We don't have to explain that social media are used more and more by clients and prospects. People use it to communicate with each other and with business. And relevant content can be distributed and shared over social media with a single click of the button, irrespective of the carrier such as an e-mail or a blog post.
But social media marketing is not an isolated phenomenon. It is part of an integrated cross-channel strategy whereby the individual customer and his preferences are central.
That is exactly why we have launched a white paper on social media marketing from the cross-channel perspective. The power of customer relations is based upon valuable and personalized dialogues in function of the customer's lifecycle and buying journey. This applies for social media as well as e-mail marketing and other forms of interaction.
We look at social media, amongst others, as an additional conversation possibility in a global view of triggered and customer-centric interactions whereby social is an opportunity to set up dialogues during all stages in the marketing and sales funnel. Obviously there are also aspects of direct marketing, branding and customer service in social media, but these mostly occur in an integrated manner as well.
Beyond reach: customer intelligence and influencer identification with sharing tools
It is therefore important to include the results of social media interactions in your overall customer data and insights about your client's preferences, behaviour, etc. Analyzing these interactions will for example allow you to know more about your customers, identify influencers and detect cross-channel marketing opportunities.
A typical example of this are the sharing tools and services such as AddThis, the most used bookmarking and sharing service, that emerge everywhere: in e-mail, on blogs, websites etc. They are much more than a means to expand the range of your messages. If you include such a social sharing tool in a cross-channel and structured manner in your e-mails and other interaction channels, you have to be certain that you are not only able to identify the impact of the social sharing by your customers themselves but also that you are able to identify influencers, gain cross-channel insights, create a better overall integrated interaction experience and include the details on social interactions in the reporting mechanisms of your marketing applications.
The better your marketing activities are integrated and the more your online marketing campaigns allow centralized cross-channel management, the more worthwhile the use of social media sharing tools is.
The rest is a matter of offering share-worthy and personalized content and interactions and placing and using the social sharing tools optimal: intelligence and first of all acquiring customer intelligence for cross-channel and valuable dialogues.
Efficiently using social media to improve the relevance of marketing and communication programs
Download our free white paper on social media marketing from the cross-channel perspective and learn how social media integrates with other interaction channels.
Summary : The hottest topic in marketing and communication is without any doubt social media marketing. Although many businesses are still testing the waters, many others have successfully integrated social media in their marketing mix.