Easy Ways to Build Stronger Customer Relationships with Social Media and Email Marketing
Over the years, email has become a proven tool and a key element to many small businesses marketing arsenal. But where does social media marketing fit in? Small businesses often struggle trying to choose one form of marketing over the other because of lack of resources or time constraints, but what they may not realize is that it’s not an “either/ or” proposition: real success comes from a combination of email marketing and social media….and it doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming to do both.
Email is one of the best ways to get your message heard, and social media is one of the best ways to get that message to spread. When businesses leverage email marketing and social media marketing into an integrated marketing campaign and make their email social, they really start to increase visibility and reach new customers.
Constant Contact recently analyzed customer data and found that from June 2010 through August 2011, small businesses and nonprofits using social media and email marketing together saw a 14.43% growth in their email lists, versus 8.96% growth among those using email alone. They also had larger average list size, and higher email open rates, so the benefits of combining the two together are clear. Following are some tips to help your business integrate email and social media marketing efforts into one unified communications strategy:
Announce Your Presence
The first thing to do after you set up your social media accounts is let people know you're there, and that your readers should join you there, too. Connect your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts, inserting the appropriate logos, so all readers have to do is click and find you (and hopefully join your networks). Put similar links in your email signature as well, which makes it easy for people to find and connect with you.
It's tempting to say a simple, "I'm on Twitter. Follow me." But sometimes customers will need an incentive to connect with you in one more place. "Get additional discounts by following me on Twitter" is one way to get more followers.
Email to Social Media
You may think adding social media to your marketing mix will mean more work. The good news is that this is not the case. You can— and should—repurpose newsletter content on Twitter and Facebook. If you archive emails or post newsletter content to your website, you can use your subject line or headline as the text for your tweet or Facebook post, with a link to the original piece.
If your newsletter contains multiple articles, break each issue into chunks and share one piece daily (or weekly) on social media. Almost effortlessly, you have multiple days' worth of content to feed your social media channels.
Social Media to Email
Social media can also be used to generate content for your newsletter and drive new subscribers to your list.
From a content perspective, if customers ask questions on a social media site (or you see a question whose answer would benefit your audience) use them and your answers as the basis for newsletter articles. Also watch for industry-related trends on your social media sites and comment on them in your newsletter.
If the idea well is either running dry or overflowing, ask your social media fans and followers for help. When ideas are running short, ask what they want to hear about. If you have too many ideas, ask which of the items you're considering resonates the most.
How do you get your social media audience to subscribe to your email newsletter if they're not already? Tease them. Let's say you own a hockey equipment store and land an interview with former hockey star Wayne Gretzky that you plan to publish in your newsletter. Post a note on your social media sites: "I scored an interview with Wayne Gretzky. Subscribe to my newsletter to read what he has to say."
By implementing even just a few of the simple tactics outlined above, you’ll reap the rewards of having an integrated marketing strategy.
If you want to dig deeper into the topic of social media or its integration with email marketing, check out these free resources from Constant Contact: