Swimming The Social Channel For Better Email

Fellow Email Insider Mike May had a post recently about sharing content from social with email, asking the question: Does it make good copy? Mike’s conclusion was that social media content can’t just be dropped into an email marketing message as you would a bouillon cube into boiling water and come up with chicken soup.

I had already started writing this piece, which was inspired by Mike’s, when I noticed another colleague, Wacarra Yeomans, had added her thoughts to the discussion and shared some great suggestions on how you can make your social and email content work on multiple channels.  I think this discussion is important and worth continuing -- and so, at the risk of my editor suffering a self-inflicted palm-print on her forehead, here we go again.

 My experience has been that generally speaking, consumers are very intuitive about how they use the channels available to them. One buying journey or brand interaction can encompass many different channels and they aren’t reading a map as they go. So, as Wacarra rightfully pointed out, there is some room for message overlap -- in fact, quite a bit of it, as long as you give it due consideration and don’t just spew the same content across multiple channels without thinking about what will work best on each individual one.

Social channels provide marketers a wonderful virtual duck blind where they can actually see the reactions to their campaigns and use not just feedback, but direct interactions with their target market, to optimize their approach. Social channels will help you gauge what is relevant and effective and will allow subscribers and non-subscribing consumers to inspire you to create even more effective content.

It’s the transparency and reach of other social networks such as Twitter that can really be a boon for your creative marketing.  Here’s how I think you can put social channels such as Twitter and Facebook to work for your email marketing content.

Listen
Social media hosts the biggest and noisiest cocktail networking party on the planet. Trying to shout over everyone’s heads won’t do you any good. We all know that it’s a great way to monitor the “vibe” your brand has, but it’s also a great way to gain inspiration for content by hovering (for example, create some Google alerts) around the conversations taking place on different networks.

Ask
Why not use social media channels to crowd-source content? Ask people how they are adding value to their lives with your product or service and use that feedback for engaging content.

Involve
Asking and crowd-sourcing involves people with your brand and may enhance loyalty. I think it sends a very strong and positive message that you value your customer’s opinions.  As well, their reactions may make excellent content you can share via email.

Accessibility
Regardless of the channel, a brand’s accessibility to customers is a powerfully positive message. Think of it; loyalty is enhanced when people know you are there to listen when they have something to say and their opinions are valuable to you.

Test
Once you’ve hit that send button the content is out there, but with other social channels you can dip your toes into ideas and hopefully get some feeling as to how effective or engaging that content might be bt putting some feelers out there.

Fly, Fly, Fly Down the Infobaun

From email to Linkedin, these channels are all lanes on the same information highway, so why shouldn’t you use every single one to find the fastest route to your goals?

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5 comments about "Swimming The Social Channel For Better Email".
  1. Jen Mcgahan from MyTeamConnects , September 4, 2012 at 11:57 a.m.
    Hey Jim, Aren't you clever? I hadn't thought of getting convo alerts (I think I read that somewhere once, then forgot to do it -- handslap to forehead.) I'm going to do that today! Thanks for these great tips.
  2. Latease Rikard from LMR Publishing , September 4, 2012 at 12:02 p.m.
    Inputting social media content into an email allows the marketer to listen to the customer. Depending on what the predicted outcome is for the email, it gives the marketer the needed data/information in order to make that product/service more effective or the ability to make more sales. The customer will leave clues when they respond using social media of how to get them to buy more.
  3. Jim Ducharme from eDataSource , September 4, 2012 at 12:40 p.m.
    Hi Jen, I'm a big fan of Google alerts for general survellience (blogs, forums etc) and I find the new updates from Twitter via email handy too. They can be a bit much, but I don't mind a little noise for what I get out of them. Of course in apps such as TweetDeck, you can set up search columns too. Not too mention the various monitoring services out there. Social analytics are becoming a must for integrated marketing. At GetResponse, we provide real time social media tracking for social sharing because it just makes sense. Latease - I like how you mention "consumer clues." It's pretty awesome that today brands have the ability to go looking for those clues! Regards, jim
  4. Peter Rosenwald from Consult Partners , September 4, 2012 at 6:36 p.m.
    Your highway metaphor is appropriate. Problem here is that our tendency to swerve from one lane to another can be dangerous. So can failing to keep an eye on the speedometer and other metrics which should inform which lane is preferable to get you where you want to go either in the shortest time (not always the best strategy) or with the most comfortable ride.
  5. Jim Ducharme from eDataSource , September 4, 2012 at 6:50 p.m.
    Hi Peter, Thanks for adding that thought. Yes, "shiny syndrome" has definitely been a problem for many marketers - whether it's them directly or the people they report to. Expanding on the analogy, there's that old rule about where you look is where you go when driving. Also, maybe there's another post using the analogy of M.E.L.T. aka Maximum Eye Lead Time. Regards, jim