Social media and email, just like the other elements of your marketing plan, must be tied to your audience’s needs, passions and interests and be rooted in the core values of your company. These tactics must work together. They need to align with the overall marketing plan in order for the efforts to be successful. That means not only collaboration within the program elements, but also with the actual team of people that support it.
Social media is not free. It’s a powerful community if you put resources behind it. It is driven by building communities around common affinities. When nurtured, it will grow and provide reach. When just used to cut corners without a robust plan behind it, the community will wither.
Social media and email are perceived to be inexpensive or “free.” While they do not have a paid media expense associated with them, they still require manpower to implement and maintain, and should be used for the correct strategic reasons in the overall media mix (paid or unpaid).
While we don’t typically talk in terms of building communities and the value of social currency with our email customers, when viewed with this filter we move beyond a one-way message push. The “Like” button on Facebook is the equivalent of an email address collected, and someone can “de-friend” a brand with the same mouse click as hitting “unsubscribe.”
People respond to what stirs them. 82% of consumers connect with fewer than 10 brands in the social media space — that’s not many. You must give people a reason to engage with you.
A recent study by Morpace, “Facebook’s Impact on Retailers,” (eMarketer, April 1, 2010), provides insight into the reasons that U.S. Facebook users join fan pages. Thirty-seven percent of the respondents cite the desire to receive coupons/discount offers, while 35% join to stay current on available new products. Look familiar to those of you with successful email programs? Both channels need to offer their loyal base a little something extra to say thank you.
Influence the influencers. 80% of the content in social media channels is produced by just 16% of the population.
A recent Forrester article, “Reaching Your Most Valuable eMail Customers, Influencers’ Attitudes Toward Email Marketing,” introduces a valuable email customer segment called “promotion influencers.” Forty-five percent of promotion influencers will forward promotional emails they’ve subscribed to, compared with just 23% of average email subscribers. In each channel, when armed with valuable social currency, the influencers become powerful brand ambassadors.
Social drives insights. Listen, amplify and measure your communities aggressively. They are a rich bed of insight, research and, in the end, they are your advocates.
Being measurable and the source of extensive consumer data, both channels provide deep insights into your customers’ behaviors and their likes and dislikes.
The entry of social media to the digital marketing landscape also serves as a reminder to take a holistic view of your marketing efforts to achieve optimal lift with greater cost efficiency. -Mediapost