Whitepaper social mediamarketing


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Whitepaper social mediamarketing

  1. 1. { Social Media Marketing An Introduction for Email Marketers { Peter Ghali - Senior Product Manager Copyright © 2011 iContact Corp. | www.iContact.com/whitepapers
  2. 2. { Social Media Marketing } This white paper provides practical advice and key strategies for beginners looking to incorporate email marketing with social media marketing. Introduction Sending and receiving emails is easy and free. We do it all the time with our personal email accounts. With more than 600 million users on Facebook and more than 175 million users on Twitter, social media is also easy to use and free. However, once you cross the bridge from email to email marketing, there are suddenly best practices to consider. The same thing can be said for social media marketing. Email marketing and social media marketing should complement each other in growing your business presence and generating leads and customers. This paper is designed for you if you are familiar with email marketing and want to get started with social media marketing. Social Media Survey We recently surveyed 414 iContact customers to learn more about their challenges and goals with social media. According to the survey respondents, their largest social media challenges were lack of time, uncertainty about how to determine return on investment, and lack of knowledge about social media. Social Media Challenges 200 180 Survey Responses 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Lack of The learning There are too Unsure how to Lack of Monitoring tools Lack of time resources curve many tools determine ROI/ knowledge about don’t meet value social media all needs ChallengesCopyright © 2011 iContact Corp. | www.iContact.com/whitepapers Please don’t print me! 2
  3. 3. { Social Media Marketing } Social Media Applications Used 350 300 Survey Responses 250 200 150 100 50 0 Social Media Application For the purposes of this paper, we will focus strictly on Facebook and Twitter, which are the most commonly used social media networks among our survey respondents. The concepts and ideas in this paper, however, also apply to other social sites.Copyright © 2011 iContact Corp. | www.iContact.com/whitepapers Please don’t print me! 3
  4. 4. { Social Media Marketing } Social Media – Some Key Terms Before we dive into social media marketing, this section defines some of the commonly used Facebook and Twitter terms. Facebook • Facebook Page – Facebook Pages are associated with businesses and organizations. These used to be called Fan Pages. • Fan – A fan is someone who joins a Facebook Page by clicking the Like button for that page. They see updates from that Facebook Page in their News Feed. • Facebook Profile – This is a personal Facebook account. It is not recommended that you create a Facebook profile for your brand. • Wall – The part of a Facebook Page or Facebook profile where fans and friends, respectively, can post messages for anyone to see. • Like – When Facebook users click the Like button, they let their Facebook friends know they like particular content, and they give their friends an opportunity to read the content and click the link. This is analogous to a contact forwarding your company’s email to friends. • Comment – Facebook users can begin a conversation about a post by commenting on it. Twitter • Username – In tweets, you often see Twitter usernames preceded by @. Including this symbol creates a link to the user’s profile on Twitter. • Retweet – Twitter users can retweet a message to forward it to all of their Twitter followers. Retweets begin with RT. • Reply – A reply is a public response to a tweet. The Twitter username of the recipient begins the reply. • Direct Message – Commonly known as a DM, a direct message is a personal message sent to someone. It requires that both the sender and the recipient follow each other, and it is not publicly visible. The message begins with a D and is followed by the username of the message recipient. • Mention – A mention occurs when a Twitter user references your brand. Any tweet with your brand’s Twitter username is a mention. • Follower – A follower is someone who follows your brand on Twitter. Followers receive your tweets, so it is important to grow your follower count. • Hashtag – Hashtags include text following a #. Hashtags highlight keywords or topics in a tweet. Twitter users often search by hashtag to find all tweets related to a topic.Copyright © 2011 iContact Corp. | www.iContact.com/whitepapers Please don’t print me! 4
  5. 5. { Social Media Marketing } Anatomy of a Social Media Post One of the key takeaways from our recent survey was that there was a general lack of knowledge about social media (third-largest challenge) and that the learning curve was a bit steep (fifth-largest challenge). Let’s examine, then, sample Twitter and Facebook posts, using email marketing as a point of reference. Twitter Post Information about the content of the Link to additional information. link encourages people to click the link. Posts are not required to have In the email marketing world, this is links. Once clicked, this would be analogous to the email subject. analogous to the email body. Facebook Post Email marketers are used to having only Unlike email marketing, social media allows you a “from” name and “from” address for to include text that describes the content being their emails. On Twitter and Facebook, shared to facilitate searching for the content online. you also get a logo/image. So, for example, if someone was searching for #emailmarketing, they would see your content even if they were not aware of your other social media efforts.Copyright © 2011 iContact Corp. | www.iContact.com/whitepapers Please don’t print me! 5
  6. 6. { Social Media Marketing } As you can see in the above posts, the length of a social media post is much shorter than a traditional email. Twitter limits you to 140 characters, and although you can put more content in a Facebook post, it is still very different than email. One thing you’ll notice is that social media URLs are shorter than traditional URLs. There are services that can shorten traditional URLs for your Twitter and Facebook posts. Social Media – Key Tips to Keep in Mind Social media marketing and email marketing share many common traits that help businesses accomplish their goals. For example, both can do the following: • Help you grow your audience • Encourage prospects and customers to respond to a call to action (e.g., visit a website, sign up for a trial) • Help you fine-tune your marketing efforts by providing quantifiable results But there are some differences between social media marketing and email marketing that are helpful to keep in mind as you launch or fine-tune your social media efforts. Segmentation and Personalization One of your major goals as an email marketer is to deliver relevant messages to your recipients. The information that email subscribers provide—such as preferences and demographics—can allow for more advanced personalization and segmentation. This can drive better engagement with your email subscribers. With social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, however, there are very little organized data, such as purchase history or website visits, that a marketer can easily access. Deliverability The ability to deliver emails successfully to the inbox is critical to email marketing. Some email marketing solution providers have teams dedicated to maintaining high deliverability rates so that customers’ limited marketing budgets have the highest impact. These providers also work with customers to help them comply with CAN-SPAM regulations and to ensure that messages are not caught in spam filters. However, in the world of social media, there are no concerns or limitations regarding CAN-SPAM and deliverability. That doesn’t, however, give you carte blanche to go crazy with your social media efforts.Copyright © 2011 iContact Corp. | www.iContact.com/whitepapers Please don’t print me! 6
  7. 7. { Social Media Marketing } Ultimately, your fans and followers have very simple and effective methods for disassociating themselves from your brand. Not only that, but if you employ poor practices, you can create a social media backlash. So, while there are no government regulations about spam, there is the “court” of social media to consider. Real-Time Conversation Social media is a real-time, two-way conversation. There is an expectation that brands are responding to and interacting with their social audience in real time. It can be difficult to focus on the constant stream of content, but there are tools to help you monitor and respond to your customers on social networks. While you may feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of content and the real-time nature of social media, remember that you don’t always have to create your own content. It is more important to curate content that is helpful to your audience. There is so much valuable content out there; the art of separating the meaningful and beneficial will be helpful as you seek to increase your value to your social media audience. Email Marketing and Social Media There are several ways to integrate these two complementary marketing channels to help grow your audience. Here are a few ideas: Share Your Email on Your Social Network Once you have sent your email, you should use your social networks to share the news about your email messages. Here are a couple of examples of how you can use Twitter to promote your emails:Copyright © 2011 iContact Corp. | www.iContact.com/whitepapers Please don’t print me! 7
  8. 8. { Social Media Marketing } You can also use Facebook to share your message just by posting a link to it to your Facebook wall. Here is an example: Once one of your social media followers clicks on the link to view one of your messages, they can share your message with their social networks by clicking the social share bar at the top of the message. Combining your email and social media marketing extends your brand beyond your network to THE network. The illustration below captures the viral nature of social media:Copyright © 2011 iContact Corp. | www.iContact.com/whitepapers Please don’t print me! 8
  9. 9. { Social Media Marketing } Typically, when email marketers think about increasing the relevancy of their emails, they immediately jump to segmentation ideas. The reality is that by extending the life of your email and making it available to a broader social media audience, you are making your email more relevant. Adding Social Sharing to Your Email Using simple “share with your network” links, your subscribers can share with their friends specific links or pieces of content from your email. American Eagle Outfitters allows its email subscribers to like its email and to spread the word about its content. Here is how it looks when someone likes the email: When someone clicks this Facebook post link, they are taken to a web version of the email. From there, they can begin the purchase process or share the email with their network.Copyright © 2011 iContact Corp. | www.iContact.com/whitepapers Please don’t print me! 9
  10. 10. { Social Media Marketing } Here’s another slightly different example from MarketingProfs. In addition to links to share the issue on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, this email also has social media sharing options for individual content sections. Another way to drive social sharing is to make sure your website has Like buttons on pages that are linked from your email. Doing so gives those email subscribers or webpage visitors an opportunity to share your website content. Your email is a great opportunity to expand your social networking presence. Adding Like and Tweet buttons to your email gives your email subscribers the ability to share your email with their social networks. Remember, now that your email has extended its life beyond the inbox, it becomes your “ambassador” in the social media world. Using Your Email to Grow and Engage Your Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers Using your email as a way to encourage your subscribers to follow you on social networks is very easy to do, and it gives your email subscribers additional touch points with your brand. This is especially important if you differentiate your social media promotions and content from your email content. Many people follow brands on social networks to get special offers. Use your email to encourage that behavior.Copyright © 2011 iContact Corp. | www.iContact.com/whitepapers Please don’t print me! 10
  11. 11. { Social Media Marketing } Here’s an example from Urban Outfitters. At the top of the email, the company has included a Facebook Like button to make it very easy for its email subscribers to become fans of the brand. Here are more examples from well-known brands Saks Fifth Avenue and Gap: Saks Fifth Avenue Gap Note that Saks Fifth Avenue places its social media links at the top of its emails. Gap places its social media links at the bottom of its emails. As you can see from these examples, there are multiple ways to design your email to attract followers on social media sites. Which social media sites you want to include and where in your email to include those links is entirely up to you. Many email templates already have Facebook and Twitter icons that you can insert and point to your Facebook and Twitter pages. Once your email subscriber (or anyone, really) clicks those links, they will be taken to your Facebook and Twitter pages. From there, they can begin following your brand.Copyright © 2011 iContact Corp. | www.iContact.com/whitepapers Please don’t print me! 11
  12. 12. { Social Media Marketing } Using Your Social Media to Encourage Email Sign-Ups With so much time online being spent on social media sites, it’s important to let your social media audience know that you have an email list and to entice them to engage with your brand through email marketing. One technique is to put a sign-up form on your brand’s Facebook Page. Here are a couple of examples: Conclusion As noted in our survey of our customers, many email marketers want to improve their social media marketing. Hopefully, we have given you some ideas and perhaps a starting point for extending your email marketing “comfort zone” into social media. With just a little bit of work, you can start to realize the benefits of promoting your brand across both social media and email. About iContact iContact is a purpose-driven company based in Raleigh, NC, working to make email marketing and social marketing easy so that small and midsized companies and causes can grow and succeed. Founded in 2003, iContact has more than 300 employees and more than 700,000 users of its leading email marketing software. iContact also provides the event marketing platform Ettend. As a B Corporation, iContact utilizes the 4-1’s Corporate Social Responsibility Model, donating 1% of payroll, 1% of employee time to community volunteering, 1% of equity, and 1% of product to its local and global community as part of its social mission. iContact works hard to maintain a fun, creative, energetic, challenging, and community-oriented company culture. Follow us!Copyright © 2011 iContact Corp. | www.iContact.com/whitepapers Please don’t print me! 12
  13. 13. { Social Media Marketing } About the Author Peter Ghali (@pghali) has more than 15 years of experience in various engineering and management roles at companies such as Intel, Analog Devices, and Motricity. As a senior product manager at iContact, Peter leads the company’s social media and mobile initiatives, and launched iContact for Salesforce. In addition to email marketing, Peter has experience in delivering mobile marketing and e-commerce solutions to market.Copyright © 2011 iContact Corp. | www.iContact.com/whitepapers Please don’t print me! 13