A discussion that is taking place with increasing frequency revolves around how to integrate Social Media in to our existing business practices.
Two points I always include in my Marketing and Social Media presentations are:
- Social Media Must Be Integrated
- The Effects of Social Media are Cumulative
We will deal with #2 in the next post, but today let’s talk about the absolute necessity for all Social Media efforts to be integrated.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE INTEGRATED?
Integrated marketing is not new. The need to coordinate all marketing activity within an organization is as old as marketing itself.
In order to understand integrated marketing, it’s helpful to remember the 2 C words. Any marketing tactic, whether Social Media or other, must be…
- Coordinated and
…in order to truly be integrated in to existing marketing practices. No marketing practice should exist in isolation unless your marketing plan and goals call for only one marketing tactic to be effective. This is rarely the case as all marketing can be bolstered by additional tactics, or channels, to help communicate the message we are attempting to share with our target markets.
For example, let’s say you have a lateral, or new professional, to help your real estate practice. You decide that, in order to share this exciting news, you will:
- Send a news release to the local business journal, the lateral’s alumni magazine, trade publications and any other written or virtual publications you decide are a good fit.
- You are going to send a printed announcement to clients who might benefit from this person’s expertise.
- You are going to host a seminar that will showcase the talent you are accumulating in the real estate practice.
At the same time, you should be discussing what other virtual tactics, via Social Media, you could be using to give your announcement a bit more firepower. In other words, you are going to choose virtual marketing tactics to complement your campaign.
WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA TACTICS MIGHT BE COMPLEMENTARY?
Here are just a few:
- It would complement your existing communications plan if your Real Estate Chair, or someone else from the team who you decide is good on camera, would interview the lateral. You could then post this short interview on :
- Your website
- YouTube or Vimeo
- Your firm’s Facebook Page
- The lateral’s Facebook Profile
- Your LinkedIn Company Profile
- Your professionals and staff could send the link to the video out to their email lists.
- Your professionals and staff could “Like” the video on Facebook, causing that Like and the related link to show up on their Facebook Profile.
- You could decide which existing firm blogs might be a good fit for a blog post about your lateral, thus drawing attention to an additional area that could be helpful to that team’s clients, although you don’t have to directly say so. The video will speak for itself, and will serve as a cross-selling opportunity.
- It would also be complementary if you took still shots of the interview above, then:
- Add one or two to the blog post mentioned above,
- Post to your firm’s:
- Facebook Page
- The Facebook Profile of anyone in the firm who is interested in helping spread the word
- LinkedIn profile
- Twitter account(s) with a genuine comment, and a link to additional information
- The firm’s Flickr account
- and so on.
I think you’re getting the idea. Just think of every channel you can use to stretch the message you are sending. These channels, or media, need to make sense. If potential clients, future hires, referral sources, media or current clients are there, that’s where you should be posting.
WHERE DOES THE COORDINATED PART COME IN?
You’ve already begun to tackle this part by devising the tactics I suggested above. What makes them coordinated is that it is important to come up with a schedule that is timed, timely and flows in order to stretch your message across a time frame you decide would be advantageous to your clients and your firm.
Points to remember:
- Don’t send everything at once. There is a halo effect when it comes to any form of ongoing communication. This means that you don’t have to communicate all day every day in order to be remembered. In any form of marketing, whether email, networking, being interviewed, TV, radio, outdoor, video, podcast, mobile messaging, etc., if you are consistent in your schedule, and you take a day or a week off now and then, people will remember and think you are still sending messages even when you’re not.
- Write your coordinated plan in advance. This might sound daunting and tedious, but you will be very happy you did this as it gives you and others direction and motivation to accomplish what you are trying to do.
It’s simple. This is all you need to do:
- Write all of the messages you want to communicate about this lateral, or whatever promotion you are working on, down on paper or keyboard.
- Create a list of tactics such as those I already mentioned above.
- Fill in all of the channels, or media, you can then use to send these messages, again using those I mentioned above as a starting point.
- Then start filling in dates that pull all of this together in a logical order, making sure you strategically stagger the tactics and messages over a pre-defined period of time in order to be complementary to one another.
- Track the resulting activity so you can determine the effectiveness of your messages and the media you have chosen.
Once you’ve done all of the above for your announcement, or whatever marketing project you have, you can then create your Marketing Implementation Plan that shows overall strategy, goals being targeted, tactics being used, messages being communicated, channels and media being outlined, dates for each to be executed, and specific people responsible for each tactic.
Remember, marketing via Social Media or any other channel must be integrated by being coordinated and complementary.
What would you add to this discussion about Integrated Marketing?
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Nancy Myrland is a Marketing, Content, Social and Digital Media Strategist, Speaker & Trainer, helping lawyers, law firms and legal marketers grow by strategically integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers and legal marketers understand how to make their marketing and business development efforts more relevant to their current and potential clients, and helps lead firms through their online digital strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. As an early adopter of social media and digital technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing and livestreaming. She can be reached here.