By integrating social media with email marketing strategies, marketers have endless ways to get creative with their campaigns. Consider using these tips to integrate social media into email to strengthen and expand a campaign's reach.
Cross-Promote to Build Your Audience
Email marketing and social media have a symbiotic relationship. When marketers incorporate links to social media in their email campaigns, they can help increase follower count and engagement across social platforms. Similarly, tweeting or posting links to email sign-up forms can help build mailing lists. It's become a standard practice for brands to incorporate share icons for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn into their email headers and footers. These make it easy for audiences to share links to articles or follow a brand on social media with a simple click.
More creative ways of integrating the two forms of communication include uploading email subscriber lists to Facebook and Twitter, or creating sign-up forms within social media sites to collect email addresses directly from social media pages. Another fun way to encourage customers to follow brands' social media pages is to offer an incentive -- for example, creating a private, password-protected Facebook or LinkedIn group for "top tier" members. Each channel can, and should, serve as a referral source directing existing consumers to additional channels for continued engagement.
Back to Basics: Use Social Media to Catch Users' Attention and Reach New Audiences
Consumer attention spans are shorter than ever before, and marketers should always look for new ways to stay relevant in today's cluttered, fast-paced and oversaturated market. Personalizing email lists through segmentation based on demographics or location is one great way to catch customers' attention. Marketers can also use snappy social media posts to capture the interests of those not subscribed to their brand's mailing list, whether it's through interactive Snapchat filters, witty Tweets or Instagram giveaways.
The key benefits to marketers using social media are expanded reach and heightened brand awareness. Every demographic has different preferred ways of interact- ing with their favorite brands. A survey by Campaigner found that 44 percent of millennials still prefer receiv- ing information about brands through email. However, there's no denying that social media has a large presence in consumers' minds. By using social media platforms to extend email marketing reach, marketers have a better chance of connecting with prospects more often.
Find the Right Fit: Use Platforms That Best Match Brands' Content
Using the right platforms for a brand can help skyrocket the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. Companies with more visual products will benefit most from taking advantage of Pinterest's layout. For example, florist shops can use the platform to showcase displays of the day, and photographers can use Tumblr or other visual blogs to present their portfolios. On the other hand, airlines or other customer service-focused businesses can capitalize on Twitter for sharing rapid-fire responses or updates on delayed flights.
Leverage each platform's strengths to drive home messaging points your brand wants to get across. Remember that email allows for bigger pieces of content to be delivered to a user's inbox, while social media can be used for sharing smaller, bite-sized snippets in the form of teaser pages, links to articles or sneak peaks.
Set Realistic Expectations: Remember that Success Doesn't Happen Overnight
One hurdle marketers face when integrating social media is setting expectations too high or too low. Some view it as a tool that will dramatically increase revenue, while others fail to see the value in adding it to their marketing strategy. The real answer lies somewhere in between. Social media programs need time to be cultivated and exist as part of an overall marketing strategy, but to succeed expectations must be set correctly and efforts must be applied based on those outlooks.
Don't underestimate the power of integrating social and leveraging different platforms for different content, and remember to keep brand consistency in mind. Think of social media and email marketing as two different -- but complementary -- tools to use, as opposed to two siloed channels.
By using a variety of social media platforms that align with the brand, marketers can expand their brand's reach to new audiences and stay connected with loyal existing customers as well. Keep these tips in mind to create a stronger and more effective marketing strategy.
About the Author:EJ McGowan is the VP & Managing Director at Campaigner.
EJ McGowan, VP of Engineering for Glance Networks and Founder of Carpe Diem Software, is a highly experienced software professional with a career spanning over three decades. With a background in mini-computing and experience building major applications for microcomputers, EJ has a unique perspective on the evolution of technology. He was the architect for one of the first SaaS applications and now focuses on creating scalable and highly available applications for the on-demand marketplace. With a successful track record in building and leading development organizations and sales and marketing teams, EJ is a valuable asset in the software industry.