Email is not dead. In fact, it is the foundation of any effective social media strategy. Your email list is proprietary, portable and your personal platform for keeping your business top-of-mind to your audience. Your potential clients are scattered all along the buying cycle time line. That’s why it’s important to understand how to use email as a way to repurpose your content and keep the conversation going. That’s where your newsletter comes in.
If you are on Social Media sites, you should be posting information about a variety of subjects that are relevant to your readers to educate them to be intelligent consumers. Use those subjects as overall themes as you develop your editorial calendar and content. If you focus on four different topic areas and send out a newsletter once/month, you could rotate monthly through each of your content topics or focus on one topic for each three-month quarter of the year.
Are you on Twitter? Have you divided your followers and folks that you follow into helpful lists? Do you use a certain group that you follow as a source of reliable and helpful links to good information? Feature one of those sources in each newsletter. Tell your readers why you follow that individual and what types of information they share. Include a link to a tweet that you found particularly helpful.
Do you have blogs that you read and comment on regularly? You should be reading blogs that speak to your particular niche audience. Pick one or two recent posts and include them in our newsletter with a “read more” option and link out to the blog. Make sure you let the writer know that you have referenced and linked to them. If you have your own blog, include a recent post of your own that is relevant to the overall theme of your newsletter.
Do you have a Facebook business page? Do you regularly visit other Facebook pages in your industry? Keep a list of helpful tips and tricks that you’re learning or reading about from other pages or posts. Include a handful of tips in each newsletter. Again, keep tips related to your newsletter’s theme. With technology changing at a rapid pace and social media channels constantly adding new rules and widgets, I always appreciate learning about better/faster ways to do things online. So will your audience!
For social business etiquette, the acceptable ratio for sharing is typically 80% helpful/useful information and 20% self-promotion. Don’t forget to include information about current projects you’re working on, upcoming classes/webinars you’re offering, coupons for products or services or recent recognition/awards. Here’s your opportunity to toot your horn, so don’t be shy. One subtle way to promote yourself would be to include social share buttons in your email. If you’re using an email service provider such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact, they have widgets to add to your newsletter, making it easy for your readers to share via email, facebook, twitter, stumbleupon etc. Make sure you include a call to action like “please feel free to share this using the buttons below.”
Give us some feedback about this post in the comments below. Was it helpful? Do you send out an e-newsletter? Do you use a theme for your content? An editorial calendar? What kind of information do you share? Does the idea of sending out a newsletter regularly overwhelm you?