The special relationship between social media and email is similar to that of brightly-coloured clown fish and the sea anemone. It’s quite straightforward … the anemone doesn’t sting the clown fish … the clown fish aggressively protects the sea anemone’s (and its own) territory. The anemone catches and eats the food … the clown fish eats the leftovers – which in turn keeps their habitat clean. And, because its fins fan furiously while it whizzes around, the clown fish also improves water circulation. All in all, a very satisfactory relationship which allows improved survival of each party.
Social media and email
Social media (such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and the like) and email marketing have an equally symbiotic relationship. They both provide a means of sharing information in real time, through words, images, video, audio, links and attachments. To be successful, both require strong communication skills and interesting content.
So whether you want to use email to improve engagement on your social media activity, or use social media to highlight your latest newsletter or article and encourage your audience to read it – each can be used to support the other very effectively. And the end result is pure gold. This article focuses on b2b, but the same is equally true of b2c which will be covered separately.
Using email to support social media – case study
For example, if you are trying to get a message across or generate engagement from your social media activity, you can achieve a terrific impact just by sending personal emails to your contacts, connections, friends, followers, circles etc.
Last week I ran a poll on a few LinkedIn groups – nothing mind-blowing, I just wanted to get a rough feel for the longevity of a mobile phone number in relation to ‘contactability’ for a client’s telemarketing campaign.
In one group I wrote a personal email to each of my 1st connections asking them to vote, comment and / or like. The results so far are excellent, with a response rate of 94% in terms of 1st connection votes (within 5 days), of which 50% also commented and 15% shared.
In addition (or as a result) my LinkedIn profile was viewed 7 times more than normal, primarily by non-connections. These views were of greater relevance to my goals than the normal visitors who drop by. So the end result has been to gain not only information on a poll, but also high quality, relevant new connections. And this was simply because I was able to use email to interact with my strongest connections, who, by being decent enough to respond and share, encouraged others to do so too.
If implemented well, and as long as you don’t wear out your connections, friends, circles or followers, this tactic is effective across social media. It also benefits from being absolutely measurable, while increasing your reach, and driving that all-important engagement. Which takes you a long stride down that the path towards meeting your ultimate business objectives, whether they be as simple as brand awareness, information, charitable donations, sales, ROI or just contacts.
Using social media to promote your email marketing
So, you’ve finally put together your email newsletter. You’ve written, edited and/or uploaded the articles, included a couple of blogs, got your guest writer to write something meaningful, found some decent images or videos to support what you’re saying, written a case study or two – and it’s ready to go.
So you mail it out to your email list. But you’d like more people to read it, share it, and subscribe. So, there are several ways of doing so.
Firstly, add it to your profile. You just need to go to “Edit Profile” and you’ll find Publications – click on Add a publication, and follow the instructions.
You can do the same thing with your blogs – under Applications, add your blog to your LinkedIn profile. You can automatically upload each article just but including LinkedIn in the tags, and/or post it in your status bar with a brief note that pulls out the highlights and entices people to read.
Of course those techniques only work if people are viewing your profile. So the other way to increase your readership do it is to post your article in a LinkedIn group discussion.
But just posting a blog or newsletter link under Discussions is either effective nor engaging. It just smacks of self-promotion. At best there will be few if any comments (time is precious, and people have enough to do without looking at yet another blog link that is pretending to be a discussion); at worst it will be moved to Promotions and nobody will look at it in any case.
So you need to create a real discussion about the subject. And that discussion needs to be tailored to the Group into which you’re posting your link. Most effective is to provide a brief summary of the point of the article, and ask for views, feedback or comment. If you achieve comments, stay engaged with the discussion, thank people for commenting, and respond yourself to keep the debate going.
Oh, and it’s worth giving some thought to using email to support you in this. Perhaps start by emailing your closest contacts to ask them to help get the discussion moving … and you can equally do the same for them. The results should be beneficial, and it keeps the symbiotic circle going.
And it’s always quite special when humans operate symbiotically to help each other.
We’re all for sharing knowledge and information and enjoy a healthy debate, so if you have any questions, views, tips or knowledge, please just “reply” below. Or if you’d like to discuss any part of the article, or we can help you in any way, just let us know.
Victoria Tuffill – Partner, Tuffill Verner Associates – firstname.lastname@example.org
01787 277742 or 07967 148398.