With a barrage of content circulating online, it is important for brands to ensure that their messaging is cohesive and meaningful. In an environment that is noisy, so to speak, it is not only necessary to be loud but to be clear as well. Let’s look at how businesses can design integrated social media marketing strategies that will ultimately improve their brand positioning and messaging.
The Value of an Integrated Social Media Marketing Strategy
Integrated marketing refers to consistent messaging or campaigns shared across multiple channels. In this case, we’re referring to social media. With multiple platforms available to businesses, there is often a mix of channels that are used. Having similar messaging across the platforms is not based on making the role of a social media marketing manager easier; rather, the goal is to ensure that the messaging flows across the channels in a way that makes sense to the audience.
Essentially, the consumer should be able to go from the Instagram page and easily move to the Facebook page, for example, without noticing a stark difference. The campaigns should apply to each of these channels. This said it cannot be done in a way that is simply copy-pasted. This would become redundant for the audience, and it certainly wouldn’t do the brand any favors in terms of the platforms, since each has its own standards and optimizations.
One of the key ways to make sure that your social media marketing strategy is integrated is to determine a clear brand voice. This will be consistent throughout all messaging, regardless of the platform where it is published. This takes into account the tone and the type of language used. This extends to your wider branding style, with similar visuals and colors used as well.
Having a familiar brand voice helps consumers to become familiar with it and helps to develop trust. This takes content creation a step further toward content curation - both for your audience and for the platform. While each channel has its own best possible posting times, it is important that the window between campaign posts isn’t too long, to maintain consistent messaging.
When there are similar types of content, having an integrated strategy can also help ensure that what you share is unique and that you aren’t repeating the same videos on Instagram and TikTok, for example. Following on from this, it is not only the content that is published that needs to be integrated - it is the engagement, too. The responses to direct messages are important and should also be in accordance with the brand’s tone of voice.
The audience a brand has across its social media channels may differ, with certain niches preferring specific channels. While it is important to choose words wisely and cater to each of your buyer personas, it is important that a brand maintains its overarching tone. Instead of changing the tonality, the brand can make adjustments to the content as they are shared across various channels.
How to Design an Integrated Social Media Strategy
As mentioned above, it is imperative that the branding is defined as this will apply across all of the marketing messaging. In fact, as we’ll see below, a lot of these integrated strategies boil down to being organized and having a strong framework for each of the campaigns.
- Determine your campaigns or posts across the various social media channels. This can be easily done with an editorial calendar.
- Identify the suggestions for each of the platforms - eg the ideal image size, caption length, and the number of hashtags to be used.
- Identify your buyer personas to determine the type of audience(s) you’ll be publishing for across the social media platforms.
- It is also important to know the full extent of our content capabilities so that you can share the messaging in the best possible way.
- Set the goals for the campaign so that your KPIs can be set for the performance to be measured against.
- It goes without saying that when you set up a brand’s social media channels, it’s important that you carry the username across each channel, as well as the same profile image/logo and similar bio’s.
Once you have a handle on the above, it is a matter of applying it to the relevant content and campaigns. This way, we’ll be able to see that each of the social media channels are linked by way of sharing similarities, yet each has been refined to suit the platform and persona.
Comprehensive Marketing Strategies
Now, integrating your marketing strategy does not only apply to cross-channel content. It also extends to the various types of content, be it:
- Paid media
- Earned media
- Owned media
It’s about having seamless transitions and a defined style for each of the above. The goal is to remove all possible confusion for the audience and enhance a sense of familiarity. In addition to the information above, it is also important that long-standing and short-lived ephemeral content is taken into consideration across social media platforms.
It is also important to cater to your audience during the various points of their buyer journey. This includes moving from brand awareness to consideration, conversion, and engagement. The pathways need to be clearly defined and depending on the brand’s goals, you’ll include each of these points to varying degrees.
Once your plans for integrating the marketing strategy are in place, they become your brand’s blueprint. From this point, you can focus on optimizing the content for each channel. This involves weaving a story that flows from one channel to the next and showcases the brand’s personality.
Social Media Marketing Made Easy
Ready to get take your brand’s social media marketing to the next level? Speak with us at Nexa. We offer a full range of social media services and can help develop a sleek and integrated strategy that best presents your brand to your audience.
Up Next: How to Rebrand