When you’re a social media strategist, having your Instagram account accidentally deactivated is a little bit of a spanner in the works.
That’s what happened to me two weeks ago. Oh boy. I immediately reported it to Instagram Help Desk and continued to do so every day for two weeks. Fortunately, Instagram re-activated my account. But the whole experience was a sober reminder that WE DO NOT OWN OUR SOCIAL MEDIA DATA! (repeat after me).
It also reinforced my central belief that an effective social media strategy should always be part of a wider, fully integrated marketing plan – it’s really important that our social media platforms are just ONE of the numerous marketing touchpoints that we have for our business.
What is an integrated marketing strategy?
Put simply, it’s about making sure that all your marketing platforms (and there should be more than one of them), both online and offline, are singing from the same hymn sheet. Here are my 10 Top Tips for ensuring your social media is integrated with your wider marketing plan:
- Have a mailing list – you own your database. It’s your business capital. Focus on driving your social media followers to sign up for your mailing so you communicate with them away from social media too. Entice them to sign up with lead magnets like freebies or downloads.
- Have a robust CRM system in place to track leads; it doesn’t have to be fancy – from a simple spreadsheet to a more full-service platform like Dubsado, there are tools to suit everyone.
- Nurture 1-2-1 relationships on social media that eventually exist beyond the platform.
- Have a good website that you can direct traffic to so you can increase your mailing list and eventually do re-marketing campaigns in the future. After all, it’s your shop window.
- Have more than one social media platform to communicate with your audience. Don’t feel like you need to be on all of them, as that can be overwhelming, but find a couple that suits your business and communicate across all of them.
- It’s the oldest but often the strongest marketing method – have a good referral network for your business that complements your social media communications. Does anything beat word of mouth?
- Is your business listed on Google? Google My Business is a free tool and opens you up to arguably the biggest digital audience in the world.
- Store all of your social media content in the cloud (you can reuse and repurpose this content later). If you’re a Google user, Google Drive is a good shout, or Dropbox or similar can be easily synced with your computer. This means if your social media platforms are down, you still have all the relevant content at your fingertips.
- Reputation is everything!
All in all, the whole Instagram-deactivated-episode reminded me that Instagram does not define me; I’m still me, with the same knowledge, experience and reputation. I just need to continue to ensure that my marketing, and that of my clients, is fully integrated.
Remember, you don’t own your social media data. Don’t put all your eggs in one marketing basket!