Are You Really Integrating Social Media with Email?

January 9th, 2012

by Daniel Hadaway

Recently, I’ve been hearing ads on the radio for a national company that provides email distribution software for small businesses. This company has made a name for itself by spending big bucks on traditional advertising promoting their online software to send email newsletters. Now I’ve heard their ads before, but this one stuck out in my mind, for one big reason.

The leading statement in the commercial says something along the lines of “Now we can help you harness the power of social media to really give life to your email newsletters.” Well this sounds pretty great, until you listen to the explanation of their “social media integration”.

The commercial goes on to explain that this breakthrough new technology allows you to “place a button directly in your emails that lets your users share your newsletter with all their friends on Facebook or Twitter.”

Really?

That doesn’t sound like social media integration to me. It sounds like copying and pasting the code from Facebook for their “Like” button into the body of an email. What they’re missing is that most people are comfortable enough with online services/software to achieve this on their own. Copying and pasting a snippet of code from page to another is a tangible skill that anyone should be able to quickly master. And just putting a “Share” button in your content is no guarantee that anyone will find your content worth sharing. What about the intangible aspects of integrating social media with email marketing? Those areas are much more valuable to your business and overall marketing success.

How much time do you spend crafting a compelling subject line for your email, to encourage more opens?

How long do you dedicate to writing intriguing content that will encourage your readers to share?

Are you spending just as much time developing relationships with your community on Facebook or Twitter, so that when you do send out a newsletter, you’ve become a trusted voice to them?

These are just a few questions to consider which, I would argue, are much more valuable to your business than a technology feature. New features and functionality are easy to put into commercials, because they can be condensed down into a bullet-point list. But most of the time the more abstract concepts, and the real expertise that comes along with understanding them, are infinitely more valuable to your business.

We’ll cover the concepts listed above in future blog posts. In the meantime, consider the strategies and methods you can employ to encourage better integration between your social media and email. You won’t hear them promoted in a commercial, because they’re much more valuable than a “Share” button!

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