If You've Got It, Flaunt It!

By Mandy Cudahy Since the rise of social media, companies have been trying to establish new, out of the box techniques to use social mediums to aid their marketing strategies. Now that they have discovered how they should use these tools successfully on their own, how do they take it further?  How do they integrate these mediums into their existing marketing strategies and use them to transform their whole approach?

Over the past few months, I have come across brands who have begun socializing their traditional marketing initiatives. Below we will take a look at 5 marketing tools and techniques for best integrating these into your overall social strategy.

Socialize your POP

Point of purchase displays are a valuable tool used in almost all retail establishments to showcase a company’s sales, new products, and other big initiatives. If social media has become a big part or your strategy it would only make sense that these displays would be effective in promoting your social initiatives as well. Subway utilized their large in store displays to advertise their Commit to Fit Campaign that was running on their Facebook page. They included a strong call to action to visit their page and not only commit to an initiative that interests their target market, but to enter to win a large sum of money. Having it perfectly placed where you had to walk by it while waiting in line made it impossible to miss. Other ways companies can use these displays to drive traffic to their social sites are by asking for reviews, promoting discounts, and advertising exclusive content.

Socialize your Packaging

Advertising on product packaging is a missed opportunity that companies haven’t taken advantage of. The packaging is the last thing consumers see before they touch their newly purchased product which means a great space to convey one final message. Express is one company that discovered this benefit and placed a call to action to both their company’s Facebook page and their CMO’s Twitter account. This demonstrates Express’ commitment to quality by encouraging the customer to share their experience with even the highest member of the company. Product packaging is also a great place to advertise social media incentives and rewards for being a consumer.

Socialize your Events

Nothing is more central and visible than the Jumbotron at a big game. When companies host events they have an opportunity to promote or utilize their social media tools during the day’s activities. The NJ Devils advertise their Facebook and Twitter pages, during breaks, 3 or 4 times throughout each game. This is a very effective way to bring attention to their social sites as well as voice a strong and “loud” call to action. Of course not all companies have Jumbotrons at their disposal, but there are other techniques that can be used that are just as effective. Examples would be displaying Twitter boards that showcase real time conversation from the event, implementing a dedicated event hashtag or foursquare check-in, holding discussions and giveaways using their social tools, and handing out cards or flyers that encourage participants to visit their social sites to learn about future events.

Socialize your Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is a very inexpensive tool to voice a strong call to action. It is also a widely used tool so the natural creativity of social media is perfect in helping differentiate a company’s direct marketing pieces allowing them to stand out and thus be even more effective. Delta Hotels does a great job at this by placing incentive cards with their room keys encouraging guests to fan them on Facebook to receive a discount off their next stay.  Not only are they placing these cards with the key which is most often is put in the guests wallet or purse but they are driving gusts to their social sites and rewarding them for visiting. Other ways that companies can effectively socialize their direct marketing pieces are by advertising social discounts, promoting contests and acquisition challenges, advertising social events, and encouraging reviews.

Socialize your Post Sale Experience

No one likes to receive a bill for anything but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on an opportunity to advertise your social media. Similar to packaging, the receipt is one of the last items people see either before or immediately after they interact with your brand. This is a great space to drive people to your social sites and encourage customer feedback and brand loyalty. Urban Outfitters utilizes this method in their online checkout system. Right after the consumer completes their purchase they are reminded of all the different ways they can continue to stay connected to the brand.

These are only a few areas of the marketing mix that can be easily socialized and integrated into your strategy. Have you seen brands use any other creative techniques? Share below!