How can I use social media in my b-to-b email marketing strategies?

You have heard it thousands of time by now. You need to use social in your email campaigns. Why? I'll give you two reasons:
  1. Social can help extend the reach of your emails. People share your emails, so your brand gets more exposure and becomes more well-known, which then creates a higher likelihood for email opens, clicks and conversions.
  2. Social can help you connect with your customers. All social platforms are not created equal; they reach your customers in different ways or reach different customers. (See my blog, All Social Is Not Created Equal.)
The bigger question is how to use social media in B2B email marketing strategies. Here are some tips to give your emails some social lift:
  1. Make sure your social sites are incorporated in your email template. Make it easy for an individual to find you outside of email and your website. However, adding the social icons to your email templates is just one step.
  2. Make sure you tell people what to do. Social icons in your template may not be enough. Spell out the value proposition for your readers. Think of the question your readers are asking: What's in this for me? Tell people what you want them to do. "Become a fan on Facebook for exclusive offers" or "Follow us on Twitter for revenue marketing best practices" or "Check out client videos on our YouTube channel."
  3. Don't be afraid to use hashtags in an email. If you are promoting an event, place the event hashtag in the email. It encourages your leads to get involved and, in turn, they can become your ambassadors as well.
  4. Send a dedicated email campaign to gain followers and "likes." Pick a social network such as Twitter, and send your subscribers an email where the call to action is "Follow us on Twitter." You send emails for white papers, data sheets, promotions, case studies and events. Why wouldn't you for your social networks also?
  5. Ask for subscribers on your social networks. People often keep the two separate but, if you have a newsletter, or a blog or any dedicated email series, ask on social if your friends and followers want to receive it. Put an email subsection form on your Facebook page. Tweet before an email goes out to see if anyone wants to opt in, such as "Just finished a new blog on b-to-b revenue marketing; releases tomorrow; who wants it?"
Use email to promote social and social to promote your email. The two should complement each other and work together to grow your network. Strategies should integrate and complement each other, not stand at different sides of the table. Caitlin Culbert is an associate revenue engineer for Pedowitz Group.
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