other marketing initiatives. Instead, view it as a “multiplier” that integrates with and enhances existing marketing communication strategies.

In other words, rather than create social media campaigns, make all of your marketing campaigns social.

Here are eight ways to integrate social media with other forms of marketing.

1. Create a Twitter Channel for Customer Service

Rather than think of Twitter as a single channel that combines product promotion, brand monitoring, content marketing, and customer interaction, make it one part of your customer service matrix by creating a separate account for the sole purpose of responding to customer queries, feedback and concerns.

This approach, popular among larger companies like Comcast and Network Solutions, is one that smaller businesses can easily emulate.

2. Integrate Email and Social Media

Email and social media compliment each other. Here are four ideas for how to combine them.

  • Include social media icons that link to your business social networks in email templates, to make it easy for readers to find you in social media.
  • Add social sharing buttons to email templates. That way, if someone likes your campaign all they have to do is click a button to share it with friends and followers.
  • Post email campaigns to social media. Some email marketing platforms include the ability to automate this process.
  • Convert social followers to email contacts. Email marketing platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact, Mad Mimi, and iContact offer signup forms designed for use on Facebook Pages.

3. Strengthen SEO by Coupling Good Content with Social Media

This is where Google+ can be an asset. In “SEO: 5 Reasons not to Ignore Google+,” Contributing Editor Jill Kocher explained that sharing content on Google+ has a causal relationship with higher Google rankings, and Google’s search crawlers use Google+ as a source of fresh content.

4. Target Journalists Using Social Media

Journalists look for credible sources when conducting research for articles. One place they look is social media.

Instead of hoping they will find you, follow them, and then comment on and share their content. More importantly, produce content of your own that establishes your thought leadership and expertise, which you syndicate via social media.

5. Integrate Social with Traditional Marketing with Campaign Hashtags

This is a common advertising practice among larger brands, and for good reason. It provides a filtering mechanism through which prospective customers identify themselves based on topics of shared interest.

For example, in 2012, Nike conducted a hashtag campaign using Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram that asked fans to share how they planned to “#makeitcount” that year. The company advertised via print and digital media to focus attention around it. So successful was the campaign that Nike extended it into 2013.

Nike created a marketing campaign that featured the hashtag #makeitcount on social networks.

Nike created a marketing campaign that featured the hashtag #makeitcount on social networks.

Most social networks now incorporate hashtags, so it’s an easy way to get your message in front of prospects without the need for overt marketing tactics.

6. Carry Over other Types of Marketing Campaigns into Social Media

Ecommerce merchants often use contests, discounts, special offers, and seasonal promotions in email and other types of marketing campaigns. It makes sense to include social media in the mix.

This can be accomplished in a variety of ways:

  • Use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn promoted posts to reach a larger audience.
  • Create a Facebook Page app or LinkedIn Showcase Page to call extra attention to the promotion.
  • Feature contest winners on social networks, and encourage them to share the mention with their friends and followers.
  • Create hashtags that support contests and promotions.

7. Use Customer Ratings and Reviews into your Website

Many ecommerce platforms come with customer rating and review functionality built in. For those that don’t, many third-party software applications are available, which can be integrated into product pages using a snippet of JavaScript or HTML code.

8. Syndicate Existing Content to Social Networks

Your existing content remain only on your website. Instead, place it on social and content networks where it can be found more easily. Put PowerPoint decks on Slideshare, videos on YouTube, photos on Flickr, documents on Scribd, and blog posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.

Paul Chaney
Paul Chaney
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Comments ( 12 )

  1. Brock Wimerbely April 3, 2014 Reply

    I definitely think that creating a Twitter account is a must for any business starting in this day and age. When a business is already started, incorporating social media, in many different ways, is vital to the survival of most businesses. Especially if that business is in the service industry (restaurants, nightclubs, etc.). Overall I thought this article brought up a great deal of useful tips for businesses.

    • Paul Chaney April 3, 2014 Reply

      Brock, I agree completely. Even though, after the eight years since its creation, people still have trouble understanding the role Twitter can play as a marketing tool, no business (esp. service businesses) should be without it.

      I’m glad you found the tips to be useful.

  2. Justin Belmont April 6, 2014 Reply

    It is really important to add social media to your marketing plan, because it’s at the forefront of consumer interaction. For more ideas on this topic, check out this post: http://blog.prosemedia.com/how-does-content-help-social-media-marketing/

  3. Craig April 6, 2014 Reply

    I like what you said about creating good content, because, above all, well-made content is key to building and maintaining an audience. I think it will be interesting to follow e-commerce trends and online marketing tactics as they adapt to new social media platforms, like Pinterest.

  4. Saleh April 8, 2014 Reply

    Good article.. with good tips to use in social marketing….

    The fans of Instagram has grown drastically .. it impacted the online advertising of web-based small companies…

    maybe a tight integration of all tools:
    web-based banners, Instagram Ads, twitter, etc. is a must to do..

    are there articles on first the impact of Instgram on other social media tools used for advertising services and products and on how to go about it??

    • Paul Chaney April 10, 2014 Reply

      Good call on pointing out the value of Instagram. However, I’m not aware of an article on its impact.

  5. Thomas Stocks April 9, 2014 Reply

    What a great article. I could not agree more, especially with the part about creating good content – this is definitely key.

    Social media, although many are still against it, can be extremely useful for businesses and it is relatively simple to do if you understand your audience. To read more about growing a business through social media, check this post out: http://thomasstocks.com/grow-your-business-through-social-media/

  6. Steph Riggs April 13, 2014 Reply

    Either anyone is running SEO, PPC or any other marketing technique, social media marketing is always important to get big amount of customers and achieve sales’ targets. Sometimes people face difficulty while integrating social media with other marketing campaigns but your guidelines are pretty helpful for these people to integrate social media with existing marketing strategies without any difficulty :)

  7. David bergman April 18, 2014 Reply

    social media should not be viewed as a standalone channel that is separate from other marketing initiatives. Instead, view it as integrates with and enhances existing marketing communication strategies.common advertising practice among larger brands, and for good reason. 

  8. Craig April 19, 2014 Reply

    Great article. I think these tactics all hit the nail on the head. One thing I would add is repurposing content for different media. Find a way to turn content into videos and push them on key platforms, like YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook. The ideas are already there. No need to reinvent the wheel when you’re integrating social with current marketing strategies.

    Craig
    Treepodia.com

  9. Social Media Marketing April 21, 2014 Reply

    It’s true social media has changed the way businesses communicate and market to potential customers. One of today’s biggest struggles within social media marketing is keeping up with the ever emerging trends and new social media exchanges. We’re always trying to look 2 steps ahead as to where social media is going and the best way to do that is to look at the past (short past). For more http://www.upandsocial.com

  10. Liilia MacCannell May 2, 2014 Reply

    Thank you for reasonable points on social media marketing! As a founder of startup I think that some part of work in sales and marketing should be outsourced. You can make a smaller investment to building your marketing plan until your growth provides the cash flow needed to hire more permanent staffing. Also, you often need the expertise of more knowledgeable professionals providing strategic growth plans and your budget doesn’t not allow for that level of investment for the long term. I was working Ignite http://ignitecloudware.com It seems to be reliable and competent company.

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