Like you would with a cake, layer your social media within your overall plan for tastier marketing results

While social media is often hailed as a game-changer for marketers and small businesses, because it’s such a new phenomenon, there’s still a lot of confusion out there in regards to how small businesses should fit social media in to their overall marketing strategy.

One of the smartest ways I’ve seen this question answered came in a recent blog post by Duct Tape Marketing’s John Jantsch, who suggests viewing social media as a layer in your overall marketing strategy that makes it easier to do what you already do in other marketing efforts. This is good advice because any business can make use of this line of thinking.

Here are some tips to get yourself in the layering mindset and to integrate your social activities with other inbound efforts:

  1. Convert social followers to email contacts. Email addresses are far more valuable to the inbound marketer than social media followers. Direct followers to content that will encourage them to join email lists.
  2. Go fishing for referrals. One of social media’s greatest assets is its unique ability to reach a massive audience with very little investment. As Jantsch points out, even if someone isn’t a valuable customer because they don’t do a lot of business with you, they can still be very valuable as a social media follower if they are referring your business to others.
  3. Build your customer profile. The connections you make via social media can tell you a lot about what kind of people make use of your business. This type of information can be valuable in all kinds of marketing efforts.
  4. Strengthen your content’s SEO. Social networks provide a great platform for sharing links and and discussing blog content. These inbound links are held in high regard by search engines, so coupling good content with smart social media practices could vastly improve your content’s SEO.
  5. Get press. As a journalism student myself, I’m all too familiar with the degree to which today’s journalists rely on Twitter and other social networks to keep up with news stories in real time. Boost your public relations strategy by targeting journalists with social media.

How do you integrate your social media with other inbound marketing efforts?

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