6 Tips: Integrating social media with other marketing channels

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Social media is a hot, ongoing buzzword among marketers. But just good social marketing goes beyond just having a Facebook page. How can you be sure to take advantage of these tactics and integrate it with the rest of your marketing efforts? Six experts share their top tips.

Enhance e-commerce with social media
A few ways in which social media can enhance e-commerce include: leveraging open source to allow a consumer to search for and identify comments or reviews made by their friends or other people in their social network during the shopping process; creating a hot-linked ‘brand badge' for consumers to post on their social networking pages; promoting branded virtual gifting with purchase hot-links and providing opt-in Twitter updates of brand sales and promotions.
Anna Banks, group director, strategy, Organic

Use social media as a natural influence on search
Social media's influence on natural search results is increasingly important from a strategic link-building perspective. Social networking and information sharing tactics can help to build high quality back links that are critical to a site's success in search. Many forms of user-generated content (videos, images, user reviews, etc.) not only attract search engine spiders, but help to turn traditional (bottom of the sales funnel) e-commerce sites into product research-oriented (top to middle of the sales funnel) sites. A well thought through social and search strategy is the key to optimizing your social media spend.
Brad Harrington, chief innovation officer, iCrossing

Social media can help leverage your e-mail strategy
The success of integrating social media across channels, including the very complementary e-mail channel requires a sound and thoughtful strategy. A high-performance strategy will incorporate community insights to inform message content and optimization; support monetization without being overly promotional; include “share-to-social” elements to empower e-mail subscribers to syndicate content throughout social networks; and leverage e-mail to grow the social community and vice-versa.
Nicholas Einstein, director of strategic and analytic services, Datran Media

Integrating social media enables retention and acquisition
Integrating social media with e-mail and e-commerce can enable simultaneous retention and acquisition marketing. Ask yourself – what is in it for your customers and their social network? You'll need to test lists and value propositions to determine what works. For customers the winner may be reward points or something that makes them seem cool or knowledgeable – for example, something funny might work best.
Craig Kerr, VP of marketing, iPost

Real-time conversations complement customer support
Real-time user conversations and feedback at networks such as Twitter will complement your customer phone support channel and augment your intra-site search function with real-time customer data and feedback.
Scott Symonds, general manager, AKQA Media, Search & Analytics

Don't forget about mobile
Social activities are not "confined" to computers anymore. There are a variety of mobile apps that allow users to connect to their preferred networks in one click and easily share messages, photos, videos, location. So start exploring all these mobile services (and the information they provide) to expand and enhance your social presence. Consider what phone features you can use as part of a social campaign, what contextual messages you can deliver. Social geo-location will be the next big thing in social and mobile marketing.  
Claudia Obata, strategic channel planner, Wunderman New York

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