I am very pleased to introduce you to a new contributor to this blog. If you have been in the Internet marketing industry for some time, an introduction should not be really necessary though.
Because Dr. Dave Chaffey is author of Total Email Marketing – a book that pre-dates the widespread use of social media marketing.
He likes sharing updates on best practice and the latest developments in “all Internet marketing channels” and you can follow him on Twitter here.
Here is his first post.
Many email marketers I speak to are wary of creating a social media presence on Twitter and Facebook since it’s a big step into the unknown.
Social media marketing and email marketing – they’re not SO different
Here I hope to show, if you haven’t taken the plunge already, how social media marketing on two of the main social channels shares much in common with email marketing.
If you’ve already ‘taken the plunge’, then I hope you will think of some new ideas on how to exploit some email best practice within your social media marketing for Facebook and Twitter.
1) Offer is everything.
Relevance of offers to customers is key in all media. Customers love receiving an exclusive deal via email and will also via social channels.
So offer a Twitter or Facebook exclusive and make them feel special. Think about the range of content in each social channel, which forms your “online value proposition”.
2) Know your customer.
A big weakness of social channels compared to email is you don’t have a good customer profile with the ability to target different offers (yet).
But you can give a range of different offers which will appeal differently to various audience segments needs, so don’t keep to a standard range of offers – try different types of messages to engage different.
3) Integrate your channels.
If you want to build your social channels, then integrate them with email.
For example, this Buy.com Tweet and Seek Email campaign promoted the use of email channels.
4) Timing is all important.
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Post your new messages when your audience is most receptive.
Take a look at your traffic referred from Facebook and Twitter in your analytics and see which time of day, or day of week your messages work best for you.
5) Get the frequency right.
It’s difficult to get the right frequency for email communications. In the UK, the average number of emails per recipient on a list is just over two.
With Twitter or Facebook, you can go much higher – but should it be daily? That’s probably too much, you need to test since you don’t want to spam your audience via social channels either!
6) Don’t forget customer service.
Email should provide clear routes for asking and answering queries and this is even more important in social channels since customers will ask you support questions.
So be open to this and make sure you’re monitoring inbound messages and delighting the customer. This maybe needs a separate customer service Twitter.
Dell has lots of Twitter options: http://www.dell.co.uk/twitter
7) Subject line is king.
Research in email marketing always shows that short subject lines perform better and when the offer is nearer the beginning.
I haven’t seen research on it, but we can be sure that compelling social messages work best too.
8) Test. Learn. Refine.
Following on from the previous point, many email marketers will do a split test on their subject lines to see what works and what doesn’t.
This isn’t so easy within social, but you can track clickthroughs via bit.ly or your analytics to get a feel for what the audience likes.
9) It’s a two-way street.
Many email marketers are guilty of just pushing their messages to their prospects. Don’t be guilty of this within Facebook or Twitter where it’s vital to encourage a dialogue and show you’re human, not a messaging machine.
Newsletter techniques like surveys and polls where you feedback in future editions can work well in social channels too.
10) You are now a publisher.
If you haven’t realised it by now, I’d be surprised, but the best enewsletter have deadlines, editorial schedules and features that are based around what readers like to produce quality content.
Naturally, you need similar for social and ideally the same team working on them. I notice that retailer ASOS.com has recently integrated their social team back into marketing because a silo developed.
So that’s my take on the similarities between email marketing and marketing via Facebook and Twitter, we’d love to know your take – let me know in the comments or tweeting via www.twitter.com/davechaffey.
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