Social media marketing is rapidly evolving and integrating into our daily lives, it won’t be long before we can barely remember what life was like before social networks were around. Businesses that have traditionally had ample time to consider new technologies are quickly realising that they need to adopt this new way of marketing or risk being left behind. They are fully aware of the power of social media and are endeavouring to understand how it can work for their business.
One of the key changes we are seeing is more integration between traditional media such as print and radio and new media platforms to create a social branding experience. Previously businesses have either run a ‘marketing campaign’ or a ‘social media campaign’ as standalone events, however more and more businesses are realising that in fact an integrated marketing communication is required and this communication should be cohesive and synergistic in order to maximise the branding opportunity.
With more and more people using smart phones the ability for businesses to ‘socialise’ their traditional marketing has increased. Whether it’s using QR Codes to allow a quick link to the relevant online information or requiring the user to participate via a social platform the proliferation of smart phones has made this far easier and businesses need to be aware that smart phone users are more than willing to participate in connecting from an offline message to an online interaction.
Savvy businesses are also assisting with educating users about these new ways to connect. Hospitality employees are ensuring patrons are aware of apps like Foursquare, Untappd, and Tripadvisor, and in turn these patrons become brand advocates for those establishments. Sports venues are using their billboards to encourage attendees to join their networks, check-in to their event or even upload images with ‘how to’ instructions before the games start. Even the modest business card can become the start of an app tutorial if it has a QR code or social icons that the recipient is not familiar with.
When developing your branding strategy, whether for your whole brand strategy or a specific event, product, or service you need to consider all forms of media in the campaign to ensure there is a seamless transition between the offline and online brand experience. Ensuring consistency of message, imagery and tone is essential to ensuring a consummate user experience.
Considering your social branding with a holistic approach with ensure that your message gets across clearly, that the user enjoys the experience and that you are maximising all communication channels.