Social Media in Email Signatures
Social media is the ‘hot topic’ right now and your organization is most likely active within the community. You probably regularly add Tweets and posts across various social media platforms and you will have links to your pages on your company website.
Now, think how many emails you send out daily and weekly. Every email you send is an opportunity to connect with a person in your social network and increase your social reach. Adding links to your social media accounts via email signatures is a great way to get loads of new fans for free!
If you’re not promoting your social nature through your email signatures, you are missing out on a great opportunity. Unilever added a ‘Follow’ link to their employee email signatures and went from 40,000 Followers to 235,000 in just 10 months!
Why you need social media in email signatures
Email as a familiar, well-integrated channel already has all the interaction most companies want out of social media.
First, we’ll discuss methods for transferring that email audience onto social media in ‘Interactivity’ – gathering ‘Fans’ and ‘Followers’ through quick links in email signatures.
Then, the preservation of that activity will be explained in ‘Content’: bringing already active audiences back to a profile by adding recent updates, statuses and posts under signatures.
Turning email contacts into social connections
Friends, families and colleagues connect through social media - as a marketer, you don’t belong. They’re there to share jokes, ideas, memories, celebrations, commiserations and more: your products or services are very far from the top of that list.
The only thing worse than a cold, hard-selling ad is a false, clichéd attempt to meet them on - what you believe to be - their level. Subtly inviting readers to join you on social media can be much more comfortable than paid advertising, direct marketing or on-channel endorsement – and the results reflect it.
A simple start can be adding a Twitter ‘Follow’ or Facebook ‘Share’ link to staff email signatures – but try to limit the number of links per signature, and better yet, to allocate them appropriately to various teams.
For example, the sales team could show a link for LinkedIn ‘Recommendations’ about the product they’re discussing, while customer service could have a Facebook ‘Share’ link relating to the whole company. Though the mere presence of a link is invaluable, accompanying it with information can improve its efficancy.
This need not and perhaps should not be material or monetary. Discounts, free items or products traded for intangible endorsements like a Google ‘+1’ or Twitter ‘Tweet’ may only cause scepticism and friction. The distance between the much offered and little given can seem desperate and predatory. Instead, offer information or exclusive content.
or example, a banner promoting a pre-launch preview of a new product for all Twitter followers is not just relevant, but subtle – rather than ordering viewers to ‘Follow’, they’ve described a potential benefit and shown readers the opportunity to collect it: a link beside the promotional message.
Consider social media like any social situation, success depends on three factors.
- Be there – let all your email users know you’re on social media and they can join you, quickly and easily, in a single click.
- Be interesting – offer them some information and an incentive to do so, perhaps with a promotional banner beside the link.
- Be yourself – incentives offered should be appropriate (not suspiciously expensive or desperately disproportionate) and should reflect your sector or output.
Social media activity
People listening to you isn’t enough – you need people participating.
Talk to your ‘Fans’, ‘Followers’ or ‘Circle’ as much as you want - but if they don’t talk back, it’s worth nothing. They won’t say the things you want your potential customers to hear, they won’t do the things you want your existing customers to do - and they eventually won’t care because it will seem like you don’t. Again, creating a flow between the emails you send and the sites they like can be crucial.
By adding social media content – like comments or Tweets – to signatures, readers are regularly reminded about your social output: and, potentially, why they wanted to associate with you in the first place.
The difficulty here, unlike the ‘Interactivity’ section, is not strategic but technical: deciding what to say is simple, adding it to every signature instantly and constantly is not – unless you have dedicated software.
Content like Tweets and updates can age rapidly – seeing them even twice might be too much. It’s possible to configure signatures to automatically cycle the content: showing a different entry each time, to avoid tiresome repetition.
A related issue is segmentation. Different sets of customers may use different networks – business customers may be on LinkedIn but consumers may use Facebook. Even within the same network, some users may not be interested in statuses that others are.
Defining who uses what may seem difficult but is ultimately worthwhile. If different teams can display different updates, the more likely it is the content will resonate with their very different readers.
As different as social media and email are, a campaign that spans both will always be more effective than either one alone. Any company can rely on email to drum up interest in its social media output by transferring audiences from one to the other. Email readers already communicate, discuss and react to your company: social media is the perfect place for them.
How can Exclaimer help?
With an email signature solution from Exclaimer, you can configure email signatures so that all your social media links are included in each email. This will add all of the official icons to relevant social networks in a single click like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube etc.
Since email signatures can be updated easily, you can include up-to-date news and invite recipients to interact with you. You can also automatically include your latest RSS post or Tweet in each email signature.
Take a look at our email signature solutions below and see how easy it is to add dynamic social content to your email signature.
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