When going through numerous articles on social media strategies it dawned on me that there was a glaring omission: tactics on how to promote your social media profiles OUTSIDE of logging in to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
While it may sound odd, cross marketing is an essential part of a successful social media marketing strategy (as well as a successful marketing strategy). It is completely understandable that when you launch a social media campaign, you really want to spend a bulk of your time logged into the site trying to achieve penetration and engagement. For example, when marketing your business’s Facebook Page, you are logging in on a daily basis to update your page, share it and use different onsite tools to engage with your target consumers.
But what about the people that you speak to everyday on the phone or at events? How about those who you give your business card to? How about the people on the receiving end of the 100+ emails that you have to respond to daily?
This is where you need to focus on what I call Off-Site Social Media Promotion. The best part? It isn’t that tough (which is always a good thing, right?).
Here are my top ten tactics that you can instantly use to promote your professional social media presences…off-site:
1. Add to Your Email Signature: When it comes to promoting your social media presences off-site, email is your first stop. In your email signature, add a link to one or all of your social hubs. Just be careful not to overdo it! If you are a member of 100 different networks, don’t add them all. My rule is to try to keep it to around 3 or less.
2. Add to Your Business Cards: A trend that I have been seeing is the adding of social networks to business cards. This is a trend that I definitely support as it adds more relevance to the handing out of business cards (especially in our growing “green” landscape). The same rules apply, but with business cards I suggest adding the networks where you are the most active. For example, I may be the most active on Twitter, so that would be the one I would add. When adding the network address, make sure that you have a custom username so it is easy for the recipient of the card to read and then type into their browser.
3. Add to Your Website and Blog: One of the best ways of promoting your social networks off-site comes courtesy of the networks themselves. May have plug-ins that are free and easy to add into the structure of your blog and website. These look like boxes with your logo, recent activity and a box for the viewer to click to connect. These allow people who are visiting your blog/website to easily engage with you on the social platforms WITHOUT leaving your site. Plus, as you update your social networks, it reflects on your blog/website badge which not only makes you look up to date, but it provides your website/blog with fresh content on a consistent basis.
4. Add Share Buttons to Your Website and Blog: If you are constantly publishing content to your website and blog, why not allow others to share it? This is a bit more complicated, but a web design professional can help you do this. If you don’t have this, you are definitely missing a trick. Also – make sure that you have an RSS feed on your blog, it is very important and can be used in many wonderful ways online!
5. Add to Your Advertising: This one is a no-brainer – make sure that you add the link to your social media presence in your magazine, newspaper, radio and television advertising. Just think: you are spending quite a bit on advertising, why not get the most bang for your buck. Also, you can use your social media presence to support a contest that you are promoting through your advertising.
6. Add to All of Your Marketing Collateral: This is another no-brainer. If you have brochures, media packs, flyers or physical promotional products – add your social media link to them. Easy as that!
7. Add to Your Events: When putting together the promotional schedule for an exhibition or event that your company will be represented at, make sure not to forget to add your social media profiles to the game. Make sure that it is on the collateral and stand, but you can even run a Twitter contest during the event and promote it through a bag drop. There are lots of ways…just think out of the box!
8. Add to Your Contest: I touched on this earlier, but when you are holding a contest, a great idea is to use the opportunity to showcase your social media profiles. Especially on Facebook, you are able to nearly duplicate the look of your website on your Facebook Page – it is just down to making the cross marketing happen and finding a designer to complete the job.
9. Add Your Networks to Your Phone: This little tip does involve a bit of on-site promotion. One of the biggest tips that I have is that if you have a smart phone you should have the main social media sites you downloaded and ready to use on your phone. This way you can share pictures, video and information in real-time from anywhere. There are always things that you miss that you regret not sharing, this makes sure that it doesn’t happen again. This tip is also helpful when you need to show people your profile in a pinch if you are meeting them face-to-face and describing your online work. I’ve had to do it about a million times, so it does happen.
10. Add it to Your Vocabulary: Do you ever tell anyone about your social media presence? Or do you just think they will find it on their own? In order for people to find and engage with you online, they need to know that you exist online….and many times if you have a very common name brand or name, it can be confusing and difficult to locate you. So make sure that you talk about your presences on your calls, when you meet someone new, at events and more. The people you interact with everyday can be some of your biggest supporters on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
I think the overriding message here is to mention your social media presences as much as possible. Remember, if people don’t know that you are using social media sites to promote your company – they aren’t going to look for you. Let them know, it’s the best way to go! At the end of the day, you wouldn’t send out a marketing material without your web address on it, would you?