Putting Social into your Media

Putting Social into your Media

Alicia Whalen Social Media Expert

Developing an engaged Social Media Community on any platform takes time, resources, creativity, and commitment. Once you have done that – then what?   How do we fully integrate social media content into the overall digital brand?

You don’t own your Customer on Social Media. You are only renting your space on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest



Social media content on any social media platform from Instagram to Youtube, should be used as a means to interact with your customer, build the relationship and brand loyalty, and then ultimately to encourage a transaction. If there is no transaction then what is the point?

Social Media Integration with your website is the key. A transaction may be a sale, a sign up, a call – or an intent-to-buy signal, but integrating your social into your media is key to closing the loop.

Your overall digital media strategy should include multiple indications that all signs lead back home – to the website. The point of transaction and the place where you can benchmark the ROI in all of your media.

The challenge for marketers has been both in understanding how to build and leverage social media to drive sales, and then to integrate Social Media into the buying funnel with a proven metric of ROI.

This is not as simple as adding Social Media share icons to your website, or asking your fans to share content. In fact, doing only that will encourage your customer to leave your website!

So how do we leverage new media and the stories created in social media, show our fans our appreciation for their efforts – and still encourage the sale?  We integrate Social Media content into the website, and add the ability to share brand and native social media content without leaving the site. Then we make it shoppable and measurable. By doing this we organize our social media content, and keep our customers engaging with us from the website – instead of sending them somewhere else.

A solution like Hashtagio.com, a start up that I am proud to introduce, allows brands to fully integrate their Social Media content, in almost real-time, in order to encourage loyal social brand ambassador’s to fully engage with the brand, and share their brand love.

All of this – and it keeps your customers on the brand website.

Whether your ideal customer lives on Instagram or YouTube – now your fans can drive and share native content along with brand created social content. Social media ambassadors can be recognized for their contributions and become part of the brand experience online.

Because the social content is fully integrated into the website using a platform like Hashtagio, it can be keyword tagged for optimal website SEO, tied to Google Analytics for measuring conversion, and allow for social sharing of content from the website to all social networks. All of this happens directly from the brand website, therefore encouraging a longer time on site, and a richer user experience.

Successful marketers are using social media channels to listen and interact with their customers first. Then, once the trust has been built, loyal customers want to continue the conversation. They want to be privy to special offers, and have personalized messages that illustrate that the brand really gets it. They want to be thanked for their contribution to the sharing of brand content, and valued for their commitment to the brand.

I am excited to have worked with Hashtagio.com over the past months to assist in developing a fully integrated, shoppable Social Media hub which is already powering true social media integration.  A Munich based street style fashion brand – CATCH-a-TREND  – which will launch using Hashtagio later this week.  The highly acclaimed Munich based photo agency BLAUBLUT EDITION has used Hashtagio to create the first truly “shoppable social site” for Fashion.  It will be used to showcase the most current looks from around the world. Visitors can see and get inspired by what today’s most followed fashionistas wear, curated from multiple social media channels including Instagram – and also shop the look instantly.

Native content is pulled from social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube, and organized under a Social Hub that lives on the CATCH-a-TREND website.  Editors can then make social posts, advertising posts, and brand posts Shoppable with a shoppable image that links to a place to purchase.

Social Media HubsWith Hashtagio’s integrated Social Media Hub, customers can now purchase items featured in brand and social media content directly through partner online stores such as www.net-a-porter.com, www.farfetch.com and louisaviaroma.com, with CATCH-a-TREND editors always working to identify new trends to feature on the hub.

With a Hashtagio powered, shoppable Social Media Hub, CATCH-a-TREND creates a central point of access to street style fashion, offering their audiences a more personal and simplified shopping experience. Followers are given a “front-row ticket” to the world of street style fashion and can discover and shop some of the latest and trendiest looks as worn by the influential show-goers of fashion in almost real-time. The brand can also add to the conversation and carefully curate the content to ensure it stays on brand.

In addition to the shoppable street-style imagery, audiences are invited to an aggregated collection of social network posts via Instagram and Twitter and more, by the street style photographers themselves, as well as a selected group of fashion-influencers and magazines. The social hub is a central gathering place for visual content of what the fashion leaders are currently communicating to their followers.

There possible integrations of the Hashtagio Social Hub are endless, from displaying hashtag tracked contesting on the brand website, to integrating Instagram images into products available to purchase on an e-commerce site.  I am excited to be a part of this launch and look forward to sharing some great case studies soon!

ABOUT: Alicia Whalen is a Digital + Social Media Marketing Professional and Platform Advocate for HASHTAGIO.COM. Alicia has spent over a decade helping professionals understand how to embrace digital and social media in all facets of business. An avid tweeter and lover of travel, technology and Ah-Ha moments.

Connect on Linkedin | Twitter @acoupleofchicks


ABOUT HASHTAGIO: Hashtagio is a Searchable, Shoppable and Interactive Social Media Hub.  A Platform for Social Media Integration that converts Social into sales and drives referral traffic to conversion points such as affiliates, partners and advertisers. www.hashtagio.com