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Grow Your Business Social Media

Social Media Integration: What It Is, and How to Implement It

Social Media Integration: What It Is, and How to Implement It
Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

You've seen it before: share buttons on digital articles, a "follow us on Facebook!" widget on a company website, a live Twitter feed on a blog sidebar. While it may not register as such, these are simple yet tactful marketing practices.

This is a process called social media integration, which cross-promotes your channels so they can be more frequently used, shared and explored, said Joseph Kibler, president and owner of Creative 7 Designs Inc.

Here's what you need to know about social media integration, and how you can incorporate it into your marketing strategy.

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According to Ruben Quinones, vice president of client strategy at Path Interactive and adjunct at the NYU School of Professional Studies, social media integration is a marketing strategy that allows you to leverage social channels as an extension of your existing branding and marketing efforts, or as a primary vehicle.

This can, and should, be done in a number of ways.

Consumers like to use different forms of communication, so it's important to cater to each preference, said Kibler. If you don't have specific platforms, or they aren't integrated, your authority and reputation may be viewed poorly.

"Some may prefer to message you on your Facebook page, tweet you or message you through Yelp versus sending [a] regular email," said Kibler. "If you are not paying attention, you could lose those valuable leads simply because you have not given them the form of communication they prefer."

Quinones suggested educating yourself on the landscape before integrating. Figure out which platforms work best for your brand and have the highest growth and audience engagement.

You can do this by evaluating likeminded brands, scoping your competition and leveraging any effective tactics, he said.

"Beyond just followers, which is unfortunately the only metric some companies look at, I'd dig deeper and identify other patterns of investment and engagement," said Quinones. "If they are publishing, what is the frequency, engagement rate, response time to comments, etc.?"

Be sure to pay mind to your possible consumers as well. They are, in fact, the basis of your success.

"Know your audience and where they hang out online; those channels should be your integration priorities," said Kibler.

While you want to consider your competitors, make sure that your strategy is unique to your brand. It's not a one-size-fits-all approach, and it might be smart to invest in an expert who can help you develop a personalized plan, Kibler added.

Quinones advised defining your goals, asking yourself why exactly you are using social media integration. Based on your answer, you can execute your plan and gauge its effect. 

"Periodically, evaluate how you are performing on engagement, customer responses, and adjust accordingly," he said.

If you aren't finding much success, you can expand visibility by asking your workers to share your content on their social platforms as well.

"Having your employees involved [has] multiple benefits, including amplifying your message," said Quinones. This will also empower them to participate and feel as though they're part of the process in evangelizing the brand.

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Video

Create short, digestible clips to promote your brand and engage your customers.

"They say that a picture is worth 1,000 words; we like to say a video is worth 1,000 pictures, " said Kibler.

Content

Content may not be as impactful as video today, but on certain platforms (like LinkedIn), it's still crucial.

"Creating original, good, well-thought content is still important overall, but it needs to be outside the box in order to cause any kind of engagement," said Kibler. "Old content and any new content created needs to be curated to appeal to voice search algorithms."

Opportunity

It's crucial that you focus on creating opportunities to connect with your audience. A popular way to do this is by adding live chat to your website so customers can get immediate responses to their inquiries, said Kibler.

"Offering countless opportunities online will likely increase the chances of reaching any goals you may have," he stated.

Quinones added that your integration should subtly provide a call to action to visit another website or social platform. An example is displaying your social media accounts in your email signatures or providing links to your profiles on your company website.

Editor's Note: Looking for information on social media marketing services for your business? Use the questionnaire below, and get quickly connected to our vendor partners to learn more about a customized strategy and pricing for your business:

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Sammi Caramela

Sammi Caramela has always loved words. When she isn't working as a Purch B2B staff writer, she's writing (and furiously editing) her first novel, reading a YA book with a third cup of coffee, or attending local pop-punk concerts. The only time Sammi doesn't play it safe is when she's writing. Reach her by email, or check out her blog at sammisays.org.