We’re living in times of integrated marketing. The distinction between social, e-mail, SEO and PPC does still exist, but it has become essential that different channels work in conjunction, not competition, towards the same goal. As a consequence, brand websites should reflect this integrated approach. There is a great opportunity for businesses to engage with site visitors socially, enabling brand advocacy and making the path to  purchase as easy as possible. Here’s some ideas on integrating web and social:

Signpost visitors to your social profiles

This may be quite an obvious one, and yet surprisingly not many brands have developed clear and noticeable links to their social profiles. One may argue that once the visitor is on site, the main call to action no longer should direct people away from the site. Sure, there is some truth to it. However, customer journey is a complex matter, and the likelihood is that in their initial visit people won’t convert immediately. Customers visit multiple sites multiple times in their consideration phase, and it is essential your brand nurtures this fragile relationship via social profiles, building trust, authenticity and opening easy channels of communication.

Here’s how John Lewis designed links to their social profiles:

 

Content share buttons

The perception of a brand more often than not is formed by the quality of its products and the experience of using them. Content share buttons therefore aren’t simply a fun and interactive addition to your site (though they are), but more importantly they provide substantial benefits to the brand as a whole:

  • Instantaneous feedback. Product share buttons enable comparative analysis, revealing which products customers really like. That’s an invaluable piece of feedback which may even impact your long-term product strategy.
  • Authentic advocacy. With content share buttons your customers become your marketing department! What can be better than that?

Here’s an example of nicely arranged share buttons on M&S social site:

 

 

Social sign-in

I’ve come across quite a few sites that require a login. To be honest, whenever I see a request to register on yet another site, I’ll do my best either to avoid the site or at least not to register. If you’ve decided registration is essential to your site, how do you increase the conversion rate? Social sign-in is a definite alternative to consider. It will provide you with a much greater understanding of your customer demographics than an on-site registration, that merely provides the basic demographic data. And the more information you ask from your customers, the less likely they are to register.

See how Starbucks provide a Facebook sign-in alternative to their in-house login system:

 

In conclusion

The opportunity brands have to build meaningful, data-driven, measurable relationships with their customers is unprecedented. Cross-platform, comprehensive integrated marketing strategy will maximise the value of your investment. Integrating web and social is just one example of a multitude of opportunities that are there to maximise awareness, conversion and advocacy. How are you taking advantage of these opportunities?

 

 

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