Do you have a marketing strategy? Do you integrate social media into that strategy? If so, do you follow it? Regardless of your answer to these questions, I would like to offer a way of thinking about marketing that includes all of your outbound and inbound marketing efforts. I want you to think about your marketing channels like a wagon wheel, a central hub with spokes leading back to that hub.
Your Marketing Hub
Truth be told, I am not the originator of this marketing metaphor, but I have followed its basic premise from the first day of my foray into social media for my school. The idea is simple: define one of your marketing channels as the hub/focus of your marketing efforts, and every other spoke/channel forces your many constituents (prospective families, alumni, etc…) back toward the center hub. In my case, our official school website is the hub of our marketing efforts, and every other marketing channel drives our audience back to the website. Our thinking was that we spent, and continue to spend, a considerable amount of time, energy, and money in the creation and maintenance of our website and as a result, our site is a robust resource with up-to-date information from across the school. Each of our spokes sends their individual audience back to our hub.
Your Marketing Spokes
In the past, I challenged you to think about your social media channels like a dress code. My thinking was that you could not only tailor the formality of your communications for each channel, but that you would also have your constituents find which spoke, or channel, they most preferred to consume information about your school. As a result, you have different people getting their information from different channels with the constant in this equation being your marketing hub.
Your Marketing Strategy
To make all of this strategy talk really interesting, and hopefully not confusing, I think it’s worthwhile and beneficial to have your spokes/channels point to your other spokes/channels from time to time. The idea behind this is three-fold:
- You can introduce your constituents to your other marketing channels.
- As a result of #1, you allow your audience to select the method the prefer to receive your information.
- You offer places where engagement and interaction are possible. This is especially true with social media. For example, a person might find you on Twitter but feel uncomfortable participating in that conversation, but when you tweet and push them to your Facebook page maybe, they are more comfortable with that channel which allows them to comment on your wall.
The marketing hub and spoke strategy has worked well for us, but I’m anxious to hear from others what they think about this strategy or about other strategies they might be using right now. Please use the comments section below to continue the conversation.