Lately I’ve been spending some time talking to partners and my Cisco Channel Marketing counterparts about how and where we can integrate social media into our overall marketing efforts. Frankly, I am a huge proponent of starting with objectives and strategy versus tactics – see my earlier blogs posts that touch on this subject relative to social media – Internet Marketing, Social Media, eMarketing… It’s Still Marketing and Social Media ROI: What Do You Measure?
However, I recognize that there are situations where you just need to try some things and see where they can take you. As most of you know Cisco has a fairly large presence on Twitter with Twitter feeds for marketing, product launches, Cisco executives etc. We frequently encourage both our partners and customers to follow us. With this in mind, I thought I would share some easy ways that you can integrate your Twitter presence into your overall marketing efforts. So, if you find yourself in a situation where the proverbial train is leaving the station with social media, this may give you some immediate things you can do to unify your marketing efforts.
1) On your Web Site:
The easiest way to integrate Twitter onto your site is to use the default Twitter widget created by Twitter itself. Twitter gives you the option of three different widgets that you can drop into the sidebar of your site (or your blog, or any other page for that matter): The Profile Widget, the Search Widget and the Faves Widget.
Profile Widget: Displays your most recent Twitter updates on your site.
Search Widget: Display a real-time Twitter Search for your name/company. (Note: There’s no filter for profanity or negative comments … so, use with caution.)
Faves Widget: Shows off your favorite tweets. Also in real time, this widget will pull in the tweets you’ve starred as favorites.
To get the widget on your site, simply choose which one you’d like, customize it (size, colors, etc) and then copy and paste the code generated onto your site. Super easy!
2) Follow Me Buttons:
If you’re using Twitter for marketing, building a following is critical. Follow me buttons are like little advertisements to readers and customers that you’re on Twitter, making it easy for them to follow you with one click. There are loads of sites that offer Follow Me buttons, but I like Twitter Buttons. They were one of the first out of the gate. With Twitter Buttons, you input your Twitter username and the site generates a number of different Follow Me buttons for you to choose from. Simply pick which button you like and copy/past the HTML code to generate it.
So where should you include a Follow Me button? On your web site, your blog, in emails – Basically anywhere you are reaching customers and prospects online
3) The ReTweet Button:
Tweetmeme offers a neat retweet button that anyone can place on their site to encourage people to easily share your content. Once embedded, the button shows a live count of how many times your content has been retweeted and makes it easy for others to retweet by shortening the URL and pre-populating the tweet with the title. It’s a great way to spread your blog content, whitepapers, or online articles.
Making it easy for others to share your content facilitates the building of your online audience and can help to brand you and your company as thought leaders in your specific market.
4) Email Marketing
Many of you have regular email newsletters that you send to your customers or prospects. Maybe the frequency of these newsletters is quarterly or monthly. Integrating a Follow Me button into these regular communication will allow you to build your Twitter following, provide your customers with another way to interact with you, and through content shared on Twitter nurture prospects.
5) Direct Mail
Direct mail is not yet dead. In fact, many of our integrated campaigns and telemarketing programs include a direct mail option. Adding one line that reads “follow us at www.twitter.com/yourname” provides individuals that may not be ready to call you for a network assessment another less intrusive option to learn more about you and possibly engage with you in the future.
This one simple act of adding your Twitter URL to your offline marketing helps to unify your marketing efforts for your customers and prospects.
6) Leverage Your Content
Based upon my partner conversations, I know that obtaining the right content and enough of it to support your presence in social media is still a struggle. Here’s my response to that. Every time we create a marketing campaign, we are creating content. You have distinct messages, white papers and analyst reports, product offers etc. that are part of your campaign. Don’t think of these things as being unique to the specific campaign you’re working on. Content can be mobile. Share a link on Twitter to that whitepaper on Collaboration. Do you have a unique product bundle you’re offering? Why not tweet about that? My point is, you have access to more content than you know. Much of which would be of interest to your online followers.
7) Event Promotion
Events are still one of the most popular marketing activities. Going back to the earlier point of leveraging your content, there are a number of ways you can leverage Twitter. Your event is content. Tweet about your upcoming event and possibly drive some incremental registrations and attendance. Tweet during your event and share the valuable content with more than just the people in the room.
My point is, through some very basic actions, Twitter can expand your current marketing efforts and help them be more effective. How are you using Twitter today? Are you integrating your Twitter presence with other aspects of your marketing? Please share!