Reality today is such that social media should be considered when executing virtually any corporate communications program. Opportunities to drive traffic to your social properties, promote your content, integrate technology, and more, should not be overlooked.

Despite this, my experience has shown that there are some media channels, such as print, that seem so antiquated that marketers don’t think about how social media and technology can be influenced by the medium, or vice-versa.

Well, lets aim to make this a mindset of the past and start encouraging our coworkers, clients, leadership and partners to think ‘social’, even when producing print ads and printed collateral. Following are a number of ways that your print advertising can be more social and be better integrated with technology:


Print advertising can drive a huge amount of traffic to your social media promotions. If you’re running a photo or video sharing contest, print advertising can be particularly effective because you’ll be communicating with your consumers while they are away from their computers living life in the real world, which is probably where you’ll want them taking photos or video for your contest.


Dazzle your consumers with print ads that are so incredibly creative that they feel compelled to share their experience with your ad with their social networks – Carlsberg created the print ad bottle opener, Volkswagen gave you a virtual test drive, and Lexus amazingly added audio and video to their print ad. Argue all you want about how many readers actually interacted with these ads, but without a doubt those that did, found them impactful, were left with a lasting impression, and shared their experience with their friends.


You can significantly increase redemption and participation with your Foursquare check-in specials by promoting them in print advertising and collateral. If your offer is compelling enough, you might even convince non-Foursquare users to register an account. Also, because of Foursquare’sincreased commitment to cross platform integration, consumer check-ins, reviews and tips are going to be seen by an increasing number of people on other social media networks.


There is an inherent perceived value in just about anything that is exclusive, or gives people the sense that they have insider knowledge; so tap into this. If you are creating compelling content for your print advertisements or advertorials, you might want to consider granting access to exclusive bonus content to your consumers on social media, only available to those who have seen your print-based advertising.


If you’re able to successfully create an emotional response to your print ad, or feature compelling enough communications, think about how you can extend that experience or further educate with a mobile website. Consumers are never far away from their mobile devices, and after engaging with your print ad could be a perfect opportunity to drive to your mobile site, that should feature social integration.


All too often I find that advertising features a social media call to action that really falls flat. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Find us on Pinterest. Come on, give consumers a reason to get involved with your brand on social media. Give them a sense of the value that you will provide them in exchange for taking time to hunt you down on their computer or mobile device. Tell them how you’ll educate them, entertain them, or provide utility in your CTA.

When creating print advertising, do you think about how you can make it more social friendly?

How have you used print advertising in support of your social media marketing?

Have you effectively integrated technology with your print advertising, or seen a particularly great example that you’d like to share?

Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial, it’d be great to hear from you.

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