A Recipe for Marketing Success: Mixing Social Media and Print


Traditional and digital marketing do not have to be mutually-exclusive efforts. In a previous blog we shared 5 examples of how they have been used successfully together. Now I'd like to share some ideas specifically combining social media with print marketing.

Drive Print to Social Media

The first step is to add your social profiles to your printed pieces. Include short URLs or social media handles with your contact information, or if your brand name is unique enough where people can search for it, you can just include the social app icons. Places to consider adding social information:

  • Business cards
  • Brochures
  • Product labels and packaging
  • Catalogs and mailpieces


For improved results, include a call to action with an incentive to follow you. Keep in mind what's in it for your audience: coupons, exclusive behind-the-scenes looks, or fresh new ideas? Be sure to highlight the value to them.

Drive Social Media to Print

You can also use your social media to drive audiences to print. Social media is a fleeting form of advertising, with audience reach creeping lower each day and constantly-updated news feeds giving you only a few seconds of attention before pushing your message down. Meanwhile, a well-done print piece can sit in a home for a week or two exposed to multiple household members.

Social media can help build your mailing list. Use a call to action to request a brochure or media kit. Those who complete the form can be marked as interested or possibly in a buying cycle. Rather than buying a list from a broker on the open market, these people are already familiar with your brand who "like" you. This list should deliver a higher ROI than a purchased list based on demographics.

Collect Reviews on Social Media for Use in Print

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. Neuroscience tells us that "social proof" is heavily relied on in decision making, especially for millennials. Neuroscience also tells us that words printed on paper tend to carry more "weight" in the mind. So while social media is an easy way to collect customer testimonials, you should definitely take them from online to offline and use them in as many places as possible.

Google My Business even offers a free "Google Marketing Kit" which allows you to take authentic Google reviews of your business and turn them into printed stickers, posters, postcards and more!


Reversely, businesses can court online reviews using print. For example, every restaurant should be asking for reviews on multiple printed items including the menus, placemats, table tents, receipts and window stickers!

Double Down on Event Marketing

We use Eventbrite for ticketing and Facebook events to promote all our in-person hosted activities. However, don't discount the impact that a mailed invitation can have on your audience, especially if attendance comes at a high price like a conference or a fundraising event. Recipients who get a hard copy invite will feel like VIPs.

During the event, you want people to post on social media about it. You can encourage this kind of sharing with a photo opportunity, such as a handheld frame, a step-and-repeat banner, or a 3-D display. Pair a photo-op display with a clever hashtag so you can track its usage.


Use Social Media for Print Research

The fact that a social media post costs practically nothing makes it a great way to conduct customer research. Imagine posting different potential product images to your Instagram feed to see which one gets the most responses through likes and comments. Then pick the winning image to include in your holiday catalog or postcard mailing campaign, already knowing it will resonate the best with your audience - what a win!

Similarly you can use social media as a focus group for any marketing campaign you are planning. Poll your audience frequently to learn more about them. A call-to-action that works online is likely to also work in print, so if you find a winning formula you can take it to the masses offline.

Use Print to Create Shareable Moments


There are moments in life that are worth sharing. A well-placed print piece can trigger social sharing including your brand. A great example is college admissions. Colleges like University of Wisconsin are starting to include printed pieces with acceptance letters with a hashtag like #FutureBadger so future students will take a selfie and post online.

Retail stores can use printed point of purchase displays to create shareable social media posts. American Girl Place New York created an in-store selfie background for their grand opening at Rockefeller Plaza to engage their young female shopping audience.

Restaurants, coffee shops, museums and others have also started incorporating "selfie walls" into their design plans even before construction begins. These are wall murals purposefully built for customers to take photos in front of them. These can also be constructed temporarily around a marketing campaign, like the Delta Dating Wall.

Court Influencers With an Exclusive Package

Imagine how many digital requests a popular social media influencer receives from brands every day? One way to stand out is to mail an influencer a unique package of products, in hopes they will create an unboxing video or share about their experience of opening your package.

Have you seen any other great examples of social media and print marketing being used together? Let me know in the comments!

About the author

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Maeghan Nicholson

Maeghan Nicholson

Maeghan is the Director of Marketing at Suttle-Straus. A journalist at heart, she has used her writing skills to develop corporate thought leadership campaigns designed to make business-to-business connections. In her role, she manages all aspects of marketing and advertising, from website updates and content creation to conferences and events.
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Topics: Digital, Print, Best Practices