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If you attended the first two sessions of Cisco’s Partner Marketing Velocity webinar series on social media-- Building a Successful Social Media Program and Social Media Events Experience—you’re  probably thinking you have everything you need to conquer the world of social media.

But before you set off on your quest, take note. Making social media part of a larger effort, such as a specific company initiative, ensures greater success. In fact, if you tie social media into all of the moving parts of your company’s business strategy, then it has a much better chance of resonating with your audience.

In the third session of the webinar series—Creating an Integrated Campaign—I discussed this very issue, sharing the benefits of using an integrated rather than siloed approach. I also gave examples of how Cisco has integrated social media into its campaign strategy and recommended best practices for creating an integrated social media campaign.

Still want to email your messages and call it a day? Here’s an example of why you wouldn’t want to rely on a siloed approach. Let’s say you only have an email blast planned for communicating about your campaign. Sure, this tactic would reach a targeted audience, but exposure and engagement would be very limited. For instance, if that email lands in your audience’s spam or junk mail folder, then there isn’t another opportunity for your campaign message to reach your audience.

However, if you take that same message and use an integrated approach (that is, communicate through several different types of communication vehicles in addition to email), there’s a higher chance of your audience getting that message somewhere else if they happened to miss your email.

Integrated campaigns are a great way to cross-pollinate your message with different vehicles and also to reach a larger audience, because they’re able to see that information in different places. They’ll also begin to recognize that it’s all part of the same story as they go through each channel.

I understand the benefits of using an integrated approach. Now what?
As you begin to plan your integrated social media campaign, it’s important to keep some key principles in mind:

Audience: You must understand who your audience is. Keeping your target audience top of mind will help the rest of the pieces fall into place.

Strategies: Understand what objectives social media will play, especially how it relates to the other communication channels you might be using. Then build business strategies and goals around social media. Create the correct team workflows, response strategy, and crisis strategy to ensure that responses on all communication channels are the same regardless of what channel those audience inquiries came from.

Content: Once you have your audience and strategy defined, look at what existing content you already have that would align to your audience and strategy. Determine gaps where you need to create new content, making sure that it is in a social media friendly format and would resonate with the audience. Keep your content organized with a content calendar.

Engagement: Look for opportunities where you can engage with your audience both online and offline. As your audience engages, be very responsive. Social media is meant for two-way conversations. Listen and monitor for feedback along the way.

Measurement: Measure your results and benchmark how you are doing throughout the campaign. You can use free tools such as Topsy and Google Analytics. My team likes to use an Enterprise Social Media Management System called Sprinklr. It allows us to post messages and measure our efforts all from the same tool.

When you measure your efforts, you’re able to evaluate the types of content that do well on your various vehicles. And if something in particular didn’t resonate with your audience as much as you thought it would, make note of it for next time. That’s the great thing about an integrated strategy. It allows you to test out different tactics. Plus, because you have other avenues of getting your message out, if one tactic didn’t go as planned, you can always fall back on your other tactics.

If you want to get more tips from this session, head over to the Marketing Velocity site to access the replay and slides.

Want to learn more from Cisco Marketing Velocity?
Register for the next webcast How to Position Your Company to Beat the Competition on November 6. You’ll learn how your content and messaging can set your company apart from your competitors.

Did you attend all three sessions of the Partner Marketing Velocity webinar series on social media? Which social media tips did you find most useful?

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