Ben and Jerry’s Dump Email – Should You? NOT

The Daily Social Media Marketing Campaign News
By Howard Oliver, CEO, What If What Next, whatifwhatnext@on.aibn.com

Recently, Ben and Jerry’s dropped their email marketing programme in the UK in favour of using social media sites to build their brand and interact with customers.

Should industrial and technology companies do the same? A recent prediction from Gartner claimed that “by 2014, social networking services will replace e-mail as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 percent of business users.”

Generally speaking, social media is about sharing content and engaging in conversations. E-mail marketing can take those conversations and the relationships you’re building to the next level of engagement. We recommend using both in integrated campaigns. Here is an idea for integrating the two.

Email and social media can be combined by using a technique called Share-to-Social (S2S).
How does Share-To-Social work? S2S is a call to action within an email message followed by graphical links to various social networking or content sharing sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Delicious, StumbleUpon, etc.

A recent study by Silverpop concluded that S2S is likely to result in sharing of content with 150 to 200 people on average. In contrast, a “forward to a friend” link may reach only an additional 1 to 2 people. S2S resulted in a 24% increase in reach on average. S2S is a powerful tool to reach niche markets or influencers in a trade association, for example.

Here are a few guidelines on S2S:

Understand what motivates subscribers to share. People share because they will be rewarded (i.e. sweepstakes), it makes them feel good, it feeds their egos, it makes them feel part of a community. Your copy should reflect at least one-or-two of those drivers.

Also remember your content must be “Share Worthy” (please excuse the obscure Seinfeld reference) . For example, does the white paper you want others to pass along to their social networks meet these criteria?
– Trustworthy and authoritative
– Message content speaks to tribal groups
– Content creates value by virtue of being important, newsworthy or highly useful
– Targets the right social networks
– Is accompanied with a reward or incentive
– Identifies your key influencers

One thing to remember is to test everything. Experiment where place buttons, how well the process of S2S is explained and other production oriented issues.

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About Howard Oliver
The founder and CEO of What If What Next, Howard Oliver (holiver@whatifwhatnext.com) for more than 20 years has been an entrepreneur, writer, thought leader, PR Guru, business development strategist, technology evangelist, manager and consultant for numerous service, industrial and high technology companies. Howard provides leadership in the application of Agile and Lean project management methodologies for technology enabled social media marketing and PR campaigns that deliver revenue, customer and alliance engagement, and media buzz. Clients in technology and other industries recognize him as a driven, highly creative and disciplined thinker. He also created the WebVoyaging® brand, a market engagement methodology that optimizes the deployment of cloud based, best-in-class marketing automation solutions. The WebVoyaging® process is inspired by the great visionaries who conceived of and built history’s great sailing vessels, which helped establish trade routes and created huge wealth. An accomplished business educator, Howard has recently created the WebVoyaging® Master Class, a training program for organizations interested in implementing Lean marketing automation solutions. Howard holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University. Howard is an avid sailor and collector of books.

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