So What About Social Media?

Two businessman connecting puzzle pieces togheter with copy space

What a beautiful landscape! And what about your Social Media Landscape?

So what about Social media? Is your company social yet? Or have you tried it, but didn’t have the time to manage it, and now have some ghost page that gets little to no engagement?

Indeed, social media has now been around for a while but not all companies or professionals are online. More and more, companies want to see value in a network before dedicating a resource to social media. They’re anxious to know how many new leads and customers a post, tweet or update will attract. So where does one start? Or start again, if this is your second time around!

What is your landscape?

Well first things first, where are your customers? And your competition? What about market trends? Start by doing some research and answering these questions — ideally with a social media audit. The key is not to try and be everywhere, but to find the right place. An audit will allow you to have a full overview of your social landscape and identify your strengths as well as your possible area of focus. When doing an audit, work with professionals (like the PROSAR team!) to get insight, feedback and a strategic overview, without having to invest in all the tools. For more info on what an audit includes and how to start, take a look at one of my past articles on the topic: 4 Tips when doing your first Social Media Audit.

 

Now that you see the lay of the land, pick a direction

Now that you have an idea of where you are and where you should be, make a choice. Is it LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Google+? Your audit would have given you an overview of what your competition is doing and how engaged your industry is with social media. Sometimes, it is possible that an industry or market is not using social media or might not yet see the need for it. This should not stop you from being engaged, and can even allow you to innovate in your field, but you will need to choose a particular focus. Do you want to improve communication with your customers? Do you want to reach out to new providers, partners or resellers? Perhaps you are in an industrial or manufacturing industry and want to be recognized as a reference in your field. Depending on your goal, you will be able to determine the best network for you. To start off, let’s take a look at LinkedIn. To learn more about the channels to consider and how to build your, check out our Online Marketing Plan blog.

 

The LinkedIn Landscape

Linkedin is a B2B focused platform. Beyond job searching, it is being used more and more as a way to connect with likeminded professionals and establish new business relationships. It is a place to create mindshare, position yourself as an expert or reference for your customers, and share knowledge through short articles that are then associated to your profile. If you have a strong team that is comfortable in becoming an ambassador for your company, and that you operate in the B2B space, LinkedIn could be a good opportunity for you to extend your reach quickly and start talking to CEOs, executives and other senior managers that are looking for information. If this sounds like your type of environment, here are the main things you need to consider:

  1. Create a company page

If you don’t already have one this is the place to start. Create one so your employees can tag the company in each of their profile. This will also be a good place for prospects to find information about your company and access the website from one central place on Linkedin.

 

  1. Create strong profiles

Profiles are an essential step when starting on LinkedIn. Prospects will click on profiles to learn more about the people and the company. Make sure your team has professional pictures, a good headline and an informative summary with engaging content.

 

  1. Craft your company message

Give your team a 1-2 liner to describe what you sell and your corporate mission. By using the same keywords, the team will reinforce this message and your brand positioning, as well as arm them with the terms they can use to find more info online and better understand your solution.

 

These first few steps will help you build your professional presence online and help you develop ambassadors within your company walls. ‘’Start from the heart’’ to improve your branding and help it reach its potential. Get in touch with PROSAR today to have your first Social Media Audit and an overview of your landscape!

businesspeople on smartphones

Social Selling: More than just a buzz word

Ever since I started my career, I have been an advocate of social. Either social media, social selling, social gatherings or social news. I truly believe in the power of social. But what does it mean exactly and how does it make a difference in the way you sell or communicate?

businesspeople on smartphones

When I first started as a social media consultant, SOCIAL was still a mystery term, a wave of change, the next buzz word on our lips. I remember that most of my customers were asking to setup a Facebook page and start building a following, but that was the extent of their social efforts. Customers were not yet requesting engagement or paid advertising. Pretty quickly (and nobody could predict how quickly) that evolved and online platforms became an even more important part of a marketing strategy and advertising budget. We now rely heavily on social for our networking needs.

I learned, like every other successful consultant how to adapt, change my offer and continue to add value to my customer portfolios. Social somehow remained in the hands of the marketer, while on the other side, more and more sales professional started going online, building themselves a profile and using social media to prospect. But at the end of the day, we all want the same thing:

Drive more business and make our customers happy!

I believe the social in sales is what will make us all work together. As a consultant, I didn’t realise that I was using social to sell my services and find my next contracts as it seemed like a natural thing to do. And it was, as I was simply selling my services online through social connections and my network instead of just broadcasting and pitching, while hoping for the best.

So if you are new to social selling, here are my top 3 reasons why you should consider this strategy:

 

  1. Always stay top of mind

The social in selling represents a whole new network of potential prospects. Of course, you will continue to meet them offline, but you can now connect with them instantly and maintain the relationship online. Social media platforms and social selling helps you combat the ”Out of sight, out of mind” phenomenon. You can always be in sight with the latest piece of content that you shared with your network or a smart comment in your group where your next potential prospect may be to seeking information.

 

  1. Direct touch to decision makers

Another reason for social selling is the difficulty to reach a business owner through coldcalling. A LinkedIn report stated that 90% of decision makers will not answer a cold call. This same difficulty was stated in my colleague, Dave Auten’s blog post. The business world is changing and it might be easier to reach a C-suite execs through an InMail on LinkedIn that he will receive directly on his smartphone.

 

  1. The more people you know, the better

More and more companies are delegating major investments and big purchase decisions to a committee. Expanding your social network and building a strong profile will help you interact and connect with as many people as possible — who knows what committees your new contacts are on. As well, a referral can come from anyone in a company, so the more people you know, the better for you.

Social media selling may pose some risk, but sitting on the sidelines and not getting involved is the greatest risk of all.

 

So, if you are a sales professional, be social! If you are a marketer, be social! Regardless what industry you work in, remember that you are always selling yourself and being social can help you make the right connections to reach your goals faster.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Your Online Properties – Is There Anybody Home?

We all know the trick when you are off on vacation. Leave lights on, stop the mail delivery, have someone drop by often. The idea is to dissuade break-ins by giving an impression that there is someone at home – all the time.

I’m sure it’s true that most of the baddies would prefer to target homes with no one there or homes with reduced chance that people will return home in the middle of a burglary.

Vacant, crumbling house
Witthaya/Thinkstock

So, neglect of this trick leaves us vulnerable. That same vulnerability occurs when you neglect your online properties – websites, blogs, social media accounts. The worst is you get hacked and you don’t notice it immediately. Even without an online “break-in” subtle damage can occur. It can be equally costly.

The world may think that your business is on vacation.

 

Are There Signs of Life to New Visitors?

New visitors often look for some sign that your online information is current. They may look for something on your website that has a date. Many websites have a year in the footer, which is intended to show the last time the site was updated. Social media and blog posts (sometimes) have dates attached to them. All of this is proof that you care about your online properties and are maintaining them regularly. Proof that there is somebody at home.

I recently went to a website of an industrial manufacturer to find the last update of their site was 2012. What impression did that leave with me? I wondered if they were still in business (they are). Not good for attracting new business.

Corporate websites are built to support business. Many businesses are online because they have to be. Modern buying takes place at least partially online as shoppers gather information before buying. If a website is neglected it’s a message that online is not important to that business. Buyers can’t have access to the most current information to support an eventual purchase.

 

Are There Signs of Life to Return Visitors?

Let’s say someone has been to a website before and they return. In the online world, return visitors are gold. Most shoppers do not make a purchasing decision on their first visit. If they return, they have made the most important step possible to becoming a future customer or client. These golden return visitors must be treated with the highest regard.

They may return to a website to check on something that caught their attention first visit, but they will notice if things look the same. No problem if it’s a day later, but if they return in a month they may also be looking for something new – corporate news, product news – some sign of life in that business. If there are no changes it may not jeopardize their reason for returning. If they are returning to more than one site, sites that show signs of life have a huge advantage in impressing return visitors.

The days of a website as an online brochure are over. If you think of your website as static then you will get about the same reaction to it as what most brochures produce these days – a disinterested “meh”.

So, get in the game and show your online visitors that there is somebody home.

Effective Simplicity – 3 Steps to Building an Online Marketing Plan

Effective marketing can help a business soar. Business people know this. Just watch a few episodes of the CBC’s “Dragons Den” to hear the most common response to the question, “What do you need the money for?” Pretty much everyone’s reply includes “marketing”. From launching a new business to growing an existing enterprise, the business world knows the difference marketing makes.

Online businesses rely on marketing to spread the word of not only their stellar products and services, but also word of their very existence on a very crowded Internet.

A marketing plan is the cornerstone of marketing a business, regardless the size or type of business. Online businesses must have a plan in place as an anchor and a guide. Plans can be as complex or as simple as businesses themselves, but for our purposes today we will talk about the components in a simple, basic plan.

 

effective marketing plan

 Avosb/Thinkstock

1) Pick your channels.

The Internet offers many marketing channel choices:

  • social media marketing
    • Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter ads and sponsored posts
  • online marketing
    • content creation, search engine optimization, blogging
  • online advertising
    • online display ads, search engine marketing (Adwords)
  • offline advertising
    • print ads, TV, radio
  • events marketing
    • trade shows

You must pick those that make sense to your particular business. The shotgun approach of trying everything and throwing as much as you can to see what sticks makes no sense. This leads us to the next important point:

2) Do a few things extremely well.

Having picked your channels, now is the time to define what you are looking for from these channels and to execute them effectively.

The quick answer to what you are looking for is “more sales”. This is in no way specific enough. You wouldn’t tell your sales staff to just go forth and make “more sales” without being more specific on what’s expected of them. The same holds true for your selected marketing channels.

Examples of further goal definitions include:

  • increased visits to the website
  • requests for demos of products and/or services
  • click-throughs to online offers
  • increased engagement with potential clients/customers
  • downloads of unique content specific to your business

Obviously your end goal is to sell, but these specifics help to define which channels would be the most effective with these mini-goals. In online, rarely does a visitor go directly to a sale without involvement of the above.

Execution of these channels and tactics must be done effectively. Every detail possible. It’s far better to do something thoroughly and properly that doing lots of things half-assed. The key approach is take your time and learn this stuff really well.

3) Measure, tweak, and measure again.

Measure the results of your efforts. Is there room for improvement? What needs to be tweaked or changed?

The eventual results (or lack thereof) will either lead to your happy place or to the realization that this or that channel is simply not working.

The greater the expertise you have in these areas the easier it will be to get the results and the more efficient you will be with your time and resources. There are some really great tools for measuring how things are going at any time in the process. A common complaint is there are too many tools and no one has the time to learn them.

A simple, basic online marketing plan, in concept, is not that difficult to conceive or execute. There are many online resources to assist in learning all the details. The channels, themselves, such as Google Adwords and Facebook advertising, are deceptively simple to use by just about anyone.

Why, then, are there agencies and specialists that offer help in these areas? The answer lays in the details. Specialists know this stuff, inside and out, and can deliver these services effectively and efficiently. You can do it yourself, but it’s like those TV ads of the guy holding a scalpel to his chest while on the phone with a surgeon – should you really be doing this?

Regardless if your online marketing plan is DIY, or supported by the pros, simple and basic is a good starting point. Often, a simple approach is the most effective approach.

Video: Now a Must and no longer a Maybe

YouTube_crazy.jpgAs a marketer, of course, I believe in video and integrating it into my overall marketing strategy. But as a project manager with a budget to manage, whenever something had to go, it would also be the video topic that would be postponed or assigned to later ”when we have more money”.

Although video is a must in any content strategy, it is also difficult to startup and even more, to maintain. Yes, you will read many blogs, especially these days, that state: Video is a MUST! 2015 was even proclamed as the year of video with 50% of online videos accounting for 50% of all mobile traffic.

Here are my top 3 tips on how to do video the right way and for the right reasons…Not only because you read a blog about it or because you want your company to be YouTube famous!

 

Tip 1: Be Authentic

No matter what you do, remain true to your brand. Yes, video can be your way to do something different, test the waters or think outside the box but whatever the strategy, remember your brand. No need to be boring if you are the head of marketing at a stuffy and conservative company but also no need to be making a dance video and having your staff make a lipdub to look cool. Take the time to think about your message and the goal of your video project:

– What is your message?
– Who is your audience?
– What emotions or values do you want to express in your videos? And how can you do that?
– What do you want to put forth? Your Customers? Your Product? Your Service? Your Staff?

 

Tip 2: Be Proud

Invest the money and produce good quality. It is that simple. I have recently gone through the experience of searching for an agency and realized that depending on the quality you want, prices can vary. But remember to keep it simple and be proud of what you produce.

If you don’t yet have a Hollywood budget than don’t look for a Hollywood storyboard!

Sometimes, we get overly excited by what is being proposed and forget what is the purpose of the video project or, other times, we are so focused on costs that we start producing shaky and cheap  videos with no intro or exit animations although we want to communicate our company’s professionalism. Can you see the confusion or possible misinterpretation?

– Take the time to go through the thought process in tip #1 and look carefully at the proposals you receive.
– Call and talk to agencies to invite the right ones to your bid and avoid being disappointed or
– Start with a good freelancer and test him out to see what he is capable of…you might be surprised and it might be enough for year 1.

To learn more about content marketing and how to keep up with the ever increasing speed of content generation, read up on the Marketing Process with my colleague Scott Vetter.

Tip 3: Be a Game-Changer

What I mean here is not to want to go viral over night or make an impact in the YouTube world but more to make a difference for your customers. Are you adding value to their overall experience? And remember to centre their needs in the goals of your project.

– Your customers are asking how to use your product? Create clear and concise tutorials that look professional, are helpful and clear.
– You want to become a reference in your market? Get your customers in front of a camera and share their best experiences with your new potential audience. It will also reinforce your business relations and add credibility amongst your partners.
– Your want to put show your great service? Share the spotlight with your staff and talk about all the great work they do in a day for your customers.
– You want to become a thought leader in your market? Interview your CEO and discuss important topics in your industry. Create content that will be shared and that can be used for years to come, by anyone.

 

The only way you will make a difference is by being transparent, honest and real. Produce content that you would also be proud to share and promote and remember to stay true to your brand.

Stethoscope on laptop keyboard

Twitter’s Changing. Are You?

Twitter recently announced changes to its icon and banner sizing. On top of changing the dimensions of the images themselves, they have made their visible area 1260 x 330 pixels, not counting what your profile picture covers.

As a result, you will likely have to resize your images and maybe even redesign them. While you’re at it, what better time to do a brand audit and evaluate your visual presence across social media?

PROSAR has created an infographic to help ensure your new and improved designs meet specifications. Do keep in mind the visible area could be smaller than actual dimensions and keep important branding to the centre of the images. Here are some tips for conducting your brand audit:

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1- Look at All Your Properties

This will help you determine what the best visual language for your brand is. While most social properties follow the general principle of “square profile image, wide but short banner”, some properties have much smaller profile images (such as Instagram, not to mention the size of icons within the feed itself) while others are rectangular. You want to create a design that can seamlessly integrate across channels you’re actively using.

This is also a good time to evaluate the usefulness of each social channel and either revitalize or cut any that have lapsed.

2- Ask Where You Want to Go

Your brand should reflect your audience, current position, and future aspirations. It could be you’ve had to grow your company slowly as you start out, or your direction has changed. As you evolve, your brand should evolve with you.

Ill-fitting imagery to your current situation will make your social media properties hard to recognize and inspire less confidence. Refreshing your brand regularly to reflect your current market position helps you stay current and relatable.

3- Look at Trends

While it’s never advised to follow every trend to the letter, looking at what other brands are doing can give you an idea of what to take advantage of and what’s here to stay. It can also give you a point to stand out by going against the grain.

You don’t want to be formulaic, but you do want to be current. Even the most timeless brands need updates every once in awhile.

Overall

Social media changes are a perfect opportunity to refresh your brand. Take the little extra time to create an engaging, fresh approach to continue engaging with your target audience.

Sharing Across Demographics

There’s a lot of talk about how to gain traction in social sharing spheres. “Engagement” has an almost buzzword quality to it, something important but you’re never quite sure what it means. It’s a very broad term that encompasses a large number of best practices, from including photography to what time you send out your posts.

But have you considered that you should engage differently based on age?

Group of business people holding a target

The Numbers

Adweek published an infographic outlining how sharing changes by demographic and social channel. While there are trends in the data — those over 70 were the least likely to engage period— there are some nuances that can influence your social strategy.

Facebook is the overall most trusted media source, outranking newspapers and TV for branded information. But if you’re looking to reach the 18-22 market, you might want to consider YouTube or even Snapchat.

Surprisingly, the 18-22 market and 23-30 market engage with branded content much differently than each other, and even more differently than their non-millennial counterparts. 18-22 year-olds were tied for second in answering “I am unlikely to share any of the above with my network,” meanwhile 23-30 year-olds ranked last in agreeing with that statement.

For marketers, this simply emphasizes researching your audience before you dive in with the strategy you think will work. While some principles of engagement can apply across the board, the nuance of working with millennials and digital natives can be difficult to grasp.

What to Do About It

Your online marketing strategy should reflect your audience, but this data reveals just how nuanced “your audience” is. Even within millennials there’s a divide around mid twenties.

Some of the trust statistics might also come as a surprise, especially with branded blogs ranking so low. While this doesn’t devalue the importance of a blog, it does point to needing diversity in your content generation strategy.

The younger your audience, the more you must base your online content strategy around them. Social media has always been about relationships, but this is doubly true for those who have grown up on the Internet. Sales tactics tend to make them mistrustful, and they want content that serves them instead of feeling manipulated.

This makes inbound principles even more critical. You have to delight your audience for them to keep engaging and trust your brand. Obvious sales tactics are out for the younger audience skews; and since they are slowly but surely taking over the market, you can’t afford to be left behind.

To be or not to be Social? That is the question

When I first started working in Social Media, it was still an option to be or not to be social. Some companies chose to remain off the radar in social media (and might have suffered, let’s remember the Toyota recall crisis) and others like Starbucks, went all out on social and offered any possible fun thing to do to their customers. Nowadays, it is no longer an option not to be on social media. Although some have tried (and failed) to take down Facebook or offer another alternative, like Ello, it has become an apparent truth, in the last year, that social media, and its advertising, are here to stay and have become an important part of any online strategy.

Last year, I wrote an article about what to prepare when doing your first social audit. Since then, I have worked with different clients in different industries and one thing constantly came up: Managers all want to do the audit and recognize its value but have no time to look over competitor accounts and the hundreds of posts that are being published and shared. Another thing that became obvious was that a social media audit cannot only be done once at the beginning but should be part of a strategy and an exercise that is done throughout the year.

So, instead of going through the steps again, I have some new advice and reasons why you should follow it!

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Top Tip of the Day (and only one today):

BE ON SOCIAL MEDIA and

seek help to do it right!

Now, here are the top 3 reasons why you should choose that route:

 The landscape is always changing

My number one tip is always to look at the competition and what they are doing when starting your social media audit. The only difference that I am adding in now is that your competition is not stupid and will also be adapting their strategy. I have often seen a competitor that wasn’t doing much on social turn it around almost overnight and you feel that by the time you give your report, the information in it is just not right anymore. Now, of course you cannot predict what your social landscape will look like but when dealing with a Social Media Consultant, they have been on the networks for a while and can pick up on certain trends or know what to look for when looking at your competitors. They can provide you with social media best practices based on what your competition is doing right and could be doing better or that could help you stand out from the crowd. And as a professional, even after the first look, you keep a close watch on the accounts you’ve been auditing to see if there are any surprising turn of events or a piece of content that went viral. Indeed, I spend my days on social networks, following the news, looking for the trends and managing my communities. Those many hours spent online give you a certain edge and a different perspective or approach when looking at a new landscape for a client. As a business owner, you are constantly in your industry and not always able to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes and compare it to other industries and their best practices.

 Data, data and some more data

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We live in a world where every click, post or word can be analyzed and compared. We have so much data available to us that we honestly don’t know what to do with it. In a recent article, Vala Afshar from Salesforce, was stating that companies were analyzing less than 1% of the data available to them. In that same article, he also quoted that 90% of the world data was created in the last 12 months. All in all, you could try to look at your Google Analytics on your own and interprete the many conclusions that can be extracted but you might want to make sure you still have someone running your business in the meantime because it might take a while and you might not be able to stop once you’ve started. The advantage of finding an agency like PROSAR to help you not be too overwhelmed is that they will have an entire team looking at different sets of data and making it all a little more accessible to you. I always like to say that they translate all the data into human terms!

 There is so much that you can do

Finally, one of the main reasons why you should be on social and seek help for your audit is because there are so many options available to you and so much that you can do. Before, it was easy. Whatever would come up in the audit, you could almost predict that there would be some blog posts recommended, social media accounts being opened and a first step into the world of social. In that sense, the audit would help you determine the best topics for your client’s audience to meet their goals. But now, you could be looking at blogs, forums, moving images, videos, webinars, podcasts, soundbits, social media posts, advertising, influencers, lookalike targetting and the list goes on.

So how can you know what’s best? Or what will work? Here is where the perfect PROSAR solution can be a great start. We will work with you to better understand your industry and explain to you what is going on in your own personal social media landscape. You will be involved every step of the way so that the final result is a plan that takes into account your own business goals and has traits of your own personal flair. Because no matter what, on social, the best way to go is to produce content that is true to you and your company values. And we will help you get there!

Only 8% of Sales Leaders Prioritize Social Sales [New Data]

For seven years now, HubSpot has been polling business to get a sense of where is the State of Inbound: how prevalent is Inbound Marketing, how is business implementing it, what challenges are they facing, and how well is it working for them. Last year, HubSpot added salespeople to the survey in order to get a fuller picture of Inbound’s affect on both marketing and sales. This not only provides greater detail into the use and relevance of Inbound, it makes the report especially valuable with insight into the implementation and ROI of such tactics. One of the greatest impacts that I have witnessed in the process of assisting firms with integrating inbound tactics is the alignment of marketing and sales and ensuing collaboration between these (often divided) departments.

Overall, Inbound Marketing is gaining tremendous speed as more organizations (small, large and even non-profits) successfully adopt such a strategy. The survey found that three out of four marketers, from around the globe, have more faith in an inbound approach than outbound tactics. In fact, Inbound tactics are three times more likely to generate higher ROI. None of this is surprising to any experienced marketer who has been working with both inbound and traditional marketing tactics.

However, one of the findings that I found surprising is that social sales is still a relatively low priority for companies in 2015. For years we’ve witnessed the continued explosion of social media for private use, and how many companies (large and small) have leveraged social media networks to position or build their brand, extend their reach, engage with key markets and even grow trials and sales for products. With this track record I expected small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to start embracing social media and put more effort and resources into its development.

HubSPot_PROSAR: Sales priorities for busines in 2015

I certainly appreciate that closing more sales and developing an efficient sales funnel are top priorities, they are after all the lifeblood of any organization. But, if prospecting continues to be an issue for companies, sourcing more leads via social selling and using the networks to nurture these leads must be part of the -solution. (For some insight into effective use of social media on an ongoing basis, check out this article by Dave Auten: Social Media Marketing – How Much Time Per Day?)

HubSpot_PROSAR: Challenges faced by saes teams.

Perhaps it is an indication that we are still in relatively early years of businesses’ strategic use of social media and other inbound tactics. HubSpot was one of the pioneers and now is a leader in the field, but new tools and marketing automation software are still being introduced at a rapid pace and adoption rates are just starting to catch up. So it is natural that, despite their wish list, organizations must prioritize their needs. There are fundamental and structural requirements that need to addressed first, before some of the implementation and prospecting processes can be refined.

Interestingly, when the State of Inbound 2015 survey probed deeper, all levels of the organization were not totally in alignment. This graph shows how Executive and VP/Director levels placed a higher priority on social selling than middle management and salespeople. This could symbolize that those at the top are starting to understand the potential value of social selling, and that some top-down influence may initiate more organizational involvement in social media. Perhaps next year’s report will shed some light on that trend and its effectiveness.

HubSpot_PROSAR: Sales priorities detail for 2015

State of Inbound 2015 Survey — Quick Facts:

  • Conducted in June and July 2015
  • 3,957 respondents (only one-third have an affiliation with HubSpot)
  • B2B, B2C and non-profits represented
  • 52% earn less than $1M and approx 4% earn over $500M
  • 48% have fewer than 10 employees and 6% have more than 1,000
  • Over 150 countries represented

Traditional Tweeting: The Merging of Traditional and SocialChannels

Marketers have long known advertising is no longer a one-way street. The social world has meshed with the so-called “real world,” with text conversations acting as bridges between in person meetings. However, in advertising, we still treat “social” and “traditional” as two separate channels.

Recent data indicates that the bridge between traditional and social has spread— at least when Twitter and TV is concerned. This means content strategies might be changing in the very near future to reflect consumers’ multiple screen habits.

In a world where personal video recorders, Netflix, and streaming are commonplace, it can be easy to think that TV is on rocky ground. However, there’s still nothing quite like watching an event the day it airs and talking about it with your friends. Twitter makes these conversations easy and real time, providing brands with a unique opportunity to engage with an influential audience.

Hashtag integration with live shows is slowly becoming commonplace. This season of So You Think You Can Dancedecided to give Twitter the power to save two dancers out of the bottom six, with the judges saving another two.Face Off, a competition reality show based around special effects makeup, has Twitter handles for the contestants. TLC often airs repeats of their programs with added Twitter commentary to show viewers’ reactions.

So what does this mean for brands? A lot, actually.

According to Adweek, 19% of people will consider trying a brand that engaged with them around a TV program. On top of this, 4 of 5 users active during primetime hours mention brands in their tweets.

Instead of simply having to rely on catchy commercials and jingles to gain traction, brands can now have genuine engagement between viewers around TV shows. Social media allows for unprecedented interaction, and conversations no longer have to rely around branded messages.

Facebook is catching on this trend, too. They’ve recently offered viewers three new ways to interact with their favourite TV shows, trying to compete with Twitter as being the go-to television social media. Whether or not these features pan out for companies is yet to be seen, but it could potentially further integrate traditional and social media into a single, indistinguishable whole.

Other media is almost certainly going to follow suit, with the availability of sharing and contributing to news articles online and augmented reality continuing to make strides. Marketers should think less in terms of “traditional” and “social,” instead viewing all media tools as complimentary tactics. The social world is here to stay and continues reinventing how we interact with the world around us. Those who ignore the shift will almost certainly be left behind.