There are many companies out there that boast about their social media presence and number of followers, yet fail to see that it is important to ensure that their platforms are integrated with conventional marketing strategies and campaigns.
Social media is often viewed as a contemporary marketing tool that can replace traditional media. However, it should actually be seen as one that is complementary. Operating social media activities independently will lead to conflicting, inefficient and mixed messages. Marketing and public relations campaigns should be drivers to online destinations where consumer engagement is enhanced and brand key messages collectively conveyed.
An integration workshop is a session that we always recommend our clients to conduct prior to any communication activity, regardless of the scope of work that they have signed up for. In these sessions we explore how social media can be effectively integrated with traditional advertising and public relation campaigns for best results.
Here are five key points that we look at during the integration workshop and which we consider are vital for success:
• Define your goal: Prior to identifying you communication purpose, realise your business objective, your vision and your future positioning.
• Understand your target audience: Don’t just focus on the mundane demographics. Brands need to align with their consumers’ behaviour and lifestyles. The consumer is your start and end point and creating high quality content and experiences which they can relate to is key.
• Choose the best means of communication across various platforms: This is where innovation comes in – having the right balance of media, a story, and a myriad of ways to share it. As different platforms reach different consumers within the audience pool, brands must communicate the universal message by using exclusive angles through each channel in order to leverage its power and limit its weaknesses.
• Maintain the conversation: Once you have built the right audience, keep the conversation going. This can be through having the audience buy, talk about or talk to your product or service.
• Encourage your audience to refer you to others: This will result in you becoming an active participant in representing a reactive brand. This is a crucial aspect of the framework that ensures return on investment to the various communication means, be it advertising, public relations or social media.
So are you fully integrated?