Keys to Combining Email Marketing with Social Media
August 12, 2009
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Are you using the incredible power of social media to leverage your email marketing efforts?
If not, there is never a better time to start than right now.
The key to using social media effectively is to first, understand what you are doing. Seems obvious to say but many company's don't take the time to learn.
There are a number of different ways to use social media integration effectively, but in order to combine your email marketing efforts with any kind of social media you must first do the research.
Without a plan, your carefully crafted message can get buried faster than you can click the send button.
You must understand your subscribers, know your content and figure out what will work within the vast world of social media.
Certain content may not work on all social sites, so it is important to test and evaluate everything before implementing a huge push out to the social media landscape.
Here are a few things to consider when deciding on how to incorporate social media with your email marketing campaigns.
Decide if your content is sharable
Make sure the content you are sending out is something other people beyond your subscriber list will want to read about. If your content is not interesting, few will care to read it. If you are a company that makes designer dog toys, that content will be easy to share because everyone knows someone with a dog.
Decide how you want to encourage your subscribers to share
Your ultimate goal is to influence your current subscribers to share with their own networks. This can lead to a viral effect that can drastically increase business. But adding links in your email for people to share will be pointless if people are not clicking on them. It is a good idea to provide incentives to your subscribers for clicking on those links. For example, provide a discount coupon code to subscribers who use the link to share your content.
What kind of benefit do you want to gain from sharing?
Creating a buzz and getting your content beyond your subscriber list is extremely important. Having your current subscribers share it with others is key to growing your list, getting your company brand out there and gaining new customers in the process. When used right, social media can be a very inexpensive way to promote your company as compared to other traditional methods.
Which social sites should you have your subscribers share your content on?
Again, this depends on your target audience. Once each social tool has been tested you might find in the results that the majority of your subscribers are sharing with their Twitter followers but not on Facebook (or the other way around). Once you discover what works best, that should be your main focus, while still trying out other sources when possible.
If a certain social network is not helping out at all, it is probably a good idea to spend less time with it and focus on what works. But don't get comfortable. Three months from now Twitter might not be the hot spot it is right now, so keep an eye on what is the next big thing.
Never stop testing
After asking yourself these questions you should have a much better idea on how to tackle the social media game. But just like with every other aspect of email marketing, the key to continued success with social media is testing, testing, testing.
Every company, types of content and all subscriber lists are different, so in order to find out what is right for your company, test each social networking site and begin the process to getting current subscribers to share with their networks.