Add Value to Your Marketing By Combining Social Media and Print Media

We have illustrated how print and digital can be a dynamic duo in marketing for colleges in a previous post. All marketers know that a stronger marketing plan is one that works together. While many of these ideas focus on education marketing, incorporating social media and print media can apply to just about any vertical.

Be creative. Think outside the box!

1. Promote Social Media via Print Media 
Include all social media links on all print media materials. This includes business cards, collateral, admissions materials and alumni magazines. Make it easy for a offline reader to connect with you online.

2. Data-Variable Business Cards
Use data-variable printing to change the back of your organization’s business cards. Perhaps you have reviews or comments from Facebook you want to highlight. I use various comments and recommendations from LinkedIn on my own business cards. Your printer can help, as well as companies like if you need small runs.

3. Semi-Automated Newsletters
Publish blog posts into a data-variable print newsletters. By automating more of your marketing, you’ll have more time to build relationships. does a great job with RSS-Email to get you half-way there.

4. PURL Content
Personalized URLs are a valuable way to engage prospects from printed collateral. Take it one step further by embedding your most recent social media content into the PURL page.

5. Encourage Engagement with Printed Items
Exchange branded print items (dimensional mailers, premiums, etc.) for contact information. Offer both physical and digital items to capture both mailing address and email. Use social media and print media to drive conversion.

6. Selfie Bait
Indiana University leveraged hashtags as part of a brilliant admission promotion. The simple use of the hashtag #IUsaidYes on bright, bold red envelopes produced a viral social media campaign when students began posting selfies with their acceptance letters. Look for ways to engage regular direct mail into something more.

7. Harvest Data
All social networks allow users to identify their favorite content via likes and favorites. Harvest this data to use for your print materials. Is there a favorite image on Instgram that has the most likes? Use it as the cover or spread of your next printed collateral. Pinterest could help you identify the best images for your catalog or cover of your annual report. Harvest the data your users are sharing.

8. Instant Focus Groups
Not sure which design to use on that print project? Create an instant focus group on social media. Provide a few options and crowdsource your decision. Not only do you followers appreciate being asked, but they will be engaged. You might even provide a special incentive or give-away as a reward for participation.

9. To Be Continued
Provide added online content or continue the printed story or article by providing social links. Or encourage comments at the Facebook, Medium, or Twitter page. Encourage comments from anywhere by providing a hashtag specific to the printed article: To comment on this article, use hashtag #prinstorytitle on social media.

10. Testimonials
Include reviews and comments in your print materials that users leave on social media.

11. Offline Promotion: Online Call-to-Action
Combine direct mail with social promotions. Look for ways to drive users to deeper engagement with call-to-actions that are driven from print but create social media relationships.

12. Smart Phone Engagement
Drive users from print to digital with QR codes or other apps like Clickable Paper. These codes and tools should drive users to videos or other supporting content beyond the print piece.

13. Event Promotions
Create life size posters and other event graphics with a printed event hashtag to allow for group photos and sharable opportunities.

14. Reward Influencers
Every social network has influencers…those champions who share and engage on a regular basis. Engage with consultants and tools to identify your most valuable social media followers and reward them with a dimensional care package. Create a campaign to send it to the top 50 influencers in your network. Brand the care package, tease them with both email and postcards and invite them to share the “unboxing” on social media.

We hope these fresh ideas provide you inspiration on how to to better use print and social media together to better engage your followers and achieve your marketing goals.

How are you using social media and print media together?

Image by zlikovec via Adobe Stock