Just because there’s something new in the world of marketing doesn’t mean all the old stuff is automatically obsolete. Sure, social media is here—and here to stay, yet there’s still place for direct mail, leave-behind brochures, handwritten notes, networking events, PR, emails, traditional ads—and even phone calling.
In initiating contact with prospects for my freelance writing business, I use direct mail. Yep, good ol’ printed postcards…with stamps! I won’t send emails to prospects with whom I have no history; that would be spam. Heck, I’m cautious about emailing prospects I have met but am still courting. A direct mail piece—a good one—can be a beacon, a door opener or an unobtrusive reminder.
Of course, the effort doesn’t end there, not at all. The traditional tactic must lead into new ones. That’s why I include my social media information on those printed postcards, and I start following prospects on Twitter when possible. In follow up to the postcard introduction and Twitter interactivity, I often request a LinkedIn connection, at which point I mention the postcard I sent and that I’m enjoying their “tweets.”
For a tile manufacturing client of mine, we’ve integrated social media functionality into the company’s existing site. The site draws both distribution customers and product end-users, so the quick “share” buttons placed throughout the site let anyone and everyone repost information with ease. Likewise, we’ve been sure to make it very simple to connect to the company’s blog, Facebook page and Twitter account. Yet all this is done in tandem with the company’s traditional and still necessary marketing efforts, e.g. – the production of print brochures, product sample boards and merchandising, as well as industry trade show participation.
It all works together.
Keep your eyes open, and you’ll see many examples of this integrated approach: a TV ad that invites you to get more information via a YouTube channel, a mailed promo piece that drives you to a website to sign up for a contest, an email message with live links to Twitter accounts and Facebook pages in the signature, etc.
A major perk of tying social media into traditional campaigns and marketing efforts? You can assess trackability quickly and effectively. Point customers to a custom URL via a printed postcard, and you’ll be able to clearly see how well the campaign works. Target dates for uploading content to a blog or YouTube video, and track your views or plays. Use a service such as bit.ly not only to shorten long URLs, but to track how many times people click through.
It’s not “out with the old, in with the new;” it’s “integrate the old into the new.” Marry the best of all worlds, and you’ll build deeper customer relationships to take your small biz big time!