By Daniel Brophy, Social Media Specialist
Social media has proved time and again to be one of the most important aspects of a modern integrated digital marketing strategy. Social channels offer an unparalleled opportunity to interact with customers in a manner that coincides with their existing behaviors and desires in the place they already go to seek entertainment, information, and solutions to pain points.
By holistically incorporating social media into your digital marketing, you can more effectively engage with your community and target audience, drive more traffic to your website, deliver an amazing customer experience, and even drive more leads to your practice. Here are 6 ways to achieve social media marketing integration:
Keep Branding and Design Elements Consistent
Your social media channels are in essence extensions of your website and brand. People searching online for certain information or services are likely to end up (or begin) on a social media site.
When prospective clients are searching for your practice by name, they could very well end up on your Facebook Page or YouTube Channel before they even make it to your actual website. Likewise, people conduct localized searches for products and services directly within social channels.
If they happen to discover you, wouldn’t you want your social profile to have a similar look and feel as if they had ended up on your website? If they click through a post or ad that links to your website, it’s important to maintain a consistent appearance and experience that keeps them focused in on your brand.
In that same vein, I’m sure you’ve placed a great deal of emphasis on ensuring your website is mobile-friendly. This should also be a focus with your social media profiles.
Be mindful of how your profile pictures, images, posts, etc. display on both desktop and mobile. Use imagery within your shared content that reinforces your practice’s identity, is consistent with your design scheme, and looks great no matter what platform or device any given user is viewing it on. Always keep in mind that the majority of people who are viewing your website, social profiles, and any shared content are doing so from a mobile device.
Sync Content Strategy with Social Channels
Speaking of content marketing, your content strategy should be created and built out with social media as a tool for amplifying your message. Content that is “made to share” will always garner more impressions and engagement. Use high-quality, eye-catching, relevant images in your blogs. Utilize content formats that are naturally engaging and shareable, such as quizzes, infographics, and videos.
Also, make it easy and intuitive for people to share content on social from your website on their social profiles. Include social share buttons on your blogs and throughout your website.
Let’s also not forget the power of creating attention-grabbing headlines and applying an engaging writing style that is consistent with your brand’s voice. There is an incomprehensible amount of content produced and shared across the Web every day. Add to that the fact that most people have an extremely limited attention span.
If your content looks bad on social, if your titles and descriptions are not attention-grabbing, or if your content is simply not relevant to your audience, far fewer people will click on it. This will cause the potential reach of your content to fall dramatically, and will negatively impact your marketing in multiple ways.
Produce High-Quality Video Content
On a similar note, if you haven’t begun to incorporate video content, now is the time to do so! There is a reason that so many brands and businesses create video content. Video allows you to quickly convey complex information in an engaging, entertaining format. Video inherently appeals to the human senses.
Also, it’s safe to say that video content performs very well on social media.
There are countless ways in which you can use online video to help accomplish marketing and business objectives:
- Find out your highest-value queries that bring users to your website, then make informative videos that answer questions or address pain points of your prospective audience
- Film video testimonials from satisfied clients
- Broadcast live video from within your practice that showcases your practice and employees
- Use videos as the backbone of brand awareness and lead-generating ad campaigns
- Use video on landing pages for pay-per-click (PPC) and social media advertising campaigns
With modern technology, anyone can produce high-quality video content. There are also plenty of affordable (or even free) apps and services that allow you to include animations or other elements that make your videos stand out even more.
Align SEO with Both Paid and Organic Social Media
There is no denying that the best practices and the inherent nature of search engine optimization has been a constant evolution. However, there are a few concepts that have always held true:
- Is your practice’s message and content relevant to your audience?
- If the consumers you are targeting come to your website, are they going to find what they are looking for?
These questions should help guide your social media efforts as well — both your organic social content strategy as well any social media ad campaigns you run.
SEO and PPC are in essence shooting for the same goal: To increase online visibility of your practice within search engines and drive more relevant traffic to specific pages of your website. SEO aims to earn this prominence organically, by optimizing your website to be at the top of the pile when someone conducts a search, whereas PPC means paying for that top spot.
In this regard, SEO and PPC are the one-two punch to be more visible in search engines. Social Media PPC is essentially the same thing, but rather than bidding for a top ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) you are vying for a valuable spot in a given user’s social feed.
Many social media platforms display ads outside of their native platform as well, maintaining a network of apps and sites on which they also show your ads. Social media also unlocks powerful targeting abilities. On Facebook especially, since you already maintain a core audience via your Business Page, you can easily target your ads down to the most minute details and reach many new people who fit the demographics and behavior your existing audience.
Furthermore, you can effectively remarket to people who have visited any page of your website, have engaged with your page or interacted with certain videos and other content, etc. Taking the time and effort to build a strong organic audience base further enables you to develop extremely effective paid campaigns.
Capture More Leads with Social-Fueled Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing can help capture and convert more site traffic into leads through targeted high-quality content and soft-sell email followups to keep your practice top-of-mind. This can be integrated with your overall search marketing strategy by answering questions like:
- What are the main reasons people are coming to your website?
- What information can you provide better than your competitors?
- Which of your practice get the most traffic?
These questions can help guide the structure of your inbound marketing and help you determine what types of content will most effectively capture more leads from your site traffic. Once you have your inbound campaigns set up, social media ads can help drive more traffic to your landing pages.
Use Social Media to Deliver an Unparalleled Customer Experience
As I said, your social media profiles are essentially extensions of your website. People expect your brand to deliver the same experience and level of service as if they walked right in the front door.
In that regard, consider the online customer service aspects of social media. If someone messages you through your Facebook Page and gets no response, they likely will never attempt to contact you again. Online users have come to expect a timely response from brands and businesses on social media. This applies both to the good and bad — thank people for kind, praising remarks, but be prepared to appease dissatisfied or downright irate individuals as well.
The adage “out of sight, out of mind” will forever hold true. If you aren’t visible on social media, you will not grab the attention of the modern digitally-minded consumer. It’s arguably even worse to have social media profiles for your business that are incomplete and/or inactive, or don’t look anything like your website.
The Benefits of an Integrated Social Media Strategy for Your Overall Marketing
Here is the #1 takeaway from all of this: You must begin to see your social media presence not as a superfluous addition to your overall marketing efforts, but as an essential component that requires significant and consistent time and attention. If you take full advantage of the business features offered by social media networks, craft a concrete strategy with measurable goals, and maintain an active and engaged presence overall, you will not only be delivering on user expectations, but potentially can exceed them and add a tremendous amount of additional value to your practice in the eyes of your prospective client base.