Amp Up Your E-mail Marketing With Social Media
Social-media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are generating a lot of hype in the marketing and fundraising world as new ways of reaching and communicating with customers, members and donors. While this might sound a lot like the goal of e-mail marketing, social media is not a wholesale replacement for e-mail. Rather, social media can be used to complement an e-mail strategy by reaching out to donors wherever they happen to be and opening more avenues of communication with them.
A September 2009 report by the Nielsen Co. shows that people who are heavy users of sites like Facebook and Twitter actually use e-mail more than casual social network users do. Why is this? Social-media networks like Facebook allow you to set your preferences so an e-mail is sent whenever someone comments on something you post or on a friend's post that you may have commented on. You can also get notified when someone sends you a private message within the confines of Facebook. Similarly, Twitter sends an e-mail update every time someone new decides to "follow" you and when you receive a direct (private) message from another user.
For you, as an e-mail marketer, this presents some good news: All of this activity drives people into their e-mail inboxes. The more e-mail people get, the more they're going to be checking their inboxes. And the more they check their inboxes, the more chances they have to see your e-mail messages.
To most effectively strengthen your relationships, it's best to use social media in tandem with your e-mail marketing efforts. Here are eight ways to extend the reach of your content and act as a source of new information for your e-mail recipients.
Let the world know: 'We're on Facebook and Twitter!'
Once your accounts are established and you're comfortable using the social-media networks, begin telling the world about your new online presence. Add links to your social-media accounts to your e-mail newsletter and in your regular e-mail signature. Put the same links on your website and, if you have one, your blog, as well.