Beyond the Inbox: Leveraging social media networks

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Adding social media to your marketing mix provides many opportunities to rise above the clutter of the inbox and share your newsletter content across multiple networks. By showing that you have relevant and valuable information to share among your social networks, you will be able to make connections that grow into stronger customer relationships and new subscribers. Here's how.

Extending the Life of Your Newsletter

Before you can effectively share your content you will need to create an e-mail archive that will allow you to store multiple back-issues of your newsletter online. This is easily done with most e-mail marketing vendors and does not require you to have a full Web site of your own. By making your content available long after it is sent, people who currently subscribe to your newsletter can still benefit from the information within. Also, subscribers who miss an issue can easily catch up.

Making Connections

Twitter

By using Twitter you can quickly and easily share your newsletter content with your followers. Send out a teaser with a tweet that shares information about your latest newsletter and include a link to the archived version so followers can view it in its entirety.

Twitter is not only a platform for merely sending out your content, but also serves as a great opportunity to connect with others who may be discussing or asking questions about topics on which you are an expert. Be sure to listen for those discussions using Twitter Search or a third-party tool such as TweetDeck to monitor those conversations. And don't hesitate to join in on the discussion – your knowledge is valuable and can be a perfect way to build more connections.

Facebook

Facebook offers a great opportunity to connect groups of people who share common interests. Businesses and organizations that hope to reach like-minded audiences can take advantage of Facebook to reach them and provide a forum for connections and communications between them and the company.

Using Facebook, sharing your content is as easy as posting a link to your newsletter within your status update. Just as with Twitter, followers (or fans) are able to comment and discuss your content publicly, so be sure to monitor for feedback and be ready to respond.

Cross Promote

If you are currently using any of these social media networks, be sure to include calls to action with corresponding links, such as “Follow us on Twitter” or “Join our Facebook Fan Page,” within your newsletter to encourage subscribers to connect with you online as well. This will help to deepen those customer relationships even further.

Social networks offer unlimited potential for online marketers to extend their reach well beyond the e-mail inbox. Be sure to build those connections first for they will eventually translate into new subscribers and stronger customer relationships that will generate business.


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