Blog: Integrating social media into marketing strategy

By Dinesh Jebamani

Evolution of Social media and growth in mobile internet has resulted in the need for marketing strategies to change.

The images below shows the growth of social media channels and messaging apps, and the huge potential to reach your target audience, create brand awareness, engage and generate leads for conversion.

If you take an overall global snap shot there’s huge potential for future growth of internet penetration and use of mobile which will be the primary source to seek information and reach your customers.

It’s a no brainier that marketers need to rethink their overall marketing strategy and adopt social media channels into overall communication and engagement plan. You need to be in the right channel where your customer is mostly active on sharing timely relevant content that will create a call to action.

active users digital

Gone are the days when marketing was a one-way communication tool and today due to advent of social media, messaging apps and internet accessed thru mobile your customers want real time interactions and responses. Hence your social media strategy needs to be integrated to engage with your prospects, customers beyond likes and shares.

Below are few benefits of integrating social media into to your overall marketing strategies:

The ability to build long lasting relationships.
When you start marketing through social media platforms you create relationships with customers and ability to engage more frequently and stay connected enabling your product ,service to carry our two way communication and feedback.

Its easy for your customers to engage with your brand and seek further information prior to purchasing.
The customers can also share or talk about your brand on their social feeds thus creating user generated content that reaches to audiences you will not reach or new audiences which amplifies your brand further .

Your product or services is accessible to customers
Your customers can now access your company real time 24/7 through social media or online chat service . If your company provides customer service via social channels this can provide a great customer experience and result in better sales , referrals online to your brand . you can earn more free media publicity .

You can engage your target audience through social channels
One of the key benefits of using social media compared to traditional is the engagement that can be measured . If you use print or television ads its hard to measure the engagement unless you track calls to your hotline or call center which is offline.

digital snapshot

On social channels the engagement can be measured real time and response can be given as well. Based on analytics and audience insights which are available on social media tools you can create relevant content preferred by your audience and create engagement . To be effective in engagement on social media one must clearly understand the preferred social media channels of your customers and how they access same.

You can carry out targeted advertising on social media at a lower cost
The cost to reach your customers on social media is far lower than traditional advertising and can be measured , tweaked real time. Further social channels such as FB , Instagram, Twitter, linkedin, youtube or any other emerging channels such as snapchat, printerest have tools to carry out hyper targeting and your content can be optimized to be relevant to each segment thus you can generate leads to convert to your sales teams or business.

These channels have tons of data and high capability to provide you real time information of customers you intend to reach thru your message. One could use images , videos , GIFs to reach and engage with relevant messages that can create action. Further you can experiment and split test your ads and analyse what works best thus enabling further optimization.

Content that are posted on social channels is shareable
The content that is posted on social channels can be created by you or user generated . Your customers could be converted to content providers or you can create timely relevant content based on personas of users that will be shared across and increases reach organically .

Advantage here is your customers sharing content increases viral reach for which you do not pay . Creating videos that talks about your product , or customers talking about your company can easily go viral and the ability to now post direct to multiple social platforms enables cross channel marketing.

media formats advertising

You can capture customer information and generate leads
By carrying out promotions on social channels, you can capture your customers information such as mobile number, email address, profession etc and use such data later for re-targeting or re-engagement which can result in new business or increase in businesses. By capturing leads based on relevance you can share such information to your sales teams to convert to business.

The cost of such leads, leads converted can be measured thru online CRM tools and enable marketing automation.

Social media allows your company to create user generated content and earn loyalty over time. The info graph above explains the overall snap shot of marketing channels and activities.

We need to accept the fact that social media is here to stay and will continuously evolve to remain relevant with customers. These channels will disrupt traditional mediums and create challenges for marketers in the future due to its overall scale and capabilities which makes it very easy to reach and create awareness in a cost effective and accountable manner.

Companies and marketers that accept and evolve will be in a better position to capture attention of prospects and customers.

(– Dinesh Jebamani is in retail banking, product/brand management and passionate about social and digital media marketing/channels. His blog can be accessed here –)