In Part 1 of this column, we examined some reasons and benefits of connecting your email and social programs. In this, Part 2, we offer some quick tips related specifically to how to integrate email and each of the major social properties.
Facebook offers fertile ground for email/social integration; everything from testing subject lines or Facebook ad headlines to testing images or colors, offers, or content. And it works both ways. Test in email, roll out in Facebook, or test in Facebook and roll out in email. Both will be valid approaches under particular circumstances relating to budget, timeframe, population size, and makeup.
When something really strikes a chord with your Facebook audience, that is a definite flag to share it out in other channels. Watch for content with a lot of likes, shares, and comments and include that content or further evolved versions of that content in future emails.
Definitely use your status updates to tease upcoming emails - especially if you have an offer or promo. Provide a link so users can sign up for email if they are not already on the list.
Pinterest is about visual and video content curation and sharing. It has enjoyed spectacular growth in the past year and has been a terrific sales and traffic driver for many retailers. Let the Pinterest audience help you determine which images resonate with people interested in your brand and test these images in your email campaign. Also, consider integrating comments from popular pins.
LinkedIn is primarily a professional networking channel, so avoid the hard sell and participate in discussions or offer valuable content with a prominent opt-in. Be sure to include an email signature to allow users to find you as you engage in discussions or offer insights or information.
Location-based marketing campaigns are sometimes tied to specific travel events. If you have an event coming up, use email to alert your list of your plans on Foursquare and ask them to join you either digitally or in person.
Twitter is all about micro-content curated by followers and identified by hashtags so new followers can find the appropriate content. Make sure you use those hashtags and include a shortened (bit.ly) link to alert and track the activity of those who might be interested in your content.
Put a "tweet this button" in the email to share the content.
Occasionally tweet requests for followers to join your email list. Sweeten the deal by offering previews, special content, or incentives.
Test subject lines as your tweets using links you can track to see which tweet gets the most traffic.
Using Google+ provides Google search rank benefits, so growing your fan base is important. If your audience is receptive to social media, include sharing features and a button to add your brand to a circle in order to increase your email marketing's effectiveness. And, of course, including additional options for subscribers to share your content will help amplify your reach.
The social sphere is rich with opportunities to connect your email marketing and distribute your content among influencers armed with sharing tools. Be sure to use social to pump up your email results and email to connect back to your fans and followers.
What tactics have you used to improve the connections and effectiveness of your email and social programs?
Robin is the CEO and cofounder of NetPlus Marketing Inc., a top 50 interactive agency established in 1996 to focus exclusively on online marketing and advertising best practices. Robin brings innovative strategy and a depth and breadth of marketing experience to the agency's practice and management. As one of the industry's pioneers, she is a driving force behind NetPlus Marketing's ongoing success with a diverse and discerning client base that considers online results critical to their business success.
Robin is a frequent speaker at national industry events, including ClickZ, internet.com, OMMA, Ad:Tech, SES, Online Marketing Summit, and Thunder Lizard conferences and is a sought-after resource for industry and business publications for her insight and advice on such topics as digital strategy, social media marketing, and behavioral targeting.