How do you promote your social media?

Last week I picked up a copy of Golf magazine (a Sports Illustrated publication). I did this for two simple reasons:

1) I’m a golf geek.
2) It was free.

As I leafed through the articles on great places to golf, great new equipment that will improve my game, great advice from great players on how by following this simple diagram I can improve my chipping, putting, driving – I was struck by the amount and quality of advertising in this mag.

Like you, I’ve been hearing for years how the print medium is over. It appears someone forgot to tell a pretty impressive list of brands that bought space. We’re talking the big leagues here – Chevrolet, American Airlines, IBM, Cadillac, Hilton, Porsche, Fidelity, Geico, Verizon, Visa, Mercedes. These far outnumbered the traditional ads from golf manufacturers.

While looking at these ads I was struck by two things:

1) Many, but not all, included a web site.
2) ZERO contained any mention of their social media.

Every single one of these brands has some sort of beachhead in social media. Yet, they chose not to include any reference to this in their beautifully constructed ads.

This makes no sense.

Powerful brands like these spent thousands of dollars to reach a golfing audience through this magazine. An audience, a constituency, a ‘tribe’ that has a passion for the game of golf. A passionate group with a common interest – isn’t that the very bedrock of social media? Sharing something you are passionate about with like minded people?

This does not seem to be an isolated incident. Assuming you still get newsprint on your fingers – how many print ads DO promote social media? How about radio? Television? How difficult is it to put the little Facebook logo on or in your ad?

I live in the Washington, DC area and listen to a decent amount of radio. I have heard exactly one business refer to their facebook page – and that was HVAC company. Not exactly a tribal calling.

I ran this by my friend Tom Pagnotti from Choice Voice Pro and his argument was that adding social media copy or logos potentially compromises the creative flow of the ad. This comes from a man who is often forced to read 45 seconds of copy in 30, so I get his point.
Still, I’m not on that bus. I’ll concede the point that a brand’s messaging does need to be focused on delivery and adding social media references that are not directly related to the immediate message could be distracting. But where’s the synergy?

It is a given that most brands will promote their social media campaigns and efforts in the digital world. Yet, they seem to ignore the audience driving opportunities the legacy media offers. Facebookers watch TV and Tweeters listen to the radio – don’t you?

The dramatic success of the Old Spice Guy campaign showed how social media can translate a great, engaging idea into the center of pop culture. Social media grew awareness but the inception point was television. In other words, traditional media fueled the social media wave.

This raises two questions:

1) Why don’t more advertisers use their traditional campaigns to attract interest to their social media platforms? While many do develop social media based campaigns that are virally promoted they do not seem to drive traffic to their everyday customer interactive sites.
2) How DO you drive traffic to a new Facebook page or Twitter account? Obviously, the bigger brands have built-in awareness that will grow basic social media attraction through osmosis. What about the new ideas and opportunities? Is this a growing opportunity for legacy media?

I worked in radio for years and during the dot-com boom it became clearly apparent that radio was the perfect medium to drive web traffic. They were complementary. Yet, the social media relationship to the legacy media has been slow to develop.

Social media access is out growing web portal usage as a way to gain information. When will brands realize that their traditional media budgets need to acknowledge this change?

Your thoughts?

Steve Allan
Social Media Specialis

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About Steve Allan

I am a Social Media specialist uniquely focused on the management, messaging and marketing of social media platforms for non-profits and small businesses.
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