The world seems to be all about social media now: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, LinkedIn, Flickr…so many social networks! So many places you’d love to connect with via your email marketing program!
Go social with email, yes! And have more success when you’re clear on your goals before starting.
What is the purpose of social media marketing? For your business it’s most likely two-fold. On the one hand, you’re deepening customer engagement with your social media presence, particularly if you’re a B2C email marketer with a Facebook page.
On the other hand, social media marketing can lead to discovery too. Just as search engine optimization gets you “discovered” when someone is searching for an answer to a problem online, social sharing can get you “discovered” when people tell their network about your company or product.
Obviously people won’t share just anything you send out. Email marketing best practices help you to offer content worth sharing.
Before that, however, comes setting up your social program in the first place. When integrating social into your email marketing program, be clear on your purpose and goals. You’ll be more successful if you are, and you’ll make a smarter ESP choice as well.
In our experience as a vendor-neutral email marketing vendor reselling ESPs, we’ve noticed email service providers take differing approaches to social media marketing and the sharing tools they offer as part of their ESP platform. Social sharing might mean one thing to the first ESP you talk to and something else altogether when you talk to the next ESP. The only way to know if their definition matches yours is to get yours figured out first.
If your social marketing initiative is simply a “Like” button integrated into your email design, your needs are less than a business that has identified say 10 social networks they want people to be able to post to. (That said, don’t offer 10 different social sharing options if your audience doesn’t use them.)
Also be sure to have a plan for tracking social sharing and measuring its effectiveness. That’s definitely a question to cover with your potential ESPs!
For other factors to consider when shopping for a new ESP, download the 2011 guide to choosing a new ESP today.