Traditional media still has an important role to play. You'll continue to see those Times Square billboards flashing day and night. But with social media as a growing medium, marketing and PR should consider the different ways to blend the online and offline space. Can billboards work with Facebook? How do television and Twitter work together?
Here are 10 simple ways to integrate social media into your traditional media efforts.
- Use traditional media as a social driver. Use print, outdoor, radio, and other traditional media to promote your social channels. Take it beyond including the Twitter and Facebook icons and add some information as to why consumers should join the social conversation. Do you have special offers? Contests? Helpful tips?
- Converse in the traditional space. Could a customer's pleasant comment on Facebook be your next headline? Use these positive mentions and comments as testimonials on your website, headlines, body copy, etc. It will excite the customers that wrote the message (ensure you get their permission) and demonstrate your great brand in a peer-to-peer format.
- Use traditional media as the prize. Develop a contest on your social media channels. It could be photos, videos, telling a joke on the Facebook wall, etc. Showcase the winner in a TV spot, print ad, or on your website. It will generate buzz in both the online and offline space.
- Continue the story on social media. Traditional media may reach the masses, but you're often limited in your print and billboard space or your television and radio running time. Capture the audience with your story using traditional media, but continue it online. Maybe it's a web series or a series of blog posts. Intrigue consumers to find out more.
- Be open to feedback. With social media, communication is two-way. Your audience can provide thoughts and opinions about your campaigns. Welcome them! Let traditional media spread your message while social media captures the feedback. Make sure to take those opinions into consideration as you modify your campaign efforts.
- Promote online content. As experts in your industry, you likely have a lot of great content to share. Use blogs, eBooks, webinars, and other online avenues to share this helpful content with your audience. Then, set aside part of your traditional media budget to promote the content. Paid search and online display advertising are perfect for this effort.
- Redefine the landing page. Oftentimes your traditional media efforts use your website as the call-to-action. Much like point #1 above, that doesn't have to be the case. If your campaign is about creating a conversation, welcoming feedback, encouraging the story to continue, etc., Facebook, Twitter, or your blog might be a better landing page option.
- Respond with traditional media. If you're listening on the social web and you're discovering some repeating complaints, engaging in social media is a great way to learn more and dispel any rumors. However, you can make your message louder by using traditional media. For instance, if you're getting negative feedback on your customer service, use traditional media to talk about it. How are you solving the problem? This approach shows that you're taking these complaints seriously.
- Organize offline events with online media. Traditional media can also include conferences and events. Hold meetups, tweetups, and presentations at your offices or conferences and promote them via your social channels.
- Test with social media. If you have a new product, campaign idea, or service to share, consider tapping into social media. Use offline channels to promote it and gather feedback and insights from your fans on the social web. Let them know from the beginning that you're looking for feedback so the conversation can start right away.
No matter how you choose to integrate traditional with new media, make sure to continually engage with your social following. They are talking about your campaigns and would love to hear from you.
What other ways are you integrating social media into your traditional media efforts? How has social media changed the way you communicate with your audience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.