You need to be where your consumers, fans and prospects are, but, with so many social platforms, it can be difficult to keep up and make sure everything works together. Ensuring the marketing, strategy, and consumer journey is consistent, fits together, and tells a story that ladders up to your objectives and goals is easier said than done.
It’s safe to bet that Facebook has evolved into the hub of your social media marketing, and the announcement of Timeline for Pages may make it even more central. It is the place where your content, stories, and communication live as well as thrive. But chances are good that your company may also have a Twitter account, a YouTube account, and now you may be exploring Pinterest, Spotify, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, and the list goes on. So what can you do to make sure these channels are connected and, more importantly, have some sort of relationship?
First the disclaimer: not all channels will integrate seamlessly nor does it make sense for all channels to play well in the sandbox together. However, it’s important to explore the possible connections and opportunities.
These days you can’t go far without hearing about Pinterest. Mainstream media outlets are writing about it, and as the fastest growing site ever, the chances are good that you’re thinking about how to use it to market to consumers. For those that have begun to utilize the power of the “pin” it’s important to consider how to leverage that on Facebook.
The simple act of cross promoting is always a great first step. Create a well-crafted status with a link to your Pinterest account and let your Facebook fans know where to find you. Looking to take that one step further? With Facebook Timeline you are given the option to pin (not to be confused with Pinterest’s act of pinning) the status to the top of the Page. So regardless of what other content you post, that link to Pinterest will always remain front and center until another piece of content is pinned to the top of your Facebook Page.
Sadly, the seamless integration a user gets between Pinterest and their Facebook Timeline isn’t offered in Pages. Additionally, what you pin on Pinterest won’t show up in the News Feed or on your Page’s Timeline unless you purposefully put it there. Since Pinterest centers around visuals and rich imagery, a good workaround is to create an album on Facebook that corresponds to your Pinterest, and update it consistently — offering a “best of Pinterest”. This not only presents a great visual but also cross-promotes and adds content.
What Pinterest lacks in Page integration Instagram picks up. Instagram is a photo sharing application that allows users to take a photo, apply a digital filter, then share it to a variety of social networking platforms, including Instagram’s own stream. As it’s currently only available on the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, it becomes even more important to connect the photos you take via Instagram with your Facebook Page, to allow for additional engagement. Instagram’s integration with Facebook gives you the option to push your photos directly to the Page’s wall. Once you take the photo and craft copy as a Facebook Admin, you have the ability to post it to your Page’s wall. Given Facebook’s push to emphasize stories and content over tabs, as evidenced by Timeline, Instagram is a great way to incorporate content in a visually appealing way.
Want to give the photo a spotlight? In Timeline you can star the story to make it wider — having the entire picture show on screen.
Tumblr is a great alternative to a traditional blog and has seen quite a following in the fashion/retail and media industry. Similarly to Pinterest, there is no simple way to connect your Tumblr with your Facebook Page the way a user can. However, if you can’t bring the social platform to Facebook you bring Facebook to the platform! Ann Taylor is an example of a company doing a great job of integrating Facebook and Tumblr.
Directly on the top left of their Tumblr there’s a call to action to join them on Facebook. Scroll down a bit more and you’ll notice a widget on the right hand side with another call-to-action to “Like” their Page and a showcase of their latest status updates.
As mentioned above, there’s always the ability to cross promote. Have a great entry on Tumblr that you want to share it on Facebook? Share away! Just be sure to avoid using Facebook as an RSS feed. Use the hub of your social networks to highlight the others — not as a place to dump everything and anything.
With Facebook and the industry at large evolving at breakneck speed, it becomes even more critical to step back and evaluate your social media platform strategy. At the end of the day a consumer, fan, prospect wants a clean, simple, fun and engaging experience, and as such, you will need to assess how each of these platforms link up — even at the very basic level.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.