I have often said – sometimes to the dismay of fellow IMA staff members – that eMail newsletters will eventually be replaced by company blogs. While that has not yet happened to the extent I thought it would, I definitely do see the trend moving over to social media in the form of company FaceBook, LinkedIn & Twitter pages.
The reason for this should be clear to anyone who opens their email client on a daily basis. Competition for the inbox is fierce. Because we’re all faced with so much clutter, we are forced to delete or ignore many of these communications. How many times have you said that you’ll come back to read a newsletter when you have more time – and never did so? The messages that once were getting through, loud and clear, are now getting lost in the spam filter or are simply being ignored.
While we are not advocating that you stop sending email newsletters, this strikes us as the perfect time to test the utilization of your company communication in social media. Building a company profile page on FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are quick and easy tasks. Once they are live, all you have to do is post the same content that you would ordinarily have posted to your newsletter.
There are additional benefits to using this medium for company communications. The social media channels are easily indexed by the search engines. Content that was once sent via email and never found by the engines now appear in the organic search listings potentially exposing your thought leadership to a much larger audience. If you begin looking for social media listings in all your search activity you’ll notice a growing presence on page one for sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and FaceBook.
Posting your content in the social spaces is significantly more effective if you have an audience. I highly recommend sending an email to your existing list letting them know where they can find you in the social spaces and encourage them to become a FaceBook fan, a LinkedIn connection, or to follow you on Twitter. It is also sound business practice to include the appropriate icons on your Web site as well as links in your eMail signature. Just remember, social media is about dialogue and is a great venue for sharing your thought leadership. Encourage your audience to participate in the conversation, ask questions, request information and share their thoughts.
By utilizing this marketing channel, not only will you be able to easily keep your clients, prospective clients, vendors, friends, and others updated, but you will also expand your network via exposure to the friends of your fans. Spending a few minutes each day on these tasks will greatly expand your reach beyond the size of your eMail list.
Next month, I’ll discuss how to build a customer community to help increase your reach even further.