Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

4 Offline Marketing Ideas Using Social Media

4 Offline Marketing Ideas Using Social Media

Social media consists of online digital platforms - accessed on the web and on mobile devices. How can you leverage your social media marketing efforts in the "real world" - offline?

Integrating online and offline marketing is often referred to as "hybrid marketing." Hybrid marketing consists of incorporating elements into your print collateral, advertising campaigns, events, and other interactions that lead people to your online channels including your website and the social networks you use. How can you engage in hybrid marketing in a strategic manner? Here are 4 offline marketing tactics that integrate social media.

1. Social Media Icons All Over

The simplest way to let people offline know that you’re on social media is to include the icons for the social networks where you are most active on everything you print.

  • Business cards
  • Promotional postcards
  • Brochures and pamphlets
  • Posters
  • Banners
  • Printed publications
  • Television ads

Note: If your social media handles are not exactly the same as your brand name, include your @ name under the icons or instead of the icons to make it clear how people can find you. This is important if you have hyphens in your handles or if your handles differ from platform to platform due to character limitations.

The audio equivalent of social media icons all over is to make sure to include your social media handles in your radio commercials and say them when doing radio interviews. These days, people are most likely to visit you on their favorite social networks than visit your website.

2. QR Codes on Site

Exhibiting at or sponsoring an event? Develop a QR code strategy where you create either one code that leads people to a landing page where you provide specific details and calls to action or create QR codes with different functions, such as leading to individual social networks. People can scan the QR codes that provide them with the information they want or need.

You can also use QR codes to lead people to actions such as filling out a survey, filling out a form to request information, enter a contest or sweepstakes, or provide feedback.

QR forms don’t have to be black and white. They can be generated using QR code services using your brand’s colors or incorporating your brand logo into the design. They can vary in size although the size of your QR code should be proportional to the place it appears. While there is no standard size for QR codes, making one smaller than 1 inch x 1 inch may make it more difficult to scan.

Where can you place a QR code? Here are some ideas:

  • On signage including table tents, posters, and banners
  • On printed handouts
  • On presentation slides (they can be scanned from a presentation or television screen)
  • On tradeshow booths
  • On t-shirts, mugs, and other promotional items

3. Projecting Social Media News Feeds

Hosting an event and want to draw attention to your social networks and create some additional interactivity? Display a social media feed "wall" using services that help you project social media feeds onto television or other screens or onto walls.

When using social media feed walls, select the specific feeds you want to display. They could be your main feeds showing your posts and the posts of your followers. Or they could be based on a hashtag or keyword search. Build activities into your event to encourage attendees to post using your designated hashtag, then they can see their posts appearing in real-time on the screen.

4. Tablets or Kiosks

If you’re exhibiting at a conference, setting up a pop-up presence, or at your business location, you might think about investing in some tablets and secure tablet stands to display that people can use to do a variety of activities such as:

Fill out a form

Follow you on social networks

View your website

Peruse your online catalog

Order directly from your online catalog

Kiosks are a bigger investment but are more permanent and secure, adding a new level of interactivity and customer service to your physical space.

The key to any type of marketing is to make sure the tactics you use are appropriate for the customers you’re trying to reach and engage. While getting social network followers is valuable, getting people to provide their email addresses and mobile numbers is even more valuable to enhance your social media marketing efforts. Use hybrid marketing to do both.

Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman