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Social Media Marketing

How Hallmark Does Social

How do the big corporations engage on social media? And what can a small business learn from that?

The Social Media Club of Kansas City, one of our 230+ Resource Partners, answers those big social media questions for the small guys often—during their monthly luncheons and breakfasts.

Last month, they invited the Hallmark Social Media Team to discuss how to drive business results using real-time consumer engagement. Carrie MacQuaid (@MsCarrieMac), Camille Lauer (@CamLauer) and Jaci Twidwell (@jacitwidwell) shared their recent holiday campaign, 12-Gifts-A-Giving which combined promotions, sweepstakes and nightly fan engagements (hullo Pinterest paty!)—and ultimately showed how marketers can integrate deals, sales and social media. (And make it fun).

Below are Carrie, Camille and Jaci’s 12 key tips and takeaways from Hallmark’s 12-Gifts-A-Giving campaign.

Like any and every marketing campaign, it starts with a goal and an audience. Hallmark wanted to extend its reach beyond the storefront and into social media to reach their shopper, match her—pronoun intentional—holiday frame of mind and get her to come back into the store.

Tip No. 12: It takes a village.

For this particular campaign, they reached those goals and their audience by leveraging their network: bloggers, Toys for Tots, their ad agency and more. The point: take the 360 approach to your campaign, looking for influencers and inspiration across platforms to reach your audience where they are and when they’re in the right frame of mind.

Tip No. 11: Meet her where she is.

Hallmark knows that mom—the key demographic—is a night owl. That’s when she finally finds her me time. If you’re going to invade that, you have to make it worth it. Be engaging, be inspirational, be rewarding. Talk about what she wants to talk about.

Hallmark Hits the EmotionsTip No. 10: Social adds heart.

Be human. It sounds obvious, but for many companies on social media, it’s not their first inclination. Be less of megaphone and more of a listener. During their campaign, Hallmark would receive long notes from their customers about how their nightly chats “improved my spirit, restored my hope and life.” Yes.

Tip No. 9: Use your secret weapons.

Hallmark has a deep bench of creatives: writers, greeting editors, photo stylists. Think about how your business can use the talent you have on your bench to reach further, be useful and engage more meaningfully through video, blog posts, example and expertise.

Tip No. 8: Education begins at home.

Hallmark does it. Sporting KC does it. Big brands leverage their whole team. Small brands can learn from this as well. Inform, empower and enable your internal communications team to be brand advocates. Communicate your social media policy and guidelines, share your core messages, let folks know when to talk about your newest product and service and then let them bring the dance to their own circles.

Tip No. 7: Don't neglect the basics.

That would be email. Use your email database and set up a solid landing page. It’s a good way to push your campaign to search engines—and even help collect emails for future campaigns or for your strategic partners.

Tip No. 6: Do something you've never done before.

Throw a Pinterest Party, an Instagram meet up, hit up YouTube influencers. Think of how you can stroke and extend your social media reach.

Tip No. 5: Nurture and grow your influencers.

Hallmark has been working the blogger network for the past 10 years. Because of that focus, they’ve been able to get in on the ground floor of some blogger celebs before they made it big. The lesson: earn your ask and stoke those fires early. It pays off big when you need a favor later down the road.

Tip No. 4: Promote your promotion.

Of course, you say, and yet, most folks don’t use all their channels—email, direct mail, socials, etc.—to promote what their promoting on other channels. It’s not enough to get excited about your events. Keep you fans engaged where they are and where they rest their eyes: email, paid media, earned media, socials.  Folks love free coffee and free t-shirts.

Hallmark and Measurable Value

Tip No. 3: Remember to lend offline support for online efforts.

It’s not just online promotions that drive offline foot traffic. Remember to use your offline stores to support and nurture online efforts.

Tip No. 2: Measurable business value is real.

Hallmark earned 160 million in potential impressions and a big lift in sales and transaction goals. Remember to measure, so you can see how, where and if your campaigns have impact.

Hallmark Campaign Integration

Tip No. 1: Integrate all the things.

It takes a village to: bring in your photo experts, host an event, grab your best writers and tap all your channels. To be effective, use all your tools to reach those marketing goals and to transform the consumer experience.

Want more tips like this?

Let us know—and be sure to attend Kansas City's marketing and sales events and those hosted by the Social Media Club of Kansas City.

SMCKC's next event is on April 3 with the Great Plains SPCA, Kansas City Metro’s most unique and comprehensive No Kill animal welfare organization. During the Royals’ unforgettable post-season run, Great Plains SPCA’s marketing team jumped into the electric feeling gripping Kansas City with creative tactics that made national news and ultimately placed more dogs and cats into loving forever homes.


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