There are different ways to close the loop between social media and offline action as we get better integrating social media into our overall marketing and communications plans. Think in both directions - offline to online and online to offline. And, remember it is important to track your tactics to see which ones work.
Offline to Online: Window Clings and Sandwich Boards
I was in Oakland, CA and discovered Fenton's Creamery, famous for its ice cream. The line was out the door.
Lines are good because you can contemplate that important decision: What flavor? While I was debating between chocolate chocolate chip and coconut pineapple 95% fat free flavors, I noticed a small sandwich board sign promoting Fenton's Facebook Page. I "liked it" from my iPhone.
I posted the above photo on my Facebook page, primarily to test how different content sparks interaction on my own Facebook page. But as a bonus, I learned from Facebook expert Mari Smith, that sandwich boards and window clings with Facebook and Twitter IDS are an effective technique to close the loop between offline and social media.
Nonprofits: Increasing Engagement
In the nonprofit world, we've been focusing on the online to offline connection, or more specifically how to turn Slacktivists into Activists with Social Media. This excellent post by my business partner, Geoff Livingston, provides some excellent tips for encouraging deeper engagement from your nonprofit's online social media friends and fans.
Creative Ways to Track
I've also been reading about tips to track how your online social network activities are driving offline actions. While these methods are geared for small business, they could be easily used by nonprofits. They include:
#1: Use Google Voice Number on All Social Media Profiles and Track
#2: Promote Offline Events On Social Media
#3: Offer Coupons Exclusive to Social Media Channels
#4: Host A Tweet Up
#5: Connect Social Media and Email Campaigns
This year, we are seeing the twin trends of greater awareness from nonprofits for the need to integrate social media with existing marketing and communications plans while at the same time audiences are yearning for greater social media engagement from the charities and causes they love most. This could be a win-win situation for your nonprofit organization if stop thinking of your social media channel in a silo.
A few questions:
- What are you doing to encourage offline ---> online action and what are you doing to encourage online--> offline action?
- How are you tracking your efforts?