World 2.0: Two of a Kind

The immense popularity of social networks, and the meteoric rise in the last few years of social media marketing, is an exciting new direction for public relations and marketing. But in spite of the many extraordinary opportunities in social media marketing, one drawback is the speed with which one can be forgotten. Even the social-media savvy may struggle to stay in front of and remain memorable in the minds of their friends, followers, connections and fellow group members.

The truth is that being an active and diligent social media marketer—posting and participating with consistent frequency—does not guarantee that your messages are going to be seen by everyone you would like to reach. And that’s understandable…people are busy. Some log on to their social networks at different times of day than when you happen to be on, others get involved only sporadically, while some group participants may only check in to see what’s happening in their group every few weeks.

Combine Efforts
A solution for this dilemma is to support social media marketing with traditional e-mail marketing activities. This one-two punch is a very valuable approach: social media marketing will increase your e-mail list by thousands and those on the list will continuously receive newsletters that carry your message.

Unlike social media efforts, at the very least you know that everyone on that mailing list sees your e-mail in his or her inbox. Some read and respond with feedback or request information, while others may forward it to their friends and colleagues.

For example, my newsletter helps my social media contacts remember me, and this has led directly to many new business relationships. Indirectly, I frequently receive referrals from the members of my opt-in list. And I always enjoy the times when someone from my list, who has been quietly receiving my e-mails for years without responding, finally reaches out to me.

That is the real reward of combining your e-mail and social media marketing efforts.

Can’t Miss Solutions
So, how do you increase your newsletter list by harnessing the power of social media? Use these four can’t-miss tips to build your opt-in list:

1. Join targeted groups and post effective discussions. Within your social networks, carefully choose the groups in which you will participate with an eye on groups that are active and contain your target market. You should post discussions with short and interesting headlines or pose a question to your audience and close with a statement soliciting feedback. When readers comment, your post will remain at the top of the group list where more people can see it.

2. Make your website is “opt-in” friendly. Make sure your opt-in form is prominent throughout your website, with a message telling visitors that when they sign up for your list they will receive store or gallery updates as opposed to spam.

3. Be direct…but not too often. If you have a valuable incentive to offer, such as a sale or special event, occasionally post updates inviting your friends and followers get in on it. However, keep in mind that you are treading a thin line with this type of post, so make sure they are infrequent and are mixed in with many posts that are completely non-promotional in nature.

4. Be consistent in your social networking. The key to making points 1–3 really work lies with you—by staying active in your networks and groups. In order to reap the rewards of these strategies, post often and wisely, and pay attention to your group members.

Participation in social networks can be enjoyable and rewarding, so start posting and have fun!

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