One of the first ways to create a marriage between social media and e-mail marketing is to add so-called 'social sharing' functions to your e-mail like the ones AddThis offers. It is an easy first step in an integrated interactive marketing strategy, but social sharing tools are not always used correctly.
Therefore, before linking your e-mail and social media marketing in a more advanced manner, it may be best to first read these content- and customer-centric tips for spreading your e-mail content via social networks and services.
In fact, maybe spreading is not the best word to use because, naturally, the recipients of your e-mail share and spread. Do you have any real control over this? If you concentrate on the essence and 'best practices', you will definitely acquire a larger effect. Furthermore, after the necessary experiments and analysis, you will undoubtedly have more control over the process than ever considered possible.
The use of 'social sharing' applications (SWYN or Share-With-Your-Network) in e-mail marketing is increasing noticeably. Some companies hesitate because they fear that the traffic to their sites or blogs will be affected. This fear is unjust and is mainly due to an exaggerated focus on clicks and on short term. However, shared content also leads to very relevant traffic with a permanent influence. Finally, it has a very important impact on SEO and branding.
Time for the three ' social sharing' in e-mail tips:
1. Don't think of the content first
This tip may surprise you. Isn't it the content that has to be "worth sharing" in the end? Obviously, but this is not the first step. The most important is the identification of your target groups, which social networks they use, what makes them share content and what type of content they prefer. This can be learned by conducting surveys, social media monitoring, web analytics and having a cross-channel and integrated closed loop of data, content and interactions. However, you can also look at what type of content your subscribers 'forward' via conventional FTAF applications (Forward-To-A-Friend). Sharing is sharing. Notice, however, that the context and circumstances of sharing via e-mail vary from sharing via social media.
2. Develop a content strategy and focus on the ability to share and on social behavior
The first job of the content in e-mail marketing is to encourage action. That may be downloading a discount coupon, registering for an event and much more. The integration between social media and e-mail doesn't mean that you should suddenly abandon conversion rules and objectives. It is, however, important, depending on your e-mail list and the type of e-mails that you send, to develop a smart content strategy. You could, for example, include links to your blog posts or to peer reviews in a newsletter. It is crucial to ensure that your content is set up in such a manner that it is worth sharing AND at the same time encourages action. People have to want to read AND share. A good example is discounts which everyone likes and, which are gladly shared with others if it brings them social appreciation by their peers. Make use of that desire people have to share.
3. Think about alternative kinds of content
If a text or promotion is really worthwhile, people will gladly share it further via their social networks. However, also look at this from another perspective. What kinds of content do invariably well in social media? Infographics, valuable slideshare presentations, online video, you name it. When drafting e-mail newsletters you should always check what kinds of shareable content you can include. As mentioned in the previous point this may be a blog post, but there are much more possibilities. An infographic is easy to include, but a slideshare and certainly an online video requires a little more crafting. You can, for example, include a screenshot with your online video and the "play" button. When people click on it, they are directed to the video. Naturally, this is not sharing e-mail content in a strict sense. But including illustrations and blog posts that are worth sharing, is.
Efficiently using social media to improve the relevance of marketing and communication programs
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Summary : The hottest topic in marketing and communication is without any doubt social media marketing. Although many businesses are still testing the waters, many others have successfully integrated social media in their marketing mix.