As Julie drinks her morning coffee, she checks out the latest posts on her Facebook page and comes across a relevant ad.

A quick calculation tells her that’s a 30% savings!!  So, she immediately thinks, what’s the catch?  Well, the catch is when she clicks on the link in the offer it takes her to a special website and she gets entered to win a $500 shopping spree - not bad.  Then she learns that for every friend that she shares the offer with that clicks on the same site, she gets another entry into the sweepstakes - even better.  Julie’s day is off to a great start. 

Advertising is all about getting your messages in front of the right eyes with a compelling message and offer that engages the customer immediately, causing the desired action – response!   And what better way to engage your target audience than through a trusted brand advocate – someone that actually knows your audience and carries the credibility your brand seeks to establish.  And when an advertiser can get that kind of brand participation for mere pennies per customer contact, the ROI begins to look very attractive.

Extending traditional advertising into online, integrated marketing and using social media networks to create a dialogue and build interest and advocacy is a wave that all advertisers need to catch and to make a part of their overall marketing mix.  Compared to traditional advertising, the costs are negligible. What’s truly at stake is your brand’s ability to connect with its target audience through all touch points and, in particular, through the channels your customers frequent.  By last count, Facebook alone had 1,000,000,000 users.

Theoretically, Julie’s initial share COULD reach one billion other customers. How’s that for reach? This goes to show that social media integration across direct mail, email and directly from the social media site has the potential to impact SO many more people than just Julie. You’ve established brand advocates, introduced new people to your products and all the while found a way to track and interact with all of your new customers. Now YOUR day is off to a great start.