Social media's business role has grown, but many marketers treat it as an alternative to more traditional forms of online advertising, such as display advertising.  But taking an integrative approach to social media yields results that are far greater than the sum of the parts.  This guide will highlight key methods for how to craft a marketing strategy with full understanding of how to combine the best advantages of the three most popular social media sites with display advertising.

Facebook + Audience Targeting

In the beginning, Facebook was viewed mostly as a social site for teenagers. Eventually, the site became a staple in daily life for adults who want to keep in touch with friends and family. Now, it's one of the top sites for businesses that want to reach out to clients and partners in the personal way they've come to expect.

Facebook provides great ways for companies to draw and maintain the interest of target markets. Customers can keep track of a favorite company and stay in the loop about opportunities for discounts and other deals. Companies can make a fan page with multimedia, important announcements and links to a main website. Ads on Facebook have become a great placement for display ads, which can be useful for building a fan base as well as basic brand awareness campaigns. Facebook has also opened up new opportunities to use its data for targeting purposes.

Twitter + Display Ad Content

Twitter has been associated with momentary updates between friends, but it's also a powerful tool for business growth. Companies often use Twitter for brand promotion and market monitoring. Thanks to the site's personal feel, it's great for staying in touch with clients and partners. Twitter can also be used to draw traffic, create viral campaigns and possibly improve search engine rankings.

Businesses must remember that Twitter's biggest strength lies in its opportunities for immediate social interaction. New rich media banner ads make it possible to include a moderated Twitter feed in the banner, allowing businesses to keep the content as fresh and up-to-date as possible.

LinkedIn + Remarketing

LinkedIn has become known as the premier social networking site for professionals, but it's actually much more than that. Virtually all notable business people have profiles on LinkedIn, so it's an excellent place for making the right connections. The site simplifies the process of sharing information, discussing issues and establishing reputation with others in a network. Over time, this means forging potentially profitable relationships with both clients and partners. For best results on LinkedIn, businesses need to have a content strategy that attracts traffic to their own website.  From there, they can use remarketing to keep their brand top of mind to the viewers who have expressed high interest in the offer.

Take a Holistic Approach

Rather than getting lost in a pointless argument about what marketing channel is the best, marketers should be looking for ways to use the advantages of each to get the most out of their online marketing efforts. Both social media and display advertising require an understanding of how to get the most out of them, and taking an integrated approach will always be a recipe for success.

Originally posted on iMediaConnection Blog.