E-mail is a great way to stay in touch with your audience. In a multi-channel world, it does pay to extend those contacts beyond e-mail and interact with them on social channels as well. This poses a challenge: How do I use my current email relationship to connect on social? In short: How to gain more social juice, more Fans and Followers via email?
Full contact across channels
You can think of your social media channels as your outposts; each can be a place to interact with your audience. In an ideal world you would be in full contact with your audience across multiple touchpoints and channels. Not that you should think that “gaining X number of likes” is a goal itself. But to stay in touch, participate and take a (small) step towards the sale each time you communicate on social can be that little extra push.
As you probably guessed, your social media outposts aren’t going to fill themselves with an active and roaring crowd, they need a bit of attention and the only way is to actively market your marketing.
Why the connections matter
Encouraging social sharing and getting people to sign up for your email list from a social channel are ways to integrate your email with social. But those are something for another day. Let’s first focus on getting your email list members to also become your fans and followers.
The dedicated “join us on social” email
Especially when you are starting out in social media or are adding a new channel like for instance Pinterest, Youtube or Linkedin into the mix, you would like your current e-mail subscribers to also be active on other channels.
Look at this very nicely designed example of a dedicated “join us on social” email by Pottery Barn. It promotes all their social channels via e-mail. The mail is certainly geared to connecting on multiple channels.
Give reasons to become social enthusiasts
Unless you are a highly loved brand, it is not enough to just say “join us on social”, you have to explain the value of doing so. Pottery Barn tells us that we can get inspired, stay up to date on exclusive offers, new products, style tips and more.
That is one of the takeaway tips, Pottery barn gives multiple reasons to join them on social. Be sure to think about what you will offer your email crowd in those social channels that they can’t get via email. You don’t want your social media content to be exactly the same, mimicking your email content, that could end up being a turn-off.
Test and make it more concrete
Social is often used for easy webcare contact, but that might not be a very appealing reason on its own. The Pottery Barn example is a good start, but be more concrete about what you are doing on social. And do some email split testing with that to refine your ”social sell” even more. So for instance, stating “Get a daily style tip” and “Join our weekly contest” makes it more concrete and therefore often more appealing.
Dedication to social can scare some off
A dedicated email isn’t always advised though, you should weigh your presumed recipient interest against the expected gain. If the interest is too weak, you might want to combine the social message with another message.
One of the ways to get all your new subscribers to become aware of your activities on social is to include it in your welcome email or as part of a welcome email series. Just like Target did in this example below. You see that they used the top of the email to promote mainly Facebook, but then continued the message with other products (and social channels).
Incentives: “Like and Win”
Another way to grow your social audience via your email list is by offering incentives. This way the actual “liking” or following gets rewarded. So you could give away a generic incentive like an iPad, appealing to almost everyone (who doesn’t have it yet) or an Amazon gift card (everybody wants those). But a more specific incentive that goes with your audience can definitely work better. The “like to win” doesn’t have to be limited to your own email audience either.
Include Social Icons in Your Emails
One of the easiest ways to “go social on your email list” is to include Social Media icons or links to your social media channels. These can be added to each one of your emails and can be done quite un-intrusive, if you give the structure of your email message some thought. Most often you can find them in footers or headers. While these might not be the biggest clickmagnets, they do contribute to awareness and show that you are active on those channels.
What are your ways to get your email subscribers talking on your social channels?