Are you using social media to promote your email marketing efforts? Are you using your email marketing to promote your social media efforts? The easier you can make it for people to go between the two, the more connections and touchpoints you’ll forge. Here are 9 tips to help you do just that.
Promote your Email Newsletter on your Blog
Feature your email newsletter on your blog and provide a way for your blog readers to subscribe to it. Promote it in the sidebar of your blog near the top of each page. Be sure to include a link to a sample issue.
Link to your Blog
Somewhere in your email—either in the sidebar, header, or footer—promote a link to your blog. Have options for them to subscribe to the blog, either through RSS or via email. That way you can gain people as both email and blog subscribers. Not only does this give you two media through which you can reach your contacts, but it provides a back-up conduit, in case people for some reason unsubscribe from your email or your email is later blocked (e.g., change in recipient’s spam filtering).
Link to your Social Media Profiles
Put links to your social media profiles in your email marketing. Email marketing goes out whenever you send it. But you’re not going to send it every day. Perhaps only once a month. But if you promote links to your social media profiles, email recipients can connect with you on LinkedIn or Facebook, or discover and follow you on Twitter, where you can have additional and more frequent touchpoints.
Post Email Content to Your LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media sites for people in the B2B realm. Assuming your email marketing content continues on your site, you should promote that content in the LinkedIn groups to which you belong. Members of LinkedIn groups choose to get either a daily or weekly digest of activity within the group. That activity includes members’ postings of news, discussions, and other information. If you have good content that continues on your site, you should submit that content and its URL as a news or discussion item within relevant groups.
In posting to LinkedIn groups, you can link to either the web version of your newsletter or to individual stories within it. Either way, however, you want readers to understand that the content came from an email newsletter and they can subscribe to it. For that reason, it may be best to link to the web version of the email. Just make sure the web version has a clear and obvious button that allows readers to subscribe. Also, if you’re trying to point people to, let’s say, the third story in the web version of your email newsletter, be sure to insert named anchors in the web version and use URLs with named anchors as links to that content. That way, people who click through won’t have to figure out which of the four articles in your newsletter you’re trying to reference. In posting to LinkedIn groups, however, remember to also post and cite others’ content. It’s good social media etiquette. If all you do is promote your own content, you’re really not contributing to the group. You’re simply using it as a sales platform. People can easily see the difference.
Post Great Content to Forums & Bookmarking Sites
If you have really good content, be sure to submit that content to relevant forums in which you participate and to relevant social bookmarking sites. Don’t submit marginal content that will disappoint those who click through to it. Again, as noted in the previous tip, make sure those who do click through understand the content came from an email, and they can subscribe to it.
Provide Social Bookmarking Options
Give your subscribers an easy way to submit your content to socialbookmarking sites, like Digg, Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Mixx, Yahoo Buzz, and Propeller. These are general bookmarking sites, but there may also be some B2B sites specific to your industry. Include social bookmarking icons at the bottom of your content that continues on your site. If your content comes from your blog, an easy way to provide these options is through plug-ins, such as Sociable for WordPress.
Tweet your Newsletter to your Followers
If you post a publicly accessible html version of your email newsletter on your site, be sure to tweet new editions to your followers on Twitter. Be sure to tag the shortened URL you tweet so you properly attribute the source of traffic to that page. Many Twitter clients don’t pass along the referrer string. Unless you tag the shortened URL, any click-through from Twitter clients like TweetDeck will show as direct load instead of visits referred from your email.
Tweet with Hashtags
If you tweet editions of your email newsletter on Twitter, be sure to use hashtags when appropriate. Hashtags are a way of tagging your tweets so others can follow tweets relating to a particular topic. For instance, in TweetDeck, you may want to set up a column to track all the tweets with the #b2b hashtag. In doing so, you can track all tweets that include #b2b within the 140-character tweet, regardless of whether you follow those users.
WeFollow.com lets you search for hashtags and lets you see how many people have indicated on WeFollow.com that they follow a particular hashtag. You can also see how many followers are following those people. For instance, we went to WeFollow.com and searched for the hashtag #b2b. As of today, there are 257 Twitter users who have signed up as following #b2b. (There are likely many more, but this is the number registered at WeFollow.) It also shows that these 257 Twitter users have, in total, more than 250,000 users following them. Note: There certainly is duplication of followers, so the cumulative number of unique followers will be less than that 250,000, but it’s still a big number.
Well, you can do the math. You tweet something that includes the link to the web version of your newsletter and a relevant hashtag. Five people following that hashtag retweet your tweet. Those five people have 200 people that follow them. And so on. As people click through to your site, they have an option to sign up for your email newsletter—and they may also follow you on Twitter. All this, however, is predicated on having great content that someone wants to read and retweet.
A few things to remember. Make sure the hashtags you use are relevant to your content. Tweet different content to different hashtag followers when appropriate. Sometimes you might tweet the same content to different hashtag followers and adjust your tweet for relevancy to that audience. Lastly, don’t load up a tweet with four or five hashtags. It looks spammy.
Let Subscribers Easily Tweet your Content
Provide recipients with a way to easily tweet your newsletter or any article within it simply by clicking a button. The easier it is to do, the more likely they are to tweet it. Plus, the mere presence of a button will spur them to think about tweeting your content when they otherwise may not have considered it.