You can already tell my position from the title of the post. I believe social media is crucial to any integrated campaign; whether it involves email, phone calls, direct mail, etc. Social media provides a unique lead nurturing opportunity that cannot be achieved through any other means. People don’t like to be bothered, but they’ll usually give you their ten seconds no matter what. You can send your prospects a cool direct mail piece, which they will take some time to check out. Some will make their decision on the spot and register for your demo, check out your website, or buy your product, but unless it was seriously awesome, most will just toss it in the trash. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just the nature of the beast. Suddenly, you look up and not enough people have bought your product or signed up for your demo. You don’t want to end your efforts right there, but what do you do? You can send a high-impact email, which will surely get you a few more sign-ups or sales, but for the most part it will end up in your leads’ spam folders, or get a quick scan and delete. What now? At this point, you’re running the risk of bothering your prospects. Just like you, your leads are busy people, and they will be put off if you keep wasting their time. Just because they didn’t sign up after you reached out to them once or twice doesn’t mean they said no. Maybe they’re just not ready to buy right now, but if you keep bugging your prospects, you’ll surely be put on their blacklist. This is where social media comes in. With Facebook and Twitter’s news feeds, it gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience for seconds at a time. You saw the movie Inception, right? Engaging your audience on Facebook or Twitter gives you an opportunity to plant the seed, without them even knowing it. This is where social media comes in. As a marketer, we see many other people in the industry following thousands of people on Twitter. MCG follows about 1,000 people, which means our Twitter feed is a constant stream of info. There’s no time to read everything. However, if your company can drop bits of knowledge here and there, it can have a huge effect. Twitter and Facebook give you the opportunity to ask questions to your audience, answer their questions, drop relevant articles or videos, place client quotes, etc. You have to keep selling and nurturing the seed you planted with your initial efforts, but in a way that doesn’t come off as annoying. Twitter gives you a unique opportunity to reach your audience. Most people using Twitter for business have it set up that they will automatically follow back anyone who follows them. Follow enough people, and boom! You got in front of your audience without them even knowing it. Keep reminding your audience how much they need your product and how it will solve their problems. In the age of the Internet, with tons of companies who do the same thing as you, it’s up to you to not only get, but to keep your audience’s attention, so when they are ready to buy, they think of you. Sure, you can get some attention with an awesome direct mail piece, but what are you going to do to make sure you aren’t forgotten as soon as the trash gets taken out?