Or thereabouts. It was the heady, early days of social media, and we knew it was going to be big. Really big.
So big that … wait for it …
It was gonna kill email.
You remember, right? All the op-eds proclaiming the death of email? After all, we had Facebook and Twitter to keep us in the loop—might as well just cancel that Hotmail account and wipe that Outlook program right off your hard drive.
OK, now fast-forward to 2012 … and take a gander at your inbox. I think you’ll agree that, to paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of email’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Not only has email not disappeared in a cloud of smoke, but email and social have proven to be a match made in heaven—especially in the context of a robust content marketing program.
We’ve put together a few tips to help you make sure you’re getting the most out of both your email marketing and your social media strategy:
1. Use your social media to drive email subscriptions.
People who have agreed to follow you on Facebook or Twitter have already decided you’re good enough to date, so don’t miss the opportunity to take the relationship to “the next level,” i.e. joining your email list.
Action Item: Add an email subscription tab to your Facebook Page, and send out the occasional Tweet or LinkedIn update linking to the signup page on your website.
2. Use email to drive social traffic.
Facebook fans and Twitter followers come and go … but your email list is, and always will be, pure gold. These are the people who have agreed to allow you to deliver your content directly to their inboxes, so why not invite them to engage on the less-serious level of social media?
Action Item: Make sure your social links are part of all your email templates—not just your e-newsletters.
3. Don’t duplicate.
Be sure you’re offering different content on your email and social platforms; people always need to have an incentive to cross-connect with you.
Action Item: Segment your content strategy for email and social media; their content should be complementary, but never identical.
4. Do repurpose.
That said, you absolutely can repurpose ideas across platforms. For example, that quick tip you share on Facebook or Twitter can be fleshed out to create one helluvan e-newsletter story.
Action Item: Look through your existing content and you’re sure to find some opportunities for repurposing to fit different media.
So, those are our best practices for integrating email and social media—what are yours? Share your wisdom with us in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!
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