The wild world of social media and social networking has some folks throwing off plans to continue to use more traditional forms of lead generation and advertising in favor of the no cost, no hassle methods found in social networks like twitter.
Of course most are finding this strategy isn’t quite the silver bullet they had hoped for or been sold by the social media’s breed of snake oil salesman.
After the hype settles however, there is one approach that is getting very positive results, meaning leads and conversions, for small business owners.
That approach is the integration of email marketing and social media. By combining the awareness and reach that social media offers with the content and conversion that email offers, you can more effectively turn your social media activity into revenue and transactional activity.
Before I dive into specific applications let me set the table for why this combination is such a powerful approach.
The culture of social media is a non-selling one; attempts to blatantly make offers are sometime even met with hostility. Email, on the other hand, has always been a transactional environment – odd as it may seem, the same person who may be offended by your pitch on your blog might welcome your discount coupon through email.
What this means is that you should focus some percentage of your social media creating awareness for your white papers, webinars, and bi-weekly newsletter. In this manner, your social media activity can also help build your email list. A large and engaged email list is far more valuable to most businesses than almost any amount of Facebook fans when it comes to monetizing your activity. (But, it’s the artful blending of the two I am speaking about here.)
In addition to actively participating in social media and earning the right to create awareness of your email content, the following tactics will help amplify your activities.
- Make sure the links to your social media profiles appear in all of your emails – you can add them as content blocks in your HTML newsletter and in the email signature of your individual emails.
- Archive your email newsletters online and make your primary content retweetable (using tweetmeme button) and then point to your newly archived content in tweets and status updates. Here’s an example using many of the elements discussed.
- Place newsletter sign-up forms on Facebook fan pages using FBML application and a bit of HTML coding. (Make sure this form also appears in your archived newsletters.)
- Offer an email subscription option for your blog’s RSS feed and get permission to add these folks to your email newsletter.
- Tease abstracts of your primary newsletter or white paper content on your blog from time to time, pointing to the full content through a list building landing page.
John Jantsch is a marketing and digital technology coach, award winning social media publisher and author of Duct Tape Marketing.