Is anything out of bounds for social media?

Caitlyn Scaggs is the Director of Communications & Marketing for Polymer Solutions Incorporated . Polymer Solutions was highlighted by Hootsuite this week for use of social media by a B2B firm. Tweet to @CaitlynScaggs & @PSITestingLab. 

Recently I let my mind wander about the amazing possibilities of social media marketing and how it can be used to elevate ANY other marketing activity—without exception. Any time I hear absolutes like, “never”, “always” , or “without exception” the first thing my mind does is race to find the exception. With social media though, I just can’t. I believe that any marketing activity you can come up with can be leveraged across a social media platform. Budgets are always tight so it is necessary to find clever ways to make your marketing dollars stretch as far as possible. I’ve come up with three marketing initiatives one might think would be out of bounds for a social media strategy—but in fact they are not!

Print ads:

Print ads aren’t digital, so surely this is an area of marketing that has to exist out of the digital world…right? Wrong! Next time you run a print advertisement try this:  Take a picture of your print ad, share it over Twitter, and @mention the publication in which the ad is running. The publication will appreciate the shout-out from a customer, you will get to share your ad to the world at large, and the ad lives on beyond the printed version. This is a great way to leverage the time and money spent perfecting the print ad. Here’s an example: “Did you see our ad in @MPO_Magazine? We do it for the love of great #science!”

Marketing Swag:

Do you regularly send your customers marketing collateral or freebies in the mail? Craft a Facebook post asking your clients to post a picture of themselves with the collateral. Did you mail a coffee mug? Let them know you would love to see a picture of them enjoying their morning coffee with your mug.  You could also use the swag as an incentive for interaction: “These new coffee mugs are looking sharp—the first 10 people to retweet this post will receive one!”

Logo wear:

Do you love it? Do you hate it? Either way, most of us have to embrace it.  Logowear is a great way to represent your company and make it abundantly obvious who you work for when at tradeshows, conferences, or other professional events. It would be fun to take a #selfie in logo wear or a group photo in the logo wear and share the picture in a clever way over you social media platform of choice. How about this:  “Check out our team looking #snazzy in our company shirts! #triplets.” This will bring an element of humanity to your brand, show your company in a fun and engaging light, and show off those custom embroidered shirts in which you invested a portion of your budget.

These are just three examples of way to transform a seemingly non digital, non social media marketing efforts into socially sharable material. Maximizing your company’s presence over social media comes down to creative thinking, willingness to try new things, and the desire to have fun with it.  This epitomizes what I love so much about social media marketing; there is nothing out of bounds!

Caitlyn Scaggs

Guest author Caitlyn Scaggs is the Director of Communications & Marketing for Polymer Solutions Incorporated . Her specific areas of interest include social media marketing and creative content marketing strategies. Connect with Caitlyn and Polymer Solutions via twitter: @CaitlynScaggs & @PSITestingLab.

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7 Responses to Is anything out of bounds for social media?

  1. I have only been a part of twitter for a few days now and it is amazing how quickly you can connect with people, customers and other businesses. Similar to sending out a tweet about mugs, I recently liked a post on Facebook regarding a baseball signed by a professional player. This was a great way for people to comment about the organization and the particular player who signed the ball.

    It seems as though there are endless opportunities regarding social media. Just by following these simple strategies, companies can gather information on who is actively engaged concerning their products or services. Saying thank you or promoting a publication company can go a long way. A possible discount for new purchases or a strengthened professional relationship into the future can be established with one simple comment.

  2. Liz says:

    I agree with Caitlyn’s thoughts about print ads. This form of advertising is no longer static; it has become mobile. At my work (a non-profit arts organization), we recently created a “save the date” graphic to announce our 2014-2015 season. The graphic now appears in printed form as a postcard and also in social media form as a Facebook post, a tweet, a Pinterest post, a Tumblr post. Soon, the graphic will be the basis for an e-newsletter. This “print ad” is on the move!

  3. elkement says:

    Great post! I think the combination of social media and something palpable / old-school / “retro” / “vintage” is especially appealing. Probably it is just me – but I see photographers specialized in (and blogging / sharing images of) abandoned buildings everywhere. Or social media users sharing fake vintage versions of their images?
    This seems to be a universal trend – well beyond marketing. Many very successful bloggers focus on rediscovery of ancient wisdom (like classical philosophy)…

  4. I agree Caitlyn on all of this blog, not only is the media market changing but it is also changing so much that almost everything is acceptable to try in the social media sense of marketing. I really liked the part about marketing swag, not only do people love getting free stuff for simply doing nothing you are also gaining followers and potential prospects as clients in the process. If it is simply a t-shirt and someone asks the winner where they got it then you will probably get another follower/prospect just as if they were walking billboards. As Caitlyn said social media marketing involves trying new things, creative thinking, and also having a lot of fun with it!

  5. besapir says:

    Like Ryan I also start using Twitter a few days ago and I’m amazed to see how many people are using it.
    I was honestly afraid of the use people may do with my profile information so I was avoiding having Twitter, Instagram etc but now that I moved to America it feels like it was the right thing to do.
    The options you have using these sites are unlimited!
    I know right now I’m talking about personal use (still trying to figure out how to use these websites….) but I enjoyed Caitlyn’s class and love reading her post (she has great ideas!!!)

  6. Ausmith83 says:

    @CaitlynScaggs I completely agree with this post. Social media has certainly given us a platform to transform static content into a “living” content of sorts. One area that I could see as a slippery slope would be redundancy. As some people like to avoid “commercialism” and ads in general, I can see people generating negative connotations with “that company who self promotes”. It will be important to have a proactive policy in assisting those who may either contact you directly or that you hear through the grapevine are not liking seeing the same feed over and over on their page.
    That being said, there are always going to be those people who “hate” on marketing and more specifically social media.

    Just as television advertising has taken a hit due to DVR’s, I think the most important question out there right now is “What is the upcoming DVR for social media?” As social media and privacy policies continue to morph, it will be important to be on the leading edge of appropriately reacting so that the SMM plan remains effective. If you can identify the next “DVR” before it hits the market, you will be well ahead of the curve.

  7. Ben Litvak says:

    I think these are great ways of utilizing social media to make marketing truly social. I might even steal your second idea for our RUInvolved and Student Activities swag. It’s a great way to have fun with your audience and truly get your product/company out there.
    My only concern with the first example is people seeing it as purely self-promotion. You would have to supplement those types of posts with more socially involved posts to make it work.

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