While social media has garnered the lion’s share of media attention in the marketing world these last few years, email remains a proven cornerstone of any effective marketing strategy. In fact, the major social media platforms – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. – can actually serve as a helpful partner to email campaigns, and vice versa.
But how can small business email marketers go about blending these seemingly distinct approaches? How can you amplify your tried and true email campaigns with social media? Here are five tips to combine the two approaches to deliver more leads and create more customers:
- Add an email opt-in form to your Facebook page: Posting a simple, easy-to-locate opt-in box to your company Facebook page can instantly convert those occasional visitors into precious subscribers. But be sure to tell them what they will be subscribing for, and offer some real value, such as “sign up to receive our newsletter” or “register to get special offers.” Doing so can serve to expand your email list with willing friends and followers.
- Dedicate some email campaigns solely to social media: An email announcing your new social media site can help with landing new friends or followers. Feel free to leverage the social media branding for instant recognition, such as the blue and white colors and bird logo from Twitter. As increasing followers via email is common these days and your audience will recognize the request, you can create a simple “follow me” button that links to your social media site. However, be sure to include what people will get when they register, such as exclusive content, tips and tricks, etc., which should help increase responses.
- Enable people to easily share your content: Encourage email readers to share your content with their friends and colleagues by including social sharing buttons in all your email messages. This works well for interesting articles and blogs, and is particularly effective for special offers or coupons. Be sure to add “follow me” buttons to all types of emails too; not just marketing communications but also transactions, registrations, confirmations, etc. Not everyone will see (or read) all your emails, so including social media buttons on all emails increases their likelihood of joining or following. Finally, put these buttons at or near the top of your emails (as opposed to the bottom) to ensure they’re seen.
- Integrate social media campaigns into email: If you’re sending a major announcement to your email list, use the opportunity to extend the content and conversation into the social media realm. For B2B marketers, this might mean announcing a new product or service via email, and then posting related content, such as screen shots, demonstrations, reviews or awards on social media sites. You might consider a special promotion, such as a free trial, to those who “like” any of this content.
- Use email to seed social sharing: A key success in social media is “social proof:” getting influential people and blogs to share or cite your content. However, be patient when approaching these influencers. When you publish new content, marketers should attempt to “seed” it with shares before they approach influential people to share it as well. If you contact influential people with content that hasn’t been “validated” – i.e. new content with no new shares – you will likely be disappointed. Instead, use email to get social sharing rolling by promoting content to your email lists. After a few dozen or a few hundred shares have been made, depending on your content, then reach out to the major influencers and ask them to share.
These days, few people make buying decisions based on information obtained from a single source. At the same time, when marketers focus all their energy on one channel, they could be missing out on a windfall, including new revenue streams and sales opportunities. As a small business owner, manager or marketer, what are your best tips for integrating your social media and email marketing programs?
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