Marketers need to think beyond a batch-and-blast email marketing mentality to a choreographed and integrated approach that is in synch with target audiences. Social media and new email marketing tools can help fuel this shift, enhance engagement and grow customer opt-in lists. The two powerful channels, email and social, are even more effective when integrated.
Like learning the tango, the concept of merging email and social can seem challenging but online marketers just need learn how to reap the value of this powerful combo. Recently, we hosted a webinar on "Social + Email Marketing: The Dynamic Duo." Here are some of the key questions from the webinar along with recommendations for success:
"Where do I start with social media?"
As with other marketing and business initiatives, it's best to start with some measurable goals and clear objectives. There are four goal-oriented topics to consider: brand building, customer acquisition, customer retention and product launch. Once you decide where you want to focus, in terms of specific achievements, it's easier to determine your strategy, choose social networking channels, orchestrate content development, select tools, and organize staff.
"What should we talk about?"
Many questions that marketers are concerned with relate to relevancy, frequency and response issues. As with other business initiatives that rely on communications, it's best to listen and seek to understand before being understood; this approach is required and repeated for social media success. In addition, using the Forrester Social Technographics Ladder will help you understand how your target audience (as defined by gender, age, and geography) uses social media.
"How do you manage negative comments about your brand or products?"
Social media is like any other communication activity; conversations and content are at the core. Managing negative comments about your brands or products via social media is the same as managing negative comments via other channels, apart from the time-sensitive nature of some social media channels. Each comment via social media is unique, but if you can evaluate each comment and determine a correct response in a timely manner, you are on your way to serving people and helping your brand.
"What kind of dedicated resources are required?"
Determining and delegating resources for social media and networking depends on many factors, including your goals, strategy, industry, and markets. If you're thinking about your company's resources for social media, consider three unique disciplines or roles, 1) strategist (determines overall strategy); 2) community manager (manages interactions); 3) analyst (oversees analysis).
Using the power of email and social media in tandem can increase the success of both your social media and email efforts.