Is social media disrupting or enhancing direct marketing?

Cool article from Bob Pritchard

Social media is disrupting every industry and the effect of social media on direct marketing will be profound. There are three fundamental ways to combine direct and social media marketing


While businesses are still struggling to integrate social medial fully into their overall marketing and business strategies, 89% of companies have a dedicated social media team in 2016. In spite of this, only 42% integrate social media fully into their business strategies.


There are three basic and simple ways to integrate the social media into overall business strategy for direct marketing businesses.

  • Firstly, use social media to build your direct marketing customer profile:
  • Secondly, include social proof as part of your direct marketing offer
  • Thirdly, cross-promote direct marketing and social media channels.


Build a Better Customer Profile: 

Social media sites contain a wealth of information that can underpin direct marketing efforts. Direct marketers can easily mine social media data for the insights that can help them reach their target audience more effectively.


For example, what interactions took place between your customers and social media? Which posts, links, ads, etc. did they click on? What topics or brands were liked, followed and/or shared with others? What hashtags, keywords and topics are of interest to your prospects? What hobbies, interests, and other demographic information can be gleaned from their social profiles? This data is a treasure trove that you can use to develop more complete profiles of prospective customers.  Armed with this knowledge and the information you have already collected about your customers, you can now devise ways to integrate your offers with the interests of your prospects.


The collective data allows you to compile much more complete customer profiles. The customer personas derived from it will help you better segment your customers. Each segment can then be targeted with the most relevant and timely direct marketing offers.


In the end it’s all about conversions and ROI. Pooling social media data with other customer data will increase the ROI of your direct marketing efforts.


Include Social Proof as Part of Your Offer:  

Social media proof is direct or indirect evidence that others endorse your brand and/or offer. If people see others showing positive feelings about an offer, they are more likely to think positively about it as well.  Social proof influences buying decisions. According to #Socialnomics , 93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media because 90% trust peer recommendations. But only 14% trust advertisements or company promotions..


Examples of Social Proof derived from social media sites include:

Customer testimonials:

Number of shares or downloads:

Embedded social media posts: 

Embedded Customer ratings and reviews: In addition to social media


The use of social proof elements gleaned from social media can be a potent addition to your direct marketing campaigns. The credibility and trust instilled by them will increase conversions and ROI.


Cross-promote Direct Marketing and Social Media: 

Use social media as part of your multi-channel direct marketing campaign. There are many ways to do this, depending on which offline and online channels are used to promote your offer.

Here are some examples:

  • Link email, direct mail, telemarketing, and direct response advertising to social media, and vice versa. Tying them together allows marketers to take advantage of the particular strengths of each. 
  • Use social media to create anticipation by telling customers about an upcoming direct marketing offer.
  • Include social media sharing icons in direct marketing channels and encourage customers to share the offers with others in their network.
  • Post direct marketing campaigns to social media.


The Bottom Line: Your customers do not consume information in a “one-channel” world. The more you can integrate your messaging across multiple channels, the greater your opportunity for marketing success. That’s why it makes sense to always consider how to incorporate social media into your direct marketing campaigns.


You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do

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