How to Gain Followers for Your Company Using Social Media

As a social media marketer, you will want as many followers for your brand as possible. Recent studies show that people who use social media are more avid e-mail users than others. Given all the hype about social media, this might seem counterintuitive.

Still, a June 2011 analysis from ShareThis.com states that although users share content via Facebook, the channel that they use depends on what they share. E-mail and LinkedIn, for instance, are most often the source of sharing informational content. Other sharing, such as bookmarks and blogs, have the highest level of engagement per click-through.

Confirming these observations, The Social Habit 2011, a study conducted by Edison Research, indicates that

  • Forty-two percent of social networkers check their e-mail four or more times a day, compared with just 27 percent of those who don’t use the current top social networking sites.

  • Sixty-three percent of social networkers use the same e-mail account for their social networking messages and the majority of their permission (opt-in) e-mail.

  • Twenty percent of Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter users have posted or shared something from permission e-mail to their social accounts by using a Share option.

With numbers like these, you have every reason to integrate e-mail with social media to attract new subscribers, promote your newsletter, obtain content ideas, and identify issues to address in your e-mail newsletters.

Wherever and whenever prospects discover your presence on social media, try to provide them with other opportunities to find out how you might be able to solve their problems. Your online newsletter is certainly one of those opportunities. Follow these guidelines:

  • Include a link for newsletter subscription on your blog, all your other social media pages, and your e-mail signature block. Constant Contact and MailChimp, among others, have apps you can add to your Facebook Page to allow Fans to sign up for your newsletter directly. You never know — you might reach dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of new prospects.

    [Credit:     Courtesy Animal Humane New Mexico]
    Credit:     Courtesy Animal Humane New Mexico
  • Treat your newsletter as an event on social media networks. Add a preview of topics or tweet an announcement of your newsletter a day or so in advance. Include a linkable call to action to subscribe in both cases.

  • Post a teaser line in your social media outlets with a linkable call to action. You might say, for example, “If you need to learn more about healthcare reform for small businesses, sign up for our newsletter.”

  • Post newsworthy findings. Use material from your newsletter on social news services like Digg and Reddit to attract more readers.

  • Link to a sample newsletter or newsletter archive on your blog, website, or iFrame page on Facebook. Prospective subscribers can see your newsletter’s usefulness. Of course, you indicate the frequency with which you e-mail newsletters.

E-mail integration with social media works both ways: You can drive people from your newsletter to social media services or use social media services to gain subscribers:

  • Use your newsletter to drive traffic to your social media outlets with social media chiclets. Independent record label The Mylene Sheath does so with its monthly newsletter. Along with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, The Mylene Sheath places chiclets for industry-specific social media sites, like Last.fm (an Internet radio site) and BandCamp.com, where artists can post samples of their music and links to The Mylene Sheath — where listeners can buy.

    [Credit:     Copyright 2007-2012 The Mylene Sheath LLC. All Rights Reserved.]
    Credit:     Copyright 2007-2012 The Mylene Sheath LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  • Include share buttons in every issue of your newsletter.

  • Add options for signing up for social media on the e-mail registration page on your website (if possible).

  • Use your e-newsletter to make an offer or run a contest for social media participants. For example, Bluefly.com (a retailer of discount designer apparel for women) runs an innovative contest in which participants “vote” on entries using the Like feature on Facebook.

Cross-promote your e-mail newsletter on all your social media channels. Remember to post all your social venues, not just your hub website, in your e-mail signature block.

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