Direct Marketing Article
5 Tips for Using Social Media to Build Your
By Marsha Friedman
The immense popularity of social networks, and the meteoric rise in the last
few years of social media marketing, have been some of the most exciting new
directions for PR and marketing that I have experienced.
That is why I jumped on board the social media marketing train over a year
ago...it has been a huge boon to my performance-based PR business.
But in spite of the many extraordinary opportunities in social media
marketing, one drawback I've found is the speed with which one can be
forgotten. Even the social-media savvy may struggle to stay in front of and
remain memorable in the minds of their friends, followers, connections and
fellow group members.
The truth is that being an active and diligent social media marketer,
posting and participating with consistent frequency, does not guarantee your
messages are going to be seen by everyone you would like to reach. And it’s
understandable ... people are busy. Some log on to their social networks at
different times of day than when you happen to be on, others get involved
only sporadically, while some group participants may only check in to see
what's happening in their group every few weeks.
Tweets are here and gone in a flash. If your posts are not showing up in
someone's news feed or social network home page when they happen to log on,
your only hope for that person to see your communication is for them to find
you interesting and memorable enough to regularly visit YOUR profile to see
what you're up to. Sadly, more often than not, the majority of your prized
connections are probably missing your posts.
My solution for this dilemma is to support my social media marketing with
traditional email marketing activities. This one-two punch has been a very
valuable approach for me: social media marketing has enabled me to increase
my email list by thousands with those on the list continuously receiving my
newsletters that carry my message.
Each week I email my newsletter containing my articles with tips on how to
use PR to promote your business to my mailing list. (I have actually been
sending these weekly emails since email became a common means of business
communication and prior to email I was sending faxes!)
Unlike my social media efforts, I know that everyone on that mailing list
sees my email in their inbox, at the very least. Some read and respond with
feedback or a request for information about our services, while others
forward it to their own lists.
My newsletter helps my social media contacts remember me and what I do, and
this has led directly to many new business relationships. Indirectly, I
frequently receive referrals from the members of my opt-in list. And I
always enjoy the times when someone from my list, who has been quietly
receiving my emails for years without responding, finally reaches out for my
professional help and becomes a client!
That is the real reward of combining your email and social media marketing
So how do you do this? The trick is a strategy to turn your social media
followers into opt-in newsletter recipients.
Here are five tips for using social media to build your opt-in list:
1. Join Targeted Groups and Post Effective Discussions. Within your
social networks, choose the groups wisely in which you will participate,
focusing on groups that are active and contain your target market. You
should post discussions to demonstrate your professional expertise and drive
people to your website, taking care to make your headlines short and
interesting. Making the headline for your post a question is an effective
attention-getter, or using wording containing phrases like "tips for" or
"strategies for," also works very well. Be sure to post a paragraph-long
teaser in the discussion body telling people what helpful information you
have to share and include a link to your website where they can read it in
full. Close with a question for the reader or a statement soliciting
feedback. When readers comment, your post will remain at the top of the
group list where more people can see it.
2. Make Sure your Website is "Opt-in" Friendly. Make sure your opt-in
form is prominent throughout your website, with a message telling visitors
that when they sign up for your list they will receive helpful information
as opposed to spam. You can also include incentives to help encourage people
to opt-in. E-books work nicely.
3. Invite Every One...But Don't Pester! Every time you get a friend
request or a new follower, send a message introducing yourself and include
an invitation (with the link to your site’s opt-in form) to sign up for the
helpful information you send to your list. If the new connection does not
immediately respond, don't message them again with a repeat of your
invitation. If they didn't take the bait through the initial invitation,
you’ll have plenty of chances to win them over as they continue to see the
wealth of information you have to share.
4. Be Direct...But Not Too Often. If you have a helpful and valuable
incentive to offer, occasionally post updates inviting your friends and
followers to go get it! Keep in mind you are treading a thin line with this
type of post, so make sure they are infrequent and are mixed in with many
posts that are completely non-promotional in nature. You don't want to be
considered "that guy" who's just there to promote to people.
5. Be Consistent in Your Social Networking! The key to making points
1 – 4 above really work for you is – stay active in your networks and
groups. If you are only an occasional visitor, you might as well “stay
home.” In order to reap the rewards of these strategies, post often and
wisely, and pay attention to your group members.
Participation in social networks can be enjoyable and rewarding, so start
posting and have fun!
About the Author:
Marsha Friedman is a 20-year veteran of the public relations industry. She
is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations
www.emsincorporated.com, a national firm that provides PR strategy and
publicity services to corporations, entertainers, authors and professional
firms. She also hosts a national weekly radio talk show, The Family Round
Table, and is author of the book, Celebritize Yourself.