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August 26, 2011

4 Ways to Use Email to Increase Followers and Expand Social Media Reach

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followersEmail subscribers can be ambassadors for your brand, helping you gain new social media fans and followers spread your content far beyond your existing audience. Thanks to simple widgets provided by your email service provider or the social networks themselves, it’s easy to connect people directly from your email messages to your social networks.

Here are four ways to use email to increase your social media followers and expand your reach.

1. Include 'Follow Us' Buttons

Add 'Follow Us' buttons or links for each of your social networking accounts (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) in the sidebar, header, or footer of your email templates.

When fast-food chain Chik-Fil-A used this technique to promote its Facebook
fan club to its email subscribers, it grew its Facebook fans from 25,000 to 1
million in less than a year, according to a MarketingSherpa case study.

2. Add Social Sharing Buttons

Add social sharing buttons to each article or link in your email messages that allow subscribers to share that content  (e.g. the “Tweet This” button, Facebook’s “Like” button, LinkedIn’s “Share This” button, and now Google's +1 button).

Using social sharing buttons in email messages results in a 30% higher click-through rate (CTR) on average, according to a study by GetResponse. The study also found that the more sharing options you provide, the more activity you’ll generate. Messages with three or more social sharing icons generated a 28% higher CTR than messages with one icon and a 55% higher CTR than messages with no social sharing icons.

3. Include Content From Your Social Media Presence

Include content from your social networks in your email messages to entice email subscribers to become social media fans and followers, too. Look for any opportunity to show email subscribers the value of connecting with your brand through multiple channels. For example:

  • Highlight an individual as “fan or follower of the month”
  • Feature the best discussions or comments from Facebook or LinkedIn in your email newsletters
  • Alert email subscribers to recent social media-only promotion or contest winners

4. Add Links to Social Accounts in Email Signatures

Include links to your all your social network accounts in your email signatures. That way, even your employees’ personal email communications can help grow your social media audience.

By making it as easy as possible for subscribers to share your email content, you can reach new prospects by tapping into the massive reach of users’ personal networks. According to a case study from email service provider StrongMail, the online personal finance site Mint.com used social media-enabled email messages to ask existing customers to refer the service to their friends on various social networks. More than 10% of the recipients of the message shared that offer with an average of five friends each, and those invitations generated a 61% click-through rate. In the end, the site signed up one new user for every 2.6 clicks.

Are you using email marketing tactics to complement your social media marketing efforts? In what other ways can you use email to expand your reach?

This article is a modified excerpt from one of our newest ebooks, "The Definitive Guide to Integrating Social Media and Email." Download your free copy here.

integrating-email-and-social-ebook

Topics: Email Marketing Social Media

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