Use social as the centerpiece of your cross-channel marketing

Woman hand using smartphone and show technology icon social media.

We get it: Sometimes, social media still feels like the new kid on the block. Email laid the foundation for online marketing — indeed, for the entire internet — all the way back in 1971. Google was valued at $100 billion before Twitter even existed.

But today, social media deserves to sit at the center of your entire marketing strategy. Not just because it delivers the largest audience in the history of marketing (though, with 2.9 billion people using Facebook each month, it does.) Not just because it offers the best targeting of any marketing channel today (though, in a world dominated by cookie deprecation and iOS 14, it does). And not just because it offers the best performance of any channel today (though, in survey after survey, marketers report that it does).

The real reason you should use social media as the centerpiece of your cross-channel marketing is not that social media works great — it’s that using social media makes all your other marketing channels work great as well.

In fact, Hootsuite customers who coordinate customer engagement efforts between social and other channels report significantly higher ROI across their entire marketing spend. And 72 percent of Hootsuite customers say that using social media specifically improves the efficiency of their other media channels.

“We’ve long known that none of your marketing channels should be siloed,” said Emily Wenzler, head of Premiere Tech Partner Sales, “But it’s become increasingly clear social media is perhaps the most important channel to integrate into your marketing strategy — both for its own performance, and to aid the performance of everything else in your plan.”

What are the best ways to make social the centerpiece of your strategy?

1. Leverage social data to make other marketing messages more relevant.

The best marketers know that every bit of data can create better results. That’s why they carefully study and test which subject lines get the most people to open an email and which landing page converts the most searchers into buyers.

Integrating social data into your marketing plan opens up a whole new world of data. Want to send a reminder email to people who have liked your Facebook post about a new product launch? Or send a make-good discount code to customers who have tweeted you with a problem? Hootsuite Enterprise’s integrations with Marketo Engage and Adobe Campaign let you create automated marketing routines based on people’s social interactions with your organization.

Savvy marketers also use social media performance to help them choose the right assets for other marketing channels. The product image that works best on Facebook will likely drive more email clicks — the tweet that generates the most shares will likely make a great paid search headline — and the brand video that racks up views on Instagram might even make a great 30-second spot.

The more social data you use to power your other marketing channels, the better they work.

2. Use data from other channels to improve your social media interactions.

Who would you rather give your time to: A long-time customer who is among your biggest spenders, or a detractor who has only ever bad-mouthed your products?

Your social media team has to make that choice every day. Nearly two-thirds of your customers now say they would rather send you a message than call you on the phone. The result: Forrester predicts digital customer service interactions will increase by 40 percent this year alone. But most social media managers are flying blind — because most companies cannot tell whether they have interacted with members of their social audience through other marketing channels.

The good news is, Hootsuite Enterprise’s integrations with Marketo Engage can tell you who is who. When your teams know which DMs come from loyal advocates, which tweets come from brand haters, and which Facebook comments come from genuine prospects, they can focus their efforts on the social engagements that are most likely to generate business results.

And Hootsuite’s integration with Adobe Campaign helps you create custom audiences that drive social ad success. Because while social platforms offer some powerful targeting data, experienced marketers go beyond simple website visitor audiences and target different Adobe Campaign user groups with different messages, offers, and calls-to-action.

3. Integrate social metrics into your cross-channel reporting.

Measuring digital marketing was supposed to be easy — but Nielsen reports that fewer than 20 percent of marketers say they feel confident in their ability to quantify digital ROI. Google’s deprecation of cookies and Apple’s iOS 14 changes will not make their lives any easier.

The more data you can collect on users and their behaviors, the more likely you are to fully understand your marketing performance. That’s why the most successful organizations do not just integrate social into their customer engagement strategies — they integrate social into their reporting, too. Hootsuite Impact works with Adobe Analytics to include social media reactions, shares, and sales in your cross-channel marketing reports, demonstrating social performance alongside results from your organization’s other marketing efforts.

And even if your organization already tracks return-on-investment, Hootsuite Impact’s integration with Adobe Analytics can significantly improve your analysis. Marketers who use Hootsuite Impact’s Social Lift or ROI Analysis tools can now incorporate the metrics that matter most to their business. And marketers who use other ROI reporting tools can export Hootsuite Impact and Adobe Analytics data together to enable more robust attribution analysis and marketing mix modeling.

So social media might be one of the newer tools in your marketing toolbox. But it has earned its place at the center of your strategy — both for its own marketing power and for its ability to improve all of your other marketing channels.