The fact that large portions of this website are dedicated to highlighting the power of social media means that we don't need to say anymore on its importance. However, this emphasis on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Google+ means that it can be easy to forget about the traditional, offline approaches to marketing.
Some businesses will argue the point that the latter is no longer worthwhile, with the advantages of going social meaning that there is little point in dedicating any resources towards alternative tactics. However, truth be told, the two can work hand-in-hand and you can actually get more out of your social pages if you work to promote them offline. You'll get more people, different types of visitors and this is as well as all of the other standard benefits that accompany a standard offline campaign.
Following on from the above, we’ll now take a look at several offline moves that can enhance your social media presence. None of them are ludicrously expensive to initiate, yet all of them could result in a massive lift for your social campaign.
The social business card saver
Business cards might be one of the old classics so to speak, but that doesn’t mean to say that they are outdated. Sure, a lot of people will stuff them into their wallets and allow them to dissipate into a black hole, but there are ways that can make people take a bit more care of them and at least store them in a memorable place (that isn’t a trash can).
One such method is to place some sort of incentive in the card. It’s becoming increasingly popular to add a tagline on the bottom of business cards, stating that discount codes can be activated by signing up to the company Facebook or Twitter page. It goes without saying that this kills two birds with one stone; and as well as the possibility of generating new business through the voucher code, you’ll also add to your social following.
Taking the QR, hassle-free approach
In comparison to business cards, QR codes are at the other end of the spectrum and are completely in fashion. For those not in the know, these are those funny-looking barcode images that can be scanned on a smart phone to forward the user towards a mobile app or webpage. You don’t need a degree to fathom them out either, there are umpteen sites that allow you to create them at the click of a button.
The beauty about these codes is that they are designed for offline marketing. They’re meant to be placed on those large A3 posters you’ve got your hands on from sites such as Pixel2Print and if used correctly, they can again pay dividends. As you may have guessed from the overall topic of this post, our recommendation is to divert the code towards your company’s Facebook page to again aid with that crucial following. Alternatively, you can combine this approach to the first one we mentioned and present the QR code, with the intention of including a voucher for all of your social subscribers.
It’s all about making it as easy as possible for your potential customers and instead of people having to remember a tricky website address that used to be included on your offline material, the use of QR codes makes it a much simpler process for the ‘viewer’.
Being social on the move
We’re not going to pretend that painting a huge advert on your company vehicle is some sort of innovative method – it’s a tactic that’s been around for decades. However, how many times have you been driving behind a white van with their business contact details scrawled on the back, only for them to quickly switch lanes (and at the same time, lose a potential customer).
Unless you have some sort of photographic memory, telephone numbers are off the agenda straight away. Website addresses are a little easier, but there’s still the potential for a hiccup. Social media accounts on the other hand are usually simple words following a site that is known by the world. Therefore, they’re catchier and the chances of you remembering are increased significantly.
Tie it into any offline marketing move
You may have devised the best poster out there, but there’s absolutely no guarantee that your audience are going to remember your web address unless they have a pen and paper at the ready. Is it .co.uk, or .com? Did it have a dash? There’s all sorts of things that can be mistaken and it ties in perfectly with the car example from the previous section.
Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you’re printing business cards, posters, flyers, leaflets or party invitations – make sure that social tag is a prominent feature. It’s easy to remember and also, in something which a lot of people forget, it also builds more trust. If potential customers see others discussing your products and services, there’s every chance that they will follow in and see what all the fuss is about.