While a social media department that exists in a silo is certainly better than none at all, it’s not nearly as effective as an integrated brand strategy.
Social media is now the most popular online activity, accounting for 27% of time consumers spend on the internet. 74% of marketers consider their presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other major networks an integral part of generating new leads. Simply put, the potential of social media is far too great to not use to its fullest potential. The most effective marketers today actively work to integrate their content marketing and communication across platforms, so their customers and prospects can benefit from their company’s consistency and clarity.
Consider the following reasons why your social media should be a cohesive component of your greater brand strategy:
1. You’ll Remove Inefficiencies
If your social media isn’t actively working to elevate your organization towards its larger goals and KPIs, the effort could be wasted. As Rocky Cipriano points out, integrated marketing communications are naturally a better use of limited resources: “your marketing is more powerful when every advertisement, every email, and every marketing piece communicates consistently.” Not only will consistent brand messaging allow every Facebook post, Tweet, and Pinterest pin to further your company’s unique value proposition and personality, you’ll ensure that your social media inputs are aligned with your goals as a company.
To learn more about the benefits of a well-defined brand, check out Why Branding Matters in 2014.
2. You Will Achieve More Effective Content Distribution
While creating custom content is a highly effective way to help your organization increase lead generation and customer conversions, your blogs, whitepapers, and other forms of web content simply can’t exist in a vacuum. Every 24 hours, 2 million blog posts are published. The science of content distribution has become a crucial component of being noticed in an era of content saturation. By aligning your social media with your content creation strategy, you’ll achieve more effective promotion and distribution of your brand’s content assets, allowing your organization to maximize exposure and ROI on major social networks.
3. You’ll Build Stronger Relationships
While the internet has drastically changed human behavior, the fact remains that trust is an enormously important factor in motivating human behavior. Studies have found that the average consumer doesn’t care if 70% of brands disappear tomorrow. The remaining 30% includes organizations who’ve managed to transcend transactional relationships and build greater trust with their prospects and customers. Your social media outreach should include the same messaging and strategy as your brand position, so your customers know what to expect and are able to begin trusting you.
Additionally, a social media strategy that’s integrated with your larger marketing goals will allow your social media managers to more effectively target their posts to your buyer personas. By tailoring your messages to you ideal customer, you’ll improve your chances of capturing the business of your most profitable prospect segments.
4. You’ll Avoid Brand Confusion
Brand confusion is a real and dangerous threat to modern organizations. Research by the Harvard Business Review has found that differentiation has become more challenging today due to a proliferation of new brands, and even worse, that most modern marketers are doing nothing to solve the problem. The key to eliminating this threat is to avoid thinking in a promotional or limited-time mindset, and focus on longer-term goals. If your social media posts are consistent with your brand’s personality or tone, you’ll likely achieve much better differentiation than your competitors who don’t have the same long-term outlook.
5. You Can Achieve “Triangulation”
Marketing thought leader Aaron Perlut believes that earned media outreach is effectively useless if you’re not moving toward “triangulation;” which is defined as the integration of social media, search marketing, and PR. Your social media posts shouldn’t just be viewed as updates to your Facebook or Twitter audience, because they’re so much more. Social media has the potential to be the cornerstone of your brand’s web presence, which is why it’s important to ensure that each piece of outreach is effectively targeted, and consistent with your brand strategy as a whole.
Is your social media integrated with your brand strategy? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments!