PR Week posted an interesting “Master Class” topic the other day, dealing with the integration of offline experiences and social media campaigns. I’m personally very passionate about this topic, because I believe it’s important to think about how your online campaign will be able to connect with your target audience in the real world.
Where are your target social circles?
Toby Srebnik makes an important point when he says, “The social part of social media is too often forgotten.” I completely agree that it’s crucial to consider the social aspect of a social strategy – it’s not about the technology, it’s about the connections. If you’re looking to leverage social groups and personal relationships, where are these social circles? Are they online on a Facebook group? Are they offline at the local beauty salon? Are they parents in a PTA group? Are they gamers in an online forum? Clearly, some social groups congregate online, and other meet in the social media/online world. I’m not saying one is better or more powerful than the other, but it’s an important distinction to recognize.
For the Hispanic market this is especially important. There are great opportunities to leverage a social strategy in this market, but that doesn’t mean that your target audience is always already online, talking about you. Identify where your target is meeting and talking, and then you can think about the role of an online component, whether it be leading, secondary or nonexistent for the moment.
Motivating offline participants
Another great point in the article is how to take a real-world experience and provide a compelling reason for participants to talk about it online.
Part of this goes back to understanding the audience you’re targeting – do they already share their experiences online? Do only certain members of the group participate in online forums? Again, even if the group you’re talking to and connecting with doesn’t traditionally participate in social media or other online channels, give them a reason to if it really makes sense. Provide an incentive, whether it’s a special offer, access to exclusive content or membership to an online community.
But the first step is to simply ask them to go online and talk about you – and make it easy for them to do!