Have you heard the news? Social Media is the “only”, “new”, “best” way to market your goods and services. Find a niche, tweet your brand, get a zillion likes and publish pictures, preferably pictures of your smiling employees holding puppies. For some organizations, this works… especially if you’re a well-known brand, such as televised chocolate-coated peanut.
Typically, the “Social Media Arena” for well-known brands isn’t about the initial sale, it is about brand awareness. Social media allows people to make that emotional connection to their favorite brand by showing their loyalty with likes or actions; they can vote for their favorite pizza and upload pictures of themselves eating their favorite pizza from different locations. However, for those of us who are not touting a well-known brand, the climate of the Social Media may change; we’re looking for that initial sale (and customer loyalty.) In addition, unlike a nation brand, small businesses do not advertise on TV but they have found, like the national brands, they can setup a social media business presence with little or no initial investment other than time and dedication.
Does social media marketing work as the exclusive advertising venue for your service or product? Have you found that that social media is just that, the social side of marketing (ecommerce) which typically means more people talking about your brand and services than actually buying your brand or services. Think of it like this: even though your homemade chocolate probably is “not your average chocolate™ ” besides sales from your local area, family and friends, most people aren’t eating your chocolates. Clearly, in those cases the hype of social media marketing is greater than the results.
Social media marketing takes time, resources and energy away from your business. You’re tweeting instead of cooking, you are updating instead of sleeping or you pay someone else to do all this for you. Should you give up social media marketing altogether and concentrate on proven marketing channels to increase your ROI – no, instead capitalize on the potential reach and use it in conjunction with the channel that produces the highest ROI, email marketing. Did you know according to the latest research by the DMA ( The Direct Marketing Association ) “Email is the channel that produces the highest ROI. For every dollar a marketer invests in this highly profitable channel, the ROI in 2012 is $39.40.” In addition with the duality of Social Networking and email lists you can discover and reinforce new markets that you may not have identified in the past.” It’s all in how you wield it.
Advantages using Email and Social Media
- Email list membership growth. Use your social media “likes” and offer your facebook members the opportunity to opted-in to your existing email-marketing list: likewise offer a signup link to your email list on your Twitter™ posts.
Be creative, offer value for their likes and email address. Look at other FB™ business pages for ideas, such as those created by Target, Sears and JCPenneys.
- Create email campaigns for sharing: send a coupon that encourages your recipients to pass your email around.
- Keep your email campaigns interesting and valuable, send offers that cannot be refused such as Chili’s who sends out a Free Dessert or Free Appetizer email, tweets their specials, which post on facebook™, which in turn encourages visitors who go to FB™ from the tweet, to join their mailing list for specials.
- Include a share your newsletter link to Facebook™, Twitter™ and LinkedIn™.
- Don’t fill your newsletter with clickable icons making your newsletter look hurried and disorderly; strategically place your social media icons, paying attention to the size of the icon and graphic you’re using.
- Have others review your newsletter.
- Consider where your social sharing icons are placed. Do they work better on the top of the page or the bottom of the page.
- Track your emails, discover who has forwarded or shared your offers. Those who referred a friend are people who like your product or service – treat them good, perhaps a special discount only they are privy to. With Lyris ListManager and Dundee Internet List hosting, referrals allow your list members to invite their friends to join your list. You may track how many friends were referred by list members, how many opened or clicked on a tracking link in the invitation, and how many ultimately joined the list.
- Do all the links work? Test test test