We are all spending an increasing amount of time reading blogs and participating on social networks. Research from Nielsen shows that globally, we spent 82% more time on social networks like Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook in December 2009 than we did at the same time a year before.
This increased interest offers great potential for marketers; by tapping into social communities you are geared up to reach a wide new audience through one of the most effective marketing tools – peer recommendations.
Email marketing provides you with a fantastic way to tap into your recipients social networks, but it won’t happen on its own. We’ve picked out four top tips on how to use your email marketing to encourage social sharing:
- Add sharing links – ‘Share this’ buttons have become common on most web content, so make sure you add them to your emails too! They allow readers to quickly and easily share material they find interesting with their social circle. Indeed, a recent study by Marketing Sherpa found that including sharing buttons on an email marketing message produced a 25% boost in reader interaction and a surge in inbound traffic from social networks
- Publicise your newsletter to social communities – When you send out your email newsletter, why not post the link to the web version on your Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook account. This will encourage your followers to read the message and, if you have a prominent ‘subscribe’ link in the email itself, they might even sign up
- Add a ‘follow us on Twitter’ link – As well as giving recipients the option to share newsletter content, make sure you publicise your social network accounts so that recipients that aren’t following you on Twitter for example can have the option to add you. This will help you deepen the relationship and will make it more likely that they will share future content with their network
- Encourage social media interactions – Where possible, try and encourage recipients to take actions on social networks. For example, could you use your email message to invite feedback on your latest product via Twitter or on Facebook. Or why not encourage your customers to submit pictures of them using your products on Flickr?
By creating a link between your social media marketing and your outreach via email, you can begin to join the dots between your separate strategies and use both forms of communication to support and increase customer retention and acquisition.