Social integration is certainly promoting more than its direct purpose: it is encouraging professional integrity in the through business collaboration. Evidence of this can be observed by the way social networks are collaborating. At the start of the year, 60 Facebook apps joined its Timeline. The varied categories included gaming sites such as Zynga, and social entertainment variety such as Pinterest and Foursquare. Facebook promised future additions. Very recently, Tumblr has been added to the list, where its posts are published to Facebook as Newsfeed and Ticker by selecting the tab, ‘Send to Facebook.’
Merging is not a form of integration and integration must not be confused with merging. The former is a joint practice while holding maintaining their separate identities, the latter is binding together into a single entity, which is intended to diminish or expand organizational departments in a more parallel direction. Integration moves vertically as a consequence, but while merging has direct and immediate results, integration does not. That makes it an integral marketing strategy. In the case of the Tumblr-Facebook partnership, it is not just intended to increase traffic flow, but the way the user will socialize through these auto-transferable action platforms. In addition, the content will have more variety, as in the images-only content of Pinterest viewed through Facebook’s Timeline. One should wonder why Facebook is inviting either social network when they have their very own apps that function in the same way. Friendsheet is a new Facebook app where users can pin images and choose to disclose or hide comments. Marketers should be able to interpret that inviting competitors into the field is not a threat, but rather a tactic that must be used carefully by giving due respect and space.
Another example of marketing through social integration is by adding a plug-in into another. Thus, a blog site can contain a Facebook plug-in to increase chances of comments and decreasing spam. A display of the volume of ‘likes’ and ‘tweets’ on a column of the site are another example to encourage sharing and voting Creating a Facebook app or Twitter widget manually also serves the purpose.
Email marketers are increasingly including social networks in their campaigns. This way, users can share the content as well as connect. They recommend that proving incentive to subscribers to use social network icons has proven successful. This may be in monetary form or other promotional offer, such as featuring the user on their site. The ‘Newsletter Sign Up’ app on Facebook is a great marketing tool to include.
Looking at the recent media trends, one can also see how different mediums are being used for promotion. WORLD WRESTLING TV broadcasts contain Twitter and Facebook icons for users to interact with during the event. Wrestlers are also using YouTube to attract more fans. Other channels will follow suit once they realize the impact of using social media in entertainment marketing.
A study conducted by Marketingprofs shows barely a quarter of US companies are integrating social media as part of their marketing efforts, and the majority of these are the larger sized companies. Health and financial industries are least inclined and the main challenge is the willingness for companies take the initiative to incorporate change at the micro and macro levels.