Posted on Feb 15th 2017 under Email Marketing
Current thinking tells us that social media is the new wave, and email is the old one, and if you want a cohesive, effective digital marketing campaign, you have to choose one or the other. However, everything about this kind of approach is wrong, there is nothing old about email, it remains the most used form of communication we have, and not only can it be used alongside social media, it is entirely possible to integrate the two for even more effective campaigns.
This means using the right strategies though, without them you are just wasting both time and money attempting this. The wrong strategies can simply end up with you overloading your customers with your brand message, and rather than engage them, that has the opposite effect and can drive them away. There are some highly effective ways of combining social media and email though, here are the best ones.
1. Add social icons and a tweetable post to your emails
We begin with the basics, and having social icons for all of your social media accounts added to your email marketing templates is the first step. There are various opinions about the best place to position them, high at the top so they are visible as soon as the email is opened is effective, but another position that keeps them visible could work as well. Visibility means there is more chance that your audience will click and visit your social media accounts. If you can, add a tweetable quote, or simply a tweet this section to any marketing email if it fits in with the rest of the content. You don't want to just add something that is stuck on as an afterthought, it must fit with the email.
That makes it easier for your audience to retweet your message if they want to, it is just a single click for them after you did all the work. Some like to do these things themselves and create the URL and everything, but for time saving you can use the "Click to Tweet" tool. Remember though, Twitter has a 140-character limit, so make sure the message fits into that, and include the URL itself.
2. Make use of retargeted ads for Facebook and Twitter
For a much more efficient marketing campaign, retargeted ads are fantastic, as they focus you campaign only on people who have already demonstrated an interest in your products or service.
This is the foundation for what is referred to as Retargeting Marketing, but is often called Behavioral Targeting within the digital marketing industry. The idea behind this is that by only presenting your message to people who have already expressed an interest means they are more likely to buy and thus returns should be greater which brings a more efficient use of your budget.
It works like this: you can find out who has clicked on your email marketing campaign by adding a tracking code to your website, which will in turn pass that data to your ad platform. This then adds a cookie your visitors that then allows the system to identify them and show your ads on Facebook or Twitter just for that specific audience. The system is easily managed and you can even configure it from within their system.
If you wish to use this method on Facebook, you can try a great app called Perfect Audienceto help you out on this task.
3. Create an email campaign for your social media network, or a social media campaign for your email list
One way to boost a social media network is to create an email marketing campaign for it. You could ask your email subscribers directly to join your social media groups, like a page or follow you, depending on the platform, but you do need to give them a reason to do so, usually in the form of an incentive.
There are many ways you can incentivize that action of joining your social media network, competitions, promotional codes or discounts are all proven to be highly effective to getting your audience to respond to a call-to-action. It is important to do this right though, a professional approach that maintains the standards your audience expects is essential, you do not want subscribers of your limousine users email list to be presented with a competition to win a voucher for Burger King, the reward needs to better reflect your customers.
You can also do the same in reverse, using social media posts to ask your audience to sign up to your email list, again they will need an incentive, but this also adds a further, important point. If you gain a large number of email subscribers from social media, you need to make sure your email content is of the high quality they are used to and remains relevant to your social media audience.
4. Create a social media group just for email subscribers
You have the makings of a readymade community with an email list, so it is feasible to bring them all together in an exclusive social media group, however there are pitfalls so it is important to be careful if you choose to do this.
The first thing you need to do is find out if your subscribers think it would be a good idea, and you can do that by simply asking them. Create a survey and send it out to your email list, not only will you want to know if they are interested, but if the answer is yes, what social media platform would they prefer, whether that is Facebook, LinkedIn and so on.
Finally, you can then create a group on the most popular platform chosen, but it is vital that you only add those people who responded positively, and said they wished to be part of it, to do otherwise could see you fall foul of privacy rules and turn the whole thing into a nightmare. You will also need to be able to take a step back and let the group grow at its own pace, as people share ideas and experiences. You will need to moderate, but keep things natural and avoid using it as another way to promote sales messages, as that could just annoy people.
5. Make the most of the features of your social media network
Nearly all social media platforms include tools to help you build your email list, so make use of them. The most common tools that few seem to know exist are:
- LinkedIn Group: This will send automatic emails to those who join the group
- Lead Generation Card on Twitter: This can collect emails for you in conjunction with an effective marketing campaign
- Call-to-Action on your Facebook cover page: You have several types of buttons to choose from for this, pick the most appropriate
- E-mail Opt-in form on your Facebook Page: There are many email programs that can provide this service.
There are many advantages to using these tools, they are free, easy to use and have all been created to work within their specific social network environment, making them more effective than generic solutions. These are tools you need to use.
As we can see, there are many ways to combine social media and email, and leverage the best aspects of both, within a single campaign, boosting responses and overall campaign results.
Social media networks are a very interactive medium that tend to be more relaxed in manner, while email is more formal, but also still one of the best tools for communicating larger amounts of information, while maintaining a one-to-one style to the conversation.
Not all the above ideas may suit your style or audience, test them out and keep an eye on your metrics to see what works best for you, and do not be afraid to adjust things to fit your audience if needed.
With email and social media running in tandem, you may find your digital marketing strategy is becoming more successful, much more quickly than you ever thought.