Social media is fantastic. It’s quick, simple, seamless and the most democratic way to communicate with people – no matter who they are – that society has ever had. Despite my love for social media, and the fact that I run a social data company, I’m not ashamed to say it: I love email!
Yes, social media is a great tool, but email is not only alive and well, but has so many advantages. Email is responsible for over a decades worth of organizing and fundraising success. Not only that, but e-commerce wouldn’t be the $1.5 trillion global super-industry it has become without email. North America is set to account for $426.8 billion of that total. E-commerce sales grew 14% in 2013. The Econsultancy 2014 Email Marketing Industry Census found a 28% year on year increase in revenue from email marketing, with this channel accounting for 23% of revenue.
Would Amazon have grown into the e-commerce juggernaut it is today without email marketing? Would President Obama have raised hundreds of millions in two elections without smart, highly targeted email campaigns?
Political campaigns, like marketing strategies for organizations as diverse as an environmental lobby to an e-commerce clothing store, all depend on having a strong base of supporters.
You Have More Fans Than You Think
If you were to look into how many fans you have you’d probably total up the number of people who follow your organization on social media, plus your email database. This might give you say, 50,000 or 500,000 or even 5 million fans.
Except you’d be wrong. In reality you can reach far far more people. What about all the people who your fans are connected to. Between email database and social media followers your list could grow by a multiplier of 120. For every individual in your database they are connected to – on average – 120 others. Do the math. You might realize your actual potential fan base is far larger than you originally thought.
Uncover Influencers, Understand Your Customers Better
Some key questions rich social data will allow you to ask and answer are:
- Who are the influencers?
- What do they care about as a group?
- As individuals?
It also helps to know who have more influence on social networks than others. You may even find some celebrities. For our customers we’ve found bloggers like Arianna Huffington, business leaders like Steve Case and journalists, like NBC’s Ann Curry. Just one Tweet by a power influencer who can reach an audience of 3 million will easily result in hundreds of clicks.
Not everyone has celebrities hiding in their database, however. But all companies have plenty of influencers with Klout scores above 40. An audience of 4000 of these will give you a reach of 40 million!
Build Relationships With Tweets, Content & Context
The key takeaway is that it doesn’t take a LOT of people taking action to multiply your reach – just the RIGHT people.
The aim is to find people who have an interest in your cause or brand. And, most importantly, they already have a big audience so you can empower them to spread the message you are promoting.
In order to do this you need to take the following steps:
- Pick a segment – top 1% of top 5% if you have resources to dedicate.
- Start on Twitter, with a follow. Most organizations get a 6% conversion to follow back ratio.
- Track the content of that top list you are following. This way you can be scanning their posts daily or a couple times a week. Then RT the most interesting content, which is a nice way of complimenting and acknowledging them.
- Provide them with interesting content. This is normally done at the same time as being more engaged on Twitter.
- If you follow up with personalized email content – for different segments of your database, especially the influencer list you’ve been engaging with on social media – then you’ll start seeing higher campaign conversion rates.
Attentive.ly is a social marketing automation platform for modern marketing teams. We help brands and organizations predict how customers and supporters will behave – even what they might do or buy – from social data. It has been used by over 100 companies and organizations to improve thousands of email marketing and social media campaigns.