10 Steps Toward Effective Social Media Marketing

Social Media
While the use of social media is the hot trend in marketing, businesses need to combine email campaigns with social media marketing to be effective.

Using social media is the hot trend in marketing. However, while effective use of social media is important for companies, they should not forget about the power of email, which remains a very important tool for reaching out to customers and prospects. According to Joshua Mendelsohn, senior product marketing manager at Constant Contact, businesses need to combine email campaigns with social media marketing to be effective. Speaking during the Social Media Marketing & Monitoring conference, Mendelsohn said that while 51 percent of people who become fans of a product or brand on Facebook are more likely to buy and 56 percent are more likely to recommend, Facebook on its own is not enough as a marketing technique.

"It's only one avenue for getting your message heard and shared. Companies need to be where their customers and prospects are and email is still a predominant channel for communication," he said.

For example, a study carried out by Exact Target shows that 58 percent of customers start their day with email, while only 11 percent open their Facebook account first thing in the morning. Thus, although email might be older than social media channels, it's definitely not to be forgotten.

Mendelsohn argued that social media extends the reach of email marketing, but does not replace it. He said there are 10 things companies should do to create an effective social media and email marketing campaign:

  1. Build a marketing strategy that includes email, rather than one that focuses solely on social media.
  2. Include a social call to action in your emails. This allows customers to share the information they received over social channels, increasing the spread of your message.
  3. Build campaigns rather than just emails and posts. It's imperative to tie everything together. For example, a Facebook post should support an email campaign and vice versa.
  4. Connect your social sites to email so that it's easier for your customers and prospects to connect with your company in the way they prefer.
  5. Focus your message and don't overload the customers. If you have more to say, save it for later.
  6. Be mobile friendly and make sure that any information you send to customers can be easily read over a mobile device, allowing them to access information anywhere and anytime.
  7. Make sure that tactics are valuable and sustainable--just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.
  8. Find out what your audience wants and responds to and give them that content and experience, thus remaining relevant to them.
  9. Create a great customer experience--if you're creating a good experience, social media will reward you, but if you're creating a bad one, it will kill you.
  10. Rinse and repeat--keep doing what you're doing well.