How Print Can Power Social Media

Print powers social media. While the two may compete for your dollars, in terms of accomplishing your marketing goals, social media and print marketing can be highly symbiotic.

Let’s look at five ways print can help your social media strategy…

1. Print Drives Traffic

When developing a relationship with your audience, you speak to them how they want to be spoken to, right? If your audience wants to interact with you through social media, you must first drive traffic to your social media sites. Print can be a powerful vehicle for doing just that. Whether it’s direct mail, store signage, or company invoices, print just might be your target audience’s first exposure (and link) to your social media presence.

Encourage readers to follow you on Twitter. Add QR codes that take them to a mobile version of your Facebook page. Prompt them to post creative uses of your products or services on Pinterest.

2. Print Broadens Your Reach

Unless you’re marketing specifically to young adults or a highly tech-savvy audience, you cannot count on everyone in your database being reachable through social media. Print broadens your reach so that you are covering a wider swath of demographics. As the old adage goes, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”

3. Print Reinforces the Message

Consistently, studies show that reinforcing your message through multiple channels increases brand awareness, heightens engagement, and boosts response rates. The combination of print and social media, along with other traditional and digital media, is far more effective than using social or online media alone.

4. Print Adds Credibility

Survey after survey shows that consumers still trust print more than they trust online media. In fact, a survey conducted by Ball State University’s Center for Media Design in coordination with ExactTarget found that even 18- to 34-year-olds are more likely to be influenced to make purchase decisions based on email and direct mail than social network marketing.

5. Print Has Staying Power

Your message on social media might stay for an hour. If you’re lucky, it might stay for a day before it gets buried under the avalanche of other social media messages. Print has staying power. Your direct mail piece might live on someone’s desk for weeks. Your brochure might get pinned to a bulletin board for months, even a year.

Social media has an important role in today’s marketing world, but there is a reason that print remains the bedrock of successful marketing. In its ability to connect the traditional and online worlds, it is a powerful springboard to e-media, including social media marketing. It’s also a way to extend relationships offline. Make the online contact, then send a follow-up brochure. Make an appointment and leave full-color, eye-catching sales materials behind.

Using print and social media isn’t an “either or” proposition. Understanding when and where to use each medium is the key to better results.