More and more marketers are recognizing the importance of incorporating social media into their marketing mix. And if you're still on the fence, consider the facts that 41% of B2B companies and 62% of B2C companies that use Facebook have acquired a customer because of it. In addition, companies that use Twitter average 2x more leads than those that don't.
But are you considering all the various ways you can effectively leverage social media? If your social media participation occurs just within the walls of social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+, you're missing out on some great opportunities to benefit from social media in other marketing channels and efforts. Here are 8 great ways to start extending the power of social media beyond their individual websites.
8 Ways to Leverage Social Media Beyond Social Networks
1. Add Social Follow Buttons to Your Website: The first thing you'll need to do maximize your social media presence is increase your reach. A bigger reach means a better opportunity to spread your content and reach more potential customers. While there are a number of ways to do this, one great resource at your disposal is your own website. Make sure website visitors know where to find you in social media by adding social media subscription/follow buttons to various parts of your website. Great places for these include your homepage, your blog, your 'About Us' page, and your 'Contact Us' page.
2. Add Social Sharing Buttons to Your Content: Another great way to use your website to help leverage the power of social media and extend the reach of your content is to use social media sharing buttons. These buttons will allow website visitors and those consuming your content to easily share it with their individual networks, enabling you to reach people who may not have heard of you or your awesome content yet. Add these buttons to every piece of content you create -- blog articles, ebooks, case studies, landing pages, and other website content.
3. Integrate Social Media and Email Marketing: These days, including social components in your email marketing messages is simply a best practice. Adding social sharing and follow buttons to your emails will extend the reach of your email sends beyond the recipients in your email database, expanding the reach of your content and brand.
4. Get Creative With Embeddable Tweets: Twitter recently launched the ability to embed tweets to your website, giving marketers a great opportunity to leverage the popularity of this social network directly on their own websites. Read this post to learn how to add embeddable tweets to your website as well as some creative ways to leverage them by curating content, showcasing customer testimonials, create a more social newsroom, etc.
5. Use Facebook Social Plugins: Are you aware of all the different social plugins Facebook offers? These plugins enable you to make the most out of the most popular social network and add social proof to your own site. Take a look at the various social plugins available for Facebook, and consider adding the ones that make sense for your business. If you have a Facebook business page, you'll likely want to install the Like Box on your website/blog to encourage website visitors to become Facebook fans, as Search Engine Land has done on its blog (see right).
6. Leverage Your Existing Customer Evangelists: Your business' current customers can have some serious leverage, helping to endorse your products/services and content, thus extending your reach. Make sure the customers you have are following you in social media so they can share content and help you generate new leads and customers. Simply draft an email to your customers to let them know about your social presence and explain the value in them following you there. And be sure to provide an obvious link to follow whichever social network(s) you're promoting.
7. Nurture Leads With Social Media: Email is what most marketers think of when you mention the term lead nurturing, but email isn't the only way you can nurture your leads. And considering 50% of the leads you generate are qualified by not yet ready to buy, your marketing program will greatly benefit from lead nurturing. Provide a good mix of content in your social media updates, including top-of-the-funnel, educational content like blog posts and ebooks as well as more middle-of-the-funnel content and offers like links to your free trial or product webinars. Additionally, use your lead management software to gather some social intelligence about your leads. Are they on Twitter? Did a lead just attend one of your webinars? Tweet at them on Twitter and ask how they liked the webinar, or use marketing automation tools to do it for you.
8. Use Social Media Intelligence for Sales Prospecting: Social media can still be a useful tool even after leads are passed off to the sales team. Empower your salespeople to use social media and social media intelligence as part of their processes as well. Teach them how to identify valuable information and social cues from their leads that will aid the sales process, and help them understand how they could use this information to help them engage with leads and close sales more efficiently.
What other ways can you use social media outside of social networks in your other marketing channels and tactics?