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How can my business connect email and social media?

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In October, we surveyed our customers—who represent more than 30,000 businesses and organizations worldwide—via email and asked, “What email marketing topic do you need the most help with?” Thirty-nine percent of 579 respondents asked for tips for developing strategies to connect email and social media. Expanding your email's reach beyond the inbox takes a two-pronged approach. First, make it easy for subscribers to share your email with their social networks by including social sharing buttons within your email to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Second, post your email to your company's social networks. Remember to customize content for each platform. If I am one of your company's Facebook followers and I see a hashtag in your Facebook post, it signals that your company isn't trying to talk to me but to its Twitter followers. And if I'm a Twitter follower and see a tweet with no text and a full-length link, I'm likely to think that communication is for Facebook friends and not me. And no customer wants to feel mass-marketed to. In the same survey, we also asked, “Which social network do you use most frequently?” The results overwhelmingly favored Facebook, with 80% of respondents choosing it, while 8% opted for LinkedIn, 7% for Twitter, 1% for Google+ and 2% holding out for “other.” While Facebook is still king—with little chance of being dethroned—what's more surprising is that LinkedIn and Twitter came in neck-and-neck in the results. Despite the buzz surrounding Twitter in the news and public sector, LinkedIn is holding its own with leaders of small and midsize companies, especially within b-to-b markets. Does your marketing mix proportionately reflect this makeup of social media? If you find your company spending too much time on Twitter, or neglecting LinkedIn, consider reallocating some of these efforts to other channels. To get you started, consider beefing up your company's involvement on LinkedIn by making sure your sales and business development staffs' profiles are up to date and connected to your company's blog, email newsletter and influential industry groups. Molly Niendorf is content manager at Emma Inc.. Follow Emma on Twitter at twitter.com/emmaemail or on Facebook, facebook.com/emmaemail.
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