If we could sum up the secret of success in social media marketing, we would do that in three words: social media integration.
Don’t know what this is? Don’t worry, we will give you a good explanation in this blog post.
For now, what you need to have in mind is that some of the most profitable brands today, both big and small, have mastered the art of posting on social media to grow their bottom lines.
One of the companies that uses social media in a really clever way, for example, is Wendy’s:
Why would a big brand like Wendy’s spend time and effort to troll others on Twitter?
Because tweets like this one blow up, get shared, and the brand gets tons of free publicity.
Of course, business executives may not always see the immediate returns of hiring social media personnel and paying for expensive analytics software.
But social media is not just about making an immediate sale. As Wendy’s (and many others) can teach us, simply interacting with customers online could be a huge win for any brand.
So, how can social media integration benefit you, and how can you go about it? This in-depth guide will help you come up with a plan.
What Is Social Media Integration?
Social media integration is defined as the use of social media platforms as part of a digital marketing strategy.
That means having active social media accounts and linking them with a brand website to drive prospects to and from the site.
Sometimes, that just means adding buttons redirecting users to your socials on your website.
However, an active role is required when you want social media to be more rewarding in your marketing campaigns.
That could mean aligning your content creation processes, lead generation, and sales with your social media strategy.
In other words, it is all about having a lively presence on social platforms such as Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more, while allowing prospects to interact with the brand seamlessly on all these platforms.
You don’t need to be active on all social media platforms to achieve sound social media integration. At least two of them will do for the best returns.
Top 5 Benefits of Social Media Integration
Every brand today relies on social media to reach a wide target audience online. Often, it is the only way to engage with customers on a large scale.
Modern consumers, especially millennials and Gen-Zs, are highly conscientious.
They like to have a personal connection with the brands they buy, in the same way as they like to know that their makeup is cruelty-free.
Social media helps build that kind of trust, credibility, reputation, and awareness. Done right, this leads to vastly improved sales and profits.
There are more than enough statistics to support this. According to Sprout Social:
- 55% of consumers discover new brands on social media.
- 78% of consumers are more willing to buy from a brand after a positive interaction on social media.
- 68% of consumers said that social media enables them to interact with brands.
- For 72% of companies, social media data is critical in making business decisions.
- 91% of executives will increase their social media budgets during the next three years.
With this in mind, let us go through five of the most important benefits of social media integration for businesses.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are some of the most effective online advertising platforms.
That’s because they are a cost-effective way to reach a broad audience through a wide range of marketing content.
More importantly, these platforms allow hyper-targeted marketing based on consumer preferences. This makes such ads highly effective at increasing sales.
When promoting a new business, platforms such as Instagram are the default place to reach out to new customers and showcase new products.
2. Brand Building
Building a brand is more than growing engagement and finding new customers. It is also about creating trust, authenticity, and receptiveness.
These, in turn, drive new business and help maintain customer loyalty.
We have already mentioned how the modern conscientious consumer likes brands with firm values, but there are three more important points to consider:
Social media allows brands to create and maintain human connections.
Wendy’s trolling people is one way to visualize this interaction. Creating an authentic, human-like persona helps brands connect with people on a deeper level.
Social platforms and forums are also a great way for brands to develop trust as a thought leader.
That means being a reliable go-to source for information on topics related to the brand’s products, which in turn builds a following of loyal customers.
Out of sight, out of mind: customers need to constantly interact with brands even when they are not buying anything.
Given today’s competition, constant interaction is important to stay relevant in the modern business landscape.
3. Social Media for Growth
Social media integration is all about increasing growth; brand building and advertising are meant to get consumers to buy more products.
This is why social media campaigns are almost always aimed at:
Increasing website traffic
Social media campaigns, ads, and sound strategy (such as thought leadership, viral content, and giveaways) all lead to increased traffic.
Social media is a low-friction entry point for new customers to try out a brand’s products.
With increased engagement, social interactions, and increased website traffic, brands will see a boost in sales.
McCarthy, a real estate company, saw 4.3x more sales with a 2x less budget through social media campaigns.
4. Gaining Consumer and Market Insights
Social media is a rich source of data.
From demographics and customer preferences to information on the competition, brands have a lot to gain when it comes to social analytics.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram provide detailed information and analytics based on a brand’s social following.
This data can be very useful in making business decisions.
Social media is also useful in gauging customer sentiment. How people are talking about a brand online is a key indicator of the general feeling about the brand.
There are lots of advanced tools that find and track brand mentions for sentiment analysis, helping brands stay on top of consumer sentiment.
This kind of intelligence can also be used for competitor research.
Businesses can track market intelligence on their competitors to reveal unaddressed gaps and pain points, then use them to attract more customers.
Finally, insights gained from social media are very useful in helping brands stay on top of industry trends.
We practice social listening to stay on top of new and upcoming changes in the industry that could affect how we carry out our business.
Social media also has immense benefits when used for communication.
For example, some brands use social media for customer care and answering customer queries.
Integrating social media into a brand’s PR and communication strategy is also useful for managing its reputation and dealing with negative feedback.
In these days when a single negative review can ruin a brand, this is very important.
How to Achieve Social Media Integration
There is no single blueprint on how brands can achieve social media integration.
Success will be the result of a bespoke strategy tailored to your particular needs.
As in our case, it mostly involves coming up with a social media strategy that spells out the business goals that you need to achieve and what path you will take to get there.
We will offer a few pointers to help you do just that.
Add prominent social links on web pages
Most people like to include their socials on website footers in tiny buttons.
We prefer more prominent widgets and popups, encouraging our audience to share valuable blog posts, tweet about our offers, and more.
The key is to keep things simple.
We only need to have customers interact with us on one or two platforms, not all of them. Overdo it, and it becomes spamming.
Include an automatic feed of social media posts on the website
This is a cool trick that livens up the website and keeps the audience highly engaged.
For example, keeping up a branded hashtag with a showcase of fan content is a great way to bring the site and socials together with minimal effort.
Create the option to login with socials
We all know how easy it is to log in to a service using Facebook or Google.
It is frictionless and easy, and 73% of users actually prefer this method according to LoginRadius.
Incentivize users to join your social community
Running giveaways and promotions for users who share your content on social media is a great way to get things going.
It also helps to break the ice and pave the way for more interactions in the future.
Create great blog content and add sharing options
Content is the lifeblood of both blogging and social media.
Creating valuable blog content and allowing users to share them seamlessly on their socials is a fantastic way to generate interest and grow traffic.
All we need to use, in this case, is a WordPress plugin such as Shareaholic.
Display social media videos
User-Generated Content (UGC) such as images and videos can be a rich way of building trust on a brand website.
Plus, videos can be a great way to redirect users to and from a website and increase Google rankings.
Having a commenting system
Websites can generally have a separate commenting system.
However, having one based on social media allows customers to post and share their views about a brand, while the brand retains the power to moderate these views.
This is a great way to boost user engagement and build trust and authenticity with other users.
Product reviews and testimonials displayed on websites have a two-fold advantage.
First, they let new customers know what others are saying about the brand.
Second, these testimonials build a loyal fan following by recognizing customers and motivating them to give feedback.
It is easy to do such integrations between social media and product pages to keep visitors updated with brand news and reviews.
Wrap Up: Social Media Integration Boosts Brand Growth
Despite the initial investment, it will likely give the highest ROI of any other advertising and media campaign.
However, the key to success with social media integration is to have a plan.
In other words, a social media strategy is necessary to enable efficient implementation and effective tracking of results.
Learn more about how to plan your social media strategy and grow your brand into the literal talk of the town!