Did you know that 86% of people expect conversations with agents to move seamlessly between channels? The same applies to your marketing messaging too. Think about it — haven’t we all ended up checking out a website after seeing a social media ad? Or maybe even checking a brand’s website while visiting their brick-and-mortar store?
Come on, we’ve all been there.
It’s fairly common for people to use multiple channels to engage with a brand.
As a small business owner, you need to take note of this trend. It’s clear if you want to move prospects down the sales funnel, you need to provide them with a seamless and consistent experience across social media platforms.
That’s why it’s important to integrate your small business’s omnichannel marketing strategy with your social media strategy.
A Guide to Integrating Social Media With Omnichannel Marketing
In this post, let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can create a strategic plan to make social media marketing work in tandem with omnichannel marketing for your small business.
1. Leverage Social Media Listening
Before you begin, you need to find out which social media platform your target audience is the most active on. In addition to this, it’s also a good idea to analyze what users are doing on each platform.
For instance, users may share photos of your products on Instagram to tell their friends about their purchases. On the other hand, they may be using Twitter to raise complaints and get their queries solved.
To formulate an effective omnichannel strategy, you need to know how users engage with your small business on each platform. That’s where social media listening can help.
Monitor your brand mentions and conversations related to your niche, and products. The biggest advantage of this strategy is that you also get a better idea of your brand image online.
Take inspiration from the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk. He often monitors his brand mentions and even responds to some of them. Here is an example of him addressing a customer query proactively.
2. Use an Omnichannel Marketing Platform
To take your omnichannel approach on social media to the next level, you should consider incorporating an omnichannel marketing platform into your strategy.
And why should you do that?
The simple answer lies in personalization. 72% of consumers say that they only engage with messages that are personalized for them.
Achieving this personalization can be simple when you’re dealing with a single platform or channel. However, when it comes to multiple channels, it can get tricky.
And why is that?
The main reason behind this is that your customer data will be spread out and segmented into silos. As a result, launching personalized omnichannel campaigns can be challenging.
That’s why it helps to leverage omnichannel marketing platforms like Exponea. It lets you keep all your customer data in one place. Additionally, it offers a stack of tools that you can leverage to craft personalized messaging for your audience and reach them on their favorite channels.
Image via Exponea
Armed with the power of AI, this platform also lets you understand customer behavior better so that you can create campaigns with a more personalized touch.
3. Pick an Effective CRM Software
Prospects may use multiple platforms to connect with you. But in order to develop a strategy to connect with them, you need to understand their buying life cycles. It’s a pointless exercise to showcase details about your loyalty program when they don’t even know what your small business does.
Your messaging needs to be tailored to what they are looking for and the stage of the sales funnel they are in.
Disparate data can give you only a fragmented view of your customers. That’s why it’s important to understand the lifecycle and the buying journey of your customers. Of course, it can be difficult to keep track of user data when they use different channels to interact.
While an omnichannel marketing tool is the best solution for this, an effective, centralized CRM software solution can also help to a certain extent. When you store all of your data in a central hub, the issue of lack of communication between departments doesn’t arise.
Zoho CRM is a great CRM for small businesses. It has a specialized solution that aims to help you keep track of your user’s social media interactions. Using their platform, you can get notifications on your CRM when someone interacts with your brand on social media.
To switch on the notifications, here is what you need to do:
Step 1: Click on the bell icon on the dashboard and click on “Signals Setting.” You’ll see the following options on the dashboard.
Step 2: Select the type of signals that you would like to be notified of.
Step 3: If you can’t find a relevant signal, you can also add custom signals.
Step 4: Once you’ve added signals of your choice, you’ll be notified via the bell icon on the dashboard.
What’s more, you can also leverage a user’s social media activities to get more qualified leads.
Here is the step-by-step process:
Step 1: Log in to Zoho CRM and click on “Social.”
Step 2: Next, click on “Let’s get started, ” and then click on “Create New Brand.”
Step 3: Add all of the relevant details.
Step 4: Add your social media profiles via the platform.
Step 5: Once it’s done, go to “Automate Lead Generation” and set up a lead qualifier.
Step 6: Once it is set up, you’ll be able to see your lead data from a single dashboard.
4. Combine Email Marketing with Social Media Marketing
Email marketing and social media marketing are two very powerful ways to grow your brand. To take your email marketing strategy to the next level, you should integrate it with social media marketing. Wondering how? It’s easy to get started.
Import subscribers from your email list into targeting audiences for ads on social media.
Since they have already interacted with you before, they are already a qualified lead for your small business.
By importing their email addresses on your social media channels, you’ll be able to nurture those leads. It provides an opportunity to connect with them and get to know their preferences better. You can also educate them about your products and services.
What’s more, you can create custom lists on Facebook to send highly targeted messages to your subscribers.
To redirect subscribers to your social media channels, you can also add social buttons to your emails. That way, you can get more people to check out your social media accounts. Not sure how to add these buttons?
Take a look at how the email marketing platform, Constant Contact, features buttons for all their social media channels prominently at the end of their newsletter.
[Image via Gmail – Screenshot taken from personal Gmail account]
Not only is it a good way to improve your brand awareness, but also to get more followers on social media. The best part is this strategy doesn’t require too much effort or time — it is quite straightforward.
5. Use Chatbots on Facebook
When chatbots first came around, marketers used them mostly to improve their customer service and as an extension to live chat.
Of course, chatbots are great at solving customer queries and also help with engagement. They can take a big load of work off your support team.
But there is a lot more to chatbots than that. You can use chatbots to reach out to your target audience on social media as well. A chatbot can work as a very effective tool for marketing, especially for small businesses.
Facebook Messenger, in particular, opens up a world of opportunity for marketers. With more than 100 million users in the US alone, it is the most popular app for mobile messaging in the country.
The best part is that bots can solve queries, engage the audience, provide recommendations, and even redirect them to the website.
Regardless of the industry you’re in, you’ll find that bots can help you move prospects down the funnel. Take inspiration from the organization app, Tasks. Their Facebook Messenger bot can help users create their own lists, share them, or see other shared lists within the app.
[Image via Facebook – Taken from a personal account. Link to the Tasks Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MessengerTaskBot/]
We’ve discussed the value of Facebook Messenger marketing.
Wondering how to build your own chatbot for Facebook Messenger? You can use platforms like MobileMonkey, which makes the entire process super simple.
The tool offers chatbot templates for various businesses, including ecommerce stores, coffee shops, beauty salons, and others.
6. Enable Shopping on Social Media
It’s possible to leverage Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media platforms to sell your products directly to your audience. There is a special phrase for it too — social commerce.
Even though it’s a new avenue, it’s on the way to becoming a popular channel for small businesses to sell products. These platforms are introducing new features to support social commerce too. If you’re looking to jump in on the trend, here are some ways in which you can make it easy for people to shop on these channels.
Pinterest was one of the first social media platforms to introduce a feature for shopping. When you add a “Buyable Pin” to a product, users can make a purchase from Pinterest.
These “Buy it” Pins are easy to spot. They are blue and have an option, “Add to Bag” for added visibility. This makes it easy for users to spot them on the platform.
To use Pinterest to drive sales, here is what you can do:
- Add share Pins on all your product pages
- Use Pinterest’s “Shop The Look” Pins
- Use strategic keywords in your board titles and descriptions
In addition to this, Pinterest also allows marketers to use Rich Pins for social commerce. These Pins can sync information directly from your site to the Pins.
But how can you identify these Rich Pins? You’ll find that there is extra information available below and above the given image. It also displays your title in bold. The best part is that when you make a change on your site, it automatically updates the information displayed via the Rich Pin.
In the last few years, Instagram has also introduced various features for online shopping. Through Shoppable posts, brands can tag their products in their Instagram posts. If a user clicks on the given product sticker, they can read the product details.
Just like Pinterest, it’s possible to complete your purchase and make the payment without exiting the app. The best part is that users also receive notifications updating them about the delivery status within the platform. This particular feature is very helpful for small retail businesses.
It’ll also have a link to the original website.
You can leverage tools for Instagram marketing to publish posts and Stories regularly to generate sales then.
There is one major requirement though to be able to sell products on Instagram — you should be an advertiser on its parent company, Facebook.
Shoppable tags on Facebook look quite similar to the ones on Instagram. They also work in a similar fashion — when users click on the shoppable tag, they are redirected to the brand’s website.
To get started, you’ll first need a Facebook page that’s dedicated to your business. Also, make sure that you choose the Shopping template for your page from the Settings menu. Once you do that, Facebook will ask you a series of questions about your business.
After you’re done answering, you’ll have your own Facebook shop set up. Then, you can directly tag products in your posts. You can also add the “Buy Now” or “Learn More” buttons to sell your products via Facebook ads.
Facebook has also been working to upgrade their features for social commerce.
Recently, Facebook also announced that they will soon be introducing a live shopping feature. This will enable brands to tag their products in live streams as well.
7. Be Consistent and Co-Ordinated Across Channels
It’s important to maintain consistent branding, tone, and messaging across channels to provide a seamless experience to your prospects. Say, someone comes across an email about an ongoing sale and decides to check out your Instagram page. If they see random content without any mention of the sale, they may lose interest.
To develop an effective omnichannel strategy, you need to make sure that your social media channels are completely aligned. Even your website should reflect the same messaging for better consistency.
Milk Makeup has nailed this strategy. When you visit their website, the first section prominently features their Friends + Fam offer.
Image via Milk Makeup
When you check out their Instagram handle, you find the same message displayed upfront. Here is a screenshot of the latest Story that they uploaded to promote the same offer. As you can see, their branding and messaging is consistent across channels.
If you want to provide a better customer experience, you’ve got to make social media a crucial part of your omnichannel marketing strategy. Seamless integration between different channels is better for both your customers as well as your businesses.
For a smooth integration, you should use a centralized CRM solution that enables you to keep all of your data in one place. However, just collecting data in a single place isn’t enough. You should consider using an omnichannel marketing platform to ensure that you can use this data well for personalization too.
It’s also a good idea to leverage social media listening to find the channel that gets the most engagement.
In addition to this, you should also leverage social commerce and chatbot marketing, and ensure that you maintain consistency across all channels.
Do you have any questions about integrating social media into your omnichannel marketing strategy? Please mention them in the comments section below.
Having a CRM to catalogue and track all the touchpoints is vital AND you have to be diligent with using/updating it.
The writer must deserve thanks for this amazing article. All the points discussed here are informative as well as important. Your best social media marketing sense has always been admired by most of us! Keep posting such helpful ideas.
Thank you for all the insights. I found it really useful for my first campaign.