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social media and offline marketing

How to increase your social media results with offline marketing

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Often, small businesses miss bringing social media and offline marketing activities together to get more impact. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that social media is the only marketing tool a lot of small businesses use. I think that’s a big mistake. You really do need to pull together all your marketing into one, big concerted effort to find your business new customers.

Before I tell you why you should bring social media and offline marketing together, I want to make sure you understand what I mean by offline marketing. It’s the marketing you do that does not have a digital element to it. It can be your brochures, the displays in your shop windows, events you attend, networking you do, and much more.

Now, that you understand what offline marketing is, why should you make sure your social media activity works with the offline marketing you do?

Here’s what I think:

Social media algorithms vs. you

It seems we’re all chasing our tails trying to work out how to create content that algorithms work. I’m not going to beat about the bush here. It takes time. Time that you don’t have because you’ve got a plethora of other things to get done. Using social media and offline marketing together helps you be seen. You just need to figure out how to use them together. Once you’ve done that, you rinse and repeat (as part of an overall marketing plan!)

Get your content seen

How much ‘stuff’ do you see online that counts as content? Now, how much of that stuff do you pay attention to? If you said very little, then you’re no different to your followers. We have short attention spans. So, content that grabs attention and means something to your followers is what you aim to create every time. Only, it doesn’t always work. Well, offline marketing can help you get that content seen.

Nurture your followers and grow

I say often enough that you shouldn’t worry about the number of followers you have. It really is the engagement that matters. But, it is a thing that all small businesses measure. Using social media and offline marketing techniques can help you to nurture the followers you do have and will likely help you to grow that number.

So, those are my three reasons why social media should be part of your overall marketing mix – the things you do to market your business. Everything that you do to market your business should help you achieve your business goals and to do that, it all needs to work together. If you want to learn how to start doing that, read this post.

Now for the good stuff…

Here are my top tips to bring social media and offline marketing together.

Business cards
I know it sounds obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been given a business card without details of the social media networks the person is on. You’re losing the opportunity to direct people to your business profiles. Take a look at your business cards. Do you give people the opportunity to follow you on social media?

Brochures
Again, an obvious one. But there’s more you can do than just put small icons on your printed materials. Think about what you where you’re going to use that flier, what do you want to achieve with it? For example, if you’re at a tradeshow, you can have special fliers printed that tell people about the next Facebook Live you have planned, encouraging them to join you. It’s a way to get extra eyes on the great stuff you’re doing on social media.

Events you organise
If you run in-person events, they are a great way of bringing the offline and social media worlds together. It does need a bit of planning up front though, so make sure you factor that in when planning your event.

One of the best ways to get your audience involved is to have an event hashtag. Make sure it’s on everything that your audience comes into contact with: presentations, name badges, agendas, your social media networks. This is going to get it seen and used.

Another way to reach wider than your live audience is to stream parts of your event. Use social media, your email list and other ways you can think of to let people know. This helps direct people to the social network you stream from and discover you and the great content you have. It also helps more people experience the event you’ve organised.

If you want to know more about organising your own events, read this post.

Tradeshows
If you’re planning to exhibit at a tradeshow, then using social media before, during and after is a great way of bringing the digital and offline worlds together.

Make sure you find out the hashtag the organisers are using and include that in your updates. You want as many visitors as possible to know you’re there and to visit your stand. Here are some ideas on how you can use the hashtag:

• Share some behind-the-scenes photos of you setting everything up.
• Tell people about any special experiences on your stand, i.e. competitions, presentations and so on.
• Bring visitors to your stand by live streaming and using the hashtag where possible.

As with running your own events, put some work in ahead of time to plan what you’ll do.

If you want to know more about organising your first tradeshow, read this post.

Direct mail
I know! No one sends direct mail anymore, do they? Wrong! Think about what you get in the post. If you’re anything like me, it’s mostly bills or pizza menus. But what if you received a hand-addressed envelope? Wouldn’t you open it straightaway? I know I would. How does this help you with social media? You may have customers who are not on your email list, but who may want to follow you on social media. They just need a little nudge.

Or, how about giving recipients a heads up on a competition you’re going to be running on your Facebook Page? It doesn’t have to be an expensive mailing either. As long as the reader can see value in what you’ve sent, a hand-written note goes a long way. Isn’t everyone talking about personalisation these days? What’s more personal than a note?

Promotional items
Everyone gives away promotional items. It’s got your logo on it, so that’s OK. It’s brand awareness, isn’t it? Personally, I think it’s a waste of money if you don’t have an end goal in mind. And none of us has loads of that to throw around!

One of the best promotional giveaways I did was when I worked at Constant Contact. I had some hoodies made up. On the front was, of course, our logo. On the back though, was something the wearer could be proud of. It told the world they were a newsletter genius. How did you get one? You posted your newsletter on our Facebook Page and we judged it against best practice. If it was good, you received a newsletter genius hoodie. Everyone who got one posted a photo of them wearing their hoodie on our Facebook Page, which made more people want them.

These are my top picks of how you can bring social media and offline marketing together. I’m sure when you sit down and think about it, you’ll come up with more ideas. When you do, I’d love to know what they are!

Now, if you want more help with your marketing, there is a place you can go for lots of tips. That place is my Facebook Group. Head over and see what you’ve been missing!


Also published on Medium.

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