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3 tips to integrate social, email successfully

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Tomorrow's employees and customers love social networks and texting, according to a July 11 Pew Internet keynote address, “Teens 2012: Truth, Trends, and Myths,” which was presented at an ACT Inc. conference. According to the presentation, which was based on Pew research, 80% of teens ages 12 to 17 are using social networking sites, and 87% of those ages 18 to 29 use social networking. However only 68% of adults ages 30 to 49 use social networking and less than half (49%) of adults ages 50 to 64 use the sites. These statistics are consistent across gender, race and income groups, according to Pew The takeaway for marketers is clear: Social marketing is a necessity and should be supported and included across all platforms. But most are missing that opportunity in their email marketing, one expert said. “Few see 'social' and 'email' just as a different delivery methods designed to promote the same message, [instead viewing them] more like individual 'platforms' that they need to engage in—and often struggle to engage in,” said Barbara Ulmi head of marketing at GraphicMail. Ulmi provided these three tips to help increase social media integration.
  1. Publish your email newsletter to social accounts. This should include a link to your website that has been shortened with a reputable service, she said. “This allows you to add relevant, short copy that needs to go with the URL, especially on Twitter where updates are limited to 140 characters.” Ulmi cautioned against simply adding a link to Facebook, though, without providing additional information. “It makes no sense to just publish a URL to a newsletter in your Facebook account without telling your audience what it is about. Or, as often seen in my career, a social update which states: "Read our monthly newsletter: (link).' Who's going to open that?” she said. “There needs to be some sort of promise, intrigue, question, controversial statement to accompany the newsletter URL to increase click-through rates and shares.”
  2. Boost the chance that social and email content will rank high in organic searches. Everyone should be applying solid SEO best practices to anything that's published, whether it goes out in the social space, via email or on a company blog. One smart tactic: Use benchmarked keywords at the beginning of a social update, Ulmi said. “The same applies to blog article titles, which might get picked up in search engines,” she said.
  3. Make emails easier to share. Every email sent out should have at least one, and preferably two, social share opportunities—one in the header and one in the footer, Ulmi said. “You might opt to add social share icons below every article synopsis or thumbnail image,” she said. “All of this is a step up from a simple Facebook "like' button that I often see in newsletters.” And don't forget images, Ulmi said. Every image in an email newsletter and on corresponding landing pages should be sharable via Pinterest. “Add "Pin This' buttons to your images, and entice your audience to share those via their Pinterest boards. This is especially easy when the newsletter is viewed in a browser. Important here is to remember to choose image ALT tags wisely so there is some brand connection and you get some valuable SEO spinoff,” she said.
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