Today we’re going to discuss how to use social media and email marketing and why they are a fantastic pair! We recently took a survey of our customers and found that 89% of them use social media for their business. And 54% reported that time was the biggest obstacle for them in using social media for their business. We bet that many of you would say the same thing. So we want to make integrating social media and email as quick and easy as possible, while still getting great results. Today we are going to discuss: What is Social Media How to grow your business by using email marketing and social media We’ll also touch on the metrics you need to be tracking for your success, followed up by some best practices around email marketing and social media
Social media as you know is a web-based technology. It take the interactions of one to many much like email marketing, print advertising and radio advertising where we’re all talking AT our potential customers and turns these interactions into many to many meaning, you now have many people communicating to you, as well as taking your message and sending it to people who they know. Social media gives you the opportunity to personify your brand and interact with people on a more personal, relatable level. So what does this all really mean? It changes your customers from consumers to producers of content. You have essentially hired some of your customers for free by just joining social networks. With social media platforms you customers have been given an outlet to speak. And don’t be afraid, you want them to speak – you really want them to speak positively on your behalf. So the question is what can you do to enable that?
So I decided to focus on 4 social media platforms that are (1) easy to use, (2) in most cases free to use and (3) can get you on your way to boosting your business today. We recommend that people start out with two, usually Facebook and Twitter and then move on to others.
So let’s talk Twitter anatomy. Sign up for a Twitter account with a clever name for your biz. As you can see, VerticalResponse is a long name and was too much to fit into Twitter’s Character limit. We opted for a shorter name ( or Twitter Handle) VR4SmallBiz, because that’s really what our Twitter account is for: educating our customers and being a resource for small businesses. After you create a Twitter handle, be sure to upload a relevant profile photo. This is a crucial step in making your account legitimate. People will not be able to recognize you company and they might not follow you without a photo. This is a screen shot of the new Twitter. We have our account stats on the right and our profile with the list of our Tweets on the left.
So let’s start with Twitter. The first thing you’ll want to do is sign up for a Twitter Account. Make sure you use your company name, or a name that your followers will recognized. Twitter does have some limitations around size, and some times accounts are already created for a specific name you would like. For example VerticalResponse is one letter to long for a Twitter handle. We decided on VR4SmallBiz – we thought about what we wanted to do with Twitter, and one of our main goals was to be a resource for our small business customers. We also have a Twitter account dedicated to our customer support team, and that handle is SupportVR. When you are setting up your profile make sure your description tells visitors to your page about your business and be sure to update your profile photo, some people will not follow users that do not have a profile photo. Next you will want to build up the number of followers you have. Post your Twitter handle on your site, in your email marketing campaigns, on your business cards, and in the signatures of your personal emails. You can see a great example of this on the right hand side were Due Maternity, a maternity clothing site prominently displays their “follow” links right on their blog. Next, use applications ( they are easy to find and set up) to connect your Twitter updates to your Facebook Page, on your blog and even on LinkedIn. This way you can reach the people that are finding you on other social platforms. The best way to get and maintain followers to to tweet valuable content. Don’t be too promotional, while it is important to tweet messages that pertain to your business, it is also important to tweet content from other sources that has value to your followers. We often tweet and retweet updates and blog posts from Mashable, CopyBlogger and others. They are full of valuable tips, that we pass along to our followers. It’s a great way to keep people engaged and by being an industry resource and providing value to our followers.
Twitter and email marketing are a great team. After you launch your email marketing messages post an archived version to Twitter. Many times your subject line is a perfect tweet. But make sure to think about who your twitter followers are. You might want to add something about your business in your subject line so that you can acquire new followers and new newsletter subscribers. For instance, if you a promoting a special or sale, you could say 15% off and Free Shipping on Email Credits. Rather than just “15% off and Free Shipping”. The screenshot on the right show you just how easy it is to do this from within your VerticalResponse account. We automatically pull your subject line into this text field, but you can also freely make edits to it or even write a completely new Tweet. I also recommend adding keywords to this Tweet or Hashtags. Hashtags are those pound symbols that you see all over Twitter. They are a user-generated device and they work to organize tweets by theme, topic or Keyword. You simply affix a word to the hashtag and add it to your tweet. For many of our tweets we add the hashtag #emailmarketing or #emailtip. Then people following these hashtags on Twitter will see our tweets and hopefully follow us. You can look up hashtags that pertain to your industry at Hashtags.org or Trendistic.com. It is a great way to get your tweets to be seen by users that are not following you. When you social share your emails, you can post it to either Twitter, or Facebook or both! You’ll then be getting your email marketing campaign in front of many more potential customers that aren’t on your list. While I have this picture up I also want to point out the archived link. It is on the top of this image. You can copy and paste this image to promote your newsletter anywhere, including on your website, blog or to your Facebook Page and LinkedIn profile. It is a great link to have when you are trying to get people to opt-in to your newsletters, because then potential subscribers will know exactly what to expect.
Anatomy of Facebook: Here is an overview of our Facebook page. – Next Slide for close up.
Here is a closer shot of our Facebook Page. This is our Wall. There are tabs with info about VR, an Opt-In form for the VR Buzz, a Photos Tab, and more. On the left is a box called Facebook Insights. This is only visible to account administrators ( you can delegate this in the settings) and it shows the amount of Active Users, Daily Likes, New Posts and Post Feedback ( like comments).
Here is the left hand panel of our Facebook Page. You can see who our “Friends” are– these are permission based connections and people have to request to be our friend, just like a individual Facebook profile. Below are the “Likes” for our Business. These are the people who have visited our Page and liked us, anyone can do this. You want to get people to to like your brand as possible because it gains credibility and cache.
Moving forward – onto Facebook. In the recent survey that we mentioned earlier, we found that 25% of our Small Businesses use FB as a marketing tool. Getting on that bandwagon is really easy. First, set up a Facebook page for your Business. You do have to have a Facebook profile in order to have a Fan page. But, it is likely you already have a Facebook Profile. Use the connections you already have: invite your friends from your Outlook or whatever email application you use, as well as connections from your personal Facebook profile. You’ll also want to post to your Page any blog posts that you publish, any company news or industry news you come across. If you have a blog it is very easy to set up an RSS feed on Facebook and also link your Twitter account to update your Facebook Page.
So, what makes pairing Facebook and Email Marketing a success? You can post a newsletter optin form on your Facebook Page. Here is an example of our optin form on the FB page. We also include some information about WHY people should subscribe. This is also a good place to say that you offer “email only” deals to really encourage people to connect. Next, update your Facebook Page with your emails. We make this easy with your VR Account. Remember earlier when we talked about the “hosted version” of your email? You will want to post a link to this hosted version on your wall with your subject line and a short and interesting summary of the email to get people to read it. And don’t forget to include a link to your opt-in form in your email marketing campaigns, for anyone who reads your email that may not be opted in. Include your Facebook links in your email marketing campaigns. And now that you are on Facebook, send an email campaign to all of your customers telling them to Like you on FB. You can even include a special offer , like “ Like us on Facebook and get 20% off your next order” or something like that. Also, it is helpful to promote your Facebook page frequently and give your email subscribers a special incentive to connect with you.
Now let’s move onto LinkedIn, this platform is used less for consumer marketing like Twitter and Facebook and more for B2B marketing. If you don’t have a profile on LinkedIn you should create one, it’s easy and free. I’d fill out as much information as possible in my profile. It helps people find you searching by company or industry. Also it helps to make viable connections when you fill out as much information. You can also add connections by searching for companies you’ve worked for or classmates, business partners etc. LinkedIn can help guide you through this as long as you add the companies you’ve worked for and the schools you have attended. You can also search for people by email address. Once you have connections, join LinkedIn groups that share your interest or pertain to your business, it is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals and even find new customers and leads. For example, I am part of a group called the “ E-Marketing Association”. After you are acclimated to groups, I suggest creating your own group that pertains to your business. We have Small Business Marketing With VerticalResponse Group. It is a great way to discuss marketing tips and tricks and answer questions about VR. To take Linkedin to the next level, easily link your blog, Twitter account, professional portfolio and more to LinkedIN profile and in your LinkedIn group. This is a great way to provide content to you connections and also people who are members of your group.
There are several effective ways to connect your LinkedIn presence with your Email Marketing. First, adding your LinkedIn to your personal emails is a fantastic way to connect with people. You can also add links to your profile or LinkedIn group to your business emails. Include popular topics from your group in your emails. You already know that people are responding well to this content and now you can share it with your email base and encourage them to participate in the group. One of my favorite discussions in the VR Group was from a member who asked everyone, “ If you had a marketing expert to help you for one day a week, what tasks would you delegate?” Everyone had some great ideas and it was really interesting for us to see what members of the group need help with so we can provide them with as much valuable content as possible. Additionally, invite members of the group to opt-in to receive emails, you already know they are engaged and they could be your best customers.
Here is our YouTube page known as VRTube.
Now let’s take a look at YouTube. Videos are a great way to get your message out there while personifying and giving your business some character. Try it out. Many times our customers don’t think they have a good idea for videos. But you can do almost anything with this visual marketing, even interviewing your customers or employees. Restaurants – Film a video of your chef making one of your most popular dishes. Real Estate Agents/Hotel Operators - Host a 360 degree virtual tour of the property or specific rooms. Software Companies – Recorded tutorials are a great selling tool!Manufacturers, Designers - Take a video of your work, how something is made or a story of how a customer uses your products. Non-Profit Organizations - Take a video of those who benefit from contributions and how it has helped them achieve! You don’t want to lose your customers part of the way through the video. We like to try and keep videos under 3-4 minutes. We often mention to include a call-to-action in your emails, but it also applies here. Give your customers something to do from your video. You might want them to visit your website to see more about the topic you filmed, to sign up for a newsletter or contest you may be running, or maybe check out specials you may be running. You’ll want to add tags to your YouTube videos, think of the keywords you use on Twitter and in your search . They’re likely the same tags you’ll use for your video. These might be your business name and industry terms. You do this so your video will show up in search results. When you create a YouTube channel many people don’t know that you can connect with friends there too. It helps to do this to build your own following. Make sure you link to your video from your blog or website so that your readers know to watch it on YouTube.
So how do you make videos and email marketing successful? We mentioned before that video is a great way to engage your audience! Make sure to share your videos in your emails and share this valuable content with your subscribers. You cannot actually embed videos in our email – they are just such large files that you can’t guaranteed your email would be delivered. We recommend that you include a picture of your video in the email, then have your recipients click through to it. It makes more of an impact that a text link. There is an example of a video we produced and this is a jpeg shot of it that could be included in an email.
If you don’t have a blog yet, it’s easy and in some cases free or very inexpensive for you to have one. Platforms like Wordpress and TypePad can get you there pretty easily. Blogs are great tool for building customer relationships. For Search Engine Optimization, Blogs are an indispensible to get indexed and show up in search results. Use keywords that pertain to your business in the post. For instance in each blog post we do, we link the term &quot;email marketing&quot; back to our domain verticalresponse.com. a result for that particular keyword, we&apos;re pretty high in the natural rankings for that phrase. If you sell hand-blown glass, you might want to link that phrase back to your home page. That being said, no one wants to read a blog that has been designed solely for SEO. You want to make sure that you are providing valuable content and actually attracting readers. Use your Blog Content for Social Media Platforms. When you have new content on your blog, use it as content there for them to publish to social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Also if you’ve created a video, you can publish this exciting news on your blog as well. Using your content in these ways is very time efficient. One blog post gives you enough content for part of your emails and your social media sites. Make your blog the place where your emails and social media come together.
Blogs and Email are a Great Way to Exchange Content. Use your blog to grow your email list and use your emails to encourage traffic to your blog. Link often from your emails to your blog and include an opt in form form on your blog. Here is an example of the VR Buzz, or newsletter. We include the top 3 blog posts of the week in every edition.
One great thing about all of this is that it’s completely trackable. With Twitter you can track how many followers you have, how many people you follow and you can look at your retweets, these are people that have taken your content and retweeted it to their followers. You can also tell how many people clicked on your Twitter links by using a URL shortener, like Bit.ly. For facebook, you can see how many fans or friends you have and how they are interacting with you with their comments, “likes” and updates. LinkedIn will give you your number of connections. And how many people have rated your answers to their questions as best answers. YouTube will give you the number of views on a video and you can see how many comments you have per video. You’ll also see how many friends you have. Blogs will give you number of visits to the blog over time, how many comments you have, how many people are following you through RSS and how many clicks you have on your post links. Email marketing will obviously give you number of opens, clicks and unsubscribes. I love to track how many people have opt-in in on your various social media outlets – to me these end up being the people that love you – and we see very high open rates from our email lists that we have created from our social media networks. But of course your real bottom line? Is really tracking if your sales are going up as a result!
So let’s talk about some social media best practices. Encouraging your customers to engage is important. If you cross promote your social media with your email campaigns you’re off to a great start. You need to be pushing your message with both mediums and getting your customers to subscribe to both and get them talking about you. Don’t be scared of showing off your brand. This is your chance to show what your brand really stands for. Bad reviews? No problem. It’s all about transparency here folks. It’s all about how you address the review. Confront it, then have an answer for it, try not to attack. You will get credit for your response. And you will be surprised at how many of your customers might jump in and try to answer questions too. Stay with it – This is important. Social media success is something that happens over time. You are not going to get 1,000 twitter followers over night. You’ll also want to take a moment out to highlight things other than your business. People want to know you’re human and your employees are human, not robots. People buy from people. Make sure, as we’ve noted you highlight where you are in the world of social media!
Many of you know, it’s a good idea to make sure your lists are opt-in. You don’t want to be sending email to people that don’t want it. Make sure you speak about the things your audience expects you to speak about. If your recipient signed up for offers about new tires, you don’t want to send them offers about movies. Kim gave a great dating analogy earlier - Make sure you communicate regularly. Subject lines are the most important thing you can think about in your email campaign. You can spend a lot of time getting the email to look right, but if your recipients don’t get the subject line, they’ll never see it. Pay close attention to what will get them to open. Your from label is the part of your email campaign where your recipient shook your hand and agreed to get your email. They look first to see who the email is from, then to see what the subject line is. They place their trust in you, the from label, so don’t let them down. You don’t need a bunch of marketing speak to write your email to your recipients. It’s a more relaxed medium so write like you speak. Be short, use bullets, remember they’re scanning for the good stuff so give it to them quickly.
This email is from a VerticalResponse Customer, ecomom. They promote a special offer for subscribers who like the brand on Facebook. You get a free gift for liking each brand. This is a great way to promote your social media presence and encourage people to engage. Also note their social media icons.
This email is from Borders and it makes a big statement. They take a screen shot of their Facebook Page with a clean and clear cut Call to Action with an incentive. Plus, they have the social share buttons prominently placed.
This is a children’s clothing line called Tea, they have a similar idea in mind like the previous Bprders email. Although it’s a little outdated with the terminology, the essence of why it works is the same. What’s great about this email marketing campaign is that they tell you WHY you should like them on Facebook: you will get exclusive offers, special promotions and you can enter the contest to win a $200 GC when you submit photos of their children in the Tea clothing, once a month. This one is great b/c it keeps people going back to their page. They pick a winner of a $200 gift certificate every month. You have to be a fan to enter. This should help spread word of mouth and keep people coming back.
Look up at the screen
Thanks for spending time with us, I think we’ll be posting this so you can get this information soon and we’ll email you with it. Another great use of social media and email marketing!
1. Making Social Media & Email
Kim Stiglitz @Stiggy1 & Poppy Thorpe @PoppyEliz
• What Is Social Media?
• How To Use Email Marketing & Social
• Metrics to Track For Your Success
• Best Practices
• Successful Examples
3. What is Social Media?
• Internet & Web-based
• People are Content
Consumers & Content
• Personifies a Brand
• Enables Interaction with
Customers & Prospects
Guess what percent of our customers are using
Social Media for their business?
4. Starting Out: Making the Most of
4 Social Media Platforms
Get Social With Two Social Media Platforms & Grow Your
• Get "Followers”
• Post Links To Your Twitter
Page On Your Website, In
Emails, On Business
Cards & Blog
• Connect Your Twitter
Updates To Your Facebook
Page, On Blog & On
• Don’t Be Too ‘Promotional’
ReTweet and Tweet
Content from Other
Post Links To Your Twitter Page In Emails, On
Business Cards & On Your Website.
• Twitter + Email Marketing = Little Effort, Big Reward!
• Tweet Your Emails
• VR Social Sharing
• Add Hashtags & Keywords
• Tweet “sign up to receive
“email only” offers – Then
Link To an Opt-In Form
Post a Link To Your Newsletter On Twitter With
Hashtags & Keywords To Reach New
• Get “Likes”
• 25% of Our Small Businesses Use FB
as a Marketing Tool
• Set Up a Facebook Page For Your Business
• Update With Blog Posts, Events, Company
News, Industry News, Videos & Photos
• Use Like Buttons On Your Website & Blog
• Include Social Media Links In Emails & On
People Spend Over 700 Billion Minutes Per
Month On Facebook
• Facebook + Email Marketing =
a Natural Match!
• Newsletter Opt-In Form On Page
• Post Your Subject Line with a Link To
The Hosted Version Of Your Email w/
an Opt-In Form Or Link In The Email:
So People Can Subscribe!
• Include Your Facebook Page Link
In Your Emails
• Send an Email Promoting Your Facebook Page
• Create a LinkedIn Profile
• Fill out lots of info!
• Add Connections
• Join Groups
• Create a Group Pertaining to Your Industry or Business
• Post Articles, Answer Questions & Engage With Members
• Have Your Blog & Twitter Feed Linked Directly To Your
• Automatically Pulls in Your Latest Blog Posts & Twitter
Create a Group on LinkedIn to make connections and
promote your business
• LinkedIn + Email
Marketing = Success
• Include Your LinkedIn
Icon In Your Emails
• Include Popular
From Your LinkedIn
Group In Your Emails
• Invite Group Members
Include Popular Discussion Topics In Your
• Get “Views”
• Feature Industry Trends, an Upcoming Sale,
Interviewing Customers, Etc.
• Keep It Short – No More Than 3-4 Mins.
• Include a Call-To-Action In Your Words
• Add Tags So You Can Be Found On
YouTube When Someone Searches
• Connect With Friends
• Upload It to YouTube – FREE
• Link To Your Video Or Embed It In Your Blog
People Respond To People; Use Video To
Personify Your Business!
• YouTube + Email
Marketing = More
• Include your YouTube
video links in all of your
• Use a JPEG image for
your emails so people
know it’s a video –
Video is interactive and can get you more clicks in your
email marketing campaigns.
• Start a blog –
• Frequently Update
• Provide Fresh & Useful
Content For Readers
• Use Blog Content To
Update Your Social Media
• Include Social Share Links
• Include Email Opt-In Form
Blogs are a great way to provide valuable content to your
• Blogs + Email
Marketing = Great Way
To Exchange Content
• Build Your List
• Add an Opt-In Form
To Your Blog
• Use Blog Posts For
Use email to help build a strong following for your blog.
15. Metrics To Note:
• Twitter - # Of Followers, # Of People You Follow, # Of
Mentions and # Retweets
• Facebook - # Of Likes, # Of Interactions (Insights)
• # Of “likes” On comments, # Of Comments Or
• LinkedIn - # Of Group Members & # of Connections
• YouTube - # Of Views, # Of Comments
• Blogs - # Of Comments, Traffic To Your Blog, # New
Email Marketing Sign ups, Clicks On Post Links
• Email Marketing - # Opens, Clicks, Unsubscribes,
New Email Registrants
Email Marketing + Social Media = The New “It
16. Social Media Best Practices
• Encourage Customers to Engage
• Growing a Good Following Takes
• Provide Valuable Content
• Answer Questions & Comments
• Retweet & Post Often, Recognize Social
Media “ Advocates”
• Connect Your Social Media Efforts To Your
17. Best Practices for Email
• Opt-in Your List
• Know Your Audience
• Communicate on a Regular
• Create a Strong Subject
• Establish Your From Label
• Be Personable
Email marketing is stronger than ever combined with