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With new tools, it’s easy.
Mastering and optimizing social media marketing is difficult for any company, not just nutrition industry businesses. But to start with, companies looking to get a handle on social media for promotion have found an easy solution: simply integrate the medium into existing e-mail marketing programs. Creating a synergy between the two-e-mail marketing and social media-can strengthen both facets of your marketing.
“This is especially helpful if there is a good funnel in place to lead [website visitors] to pages that help them take action,” says Steve Kimball, owner, Stephen Kimball DM Copywriting, who does work for the nutrition industry.
Jerry Bures, owner, Ascend Marketing Solutions, who also does work for the nutrition industry, agrees: “The more engaged your readers are, the more bonded to you they become.”
Jump-starting such synergy is as easy and commonsense as adding links to your e-mail messages and newsletters, which point to the additional marketing you’re doing for your product or service on social media.
Just be sure, marketing experts say, that the click you’re asking your customers to make is worth it.
“Don’t just add an icon at the bottom of an e-mail,” says Amy Covington, strategy director, Hanley Wood Marketing, who does work for the nutrition industry. “Give your customers a compelling reason to click. Ask them to join your community or contribute to a conversation. Incentivize them with a contest, or feature your top comments in an upcoming post, newsletter, or e-mail.
“Having as many touch points as possible can only help raise awareness for your brand,” Covington adds. “Having a stake in the social media game gives you more opportunities to tell your story and develop loyal followers and brand ambassadors who can further your cause through their networks of influence.”
David Coyne, health copywriter and marketing consultant, David Coyne Communications, agrees: The “strategy is more successful if you include a reader incentive to connect on these channels.”
Adds Barbara Cohn, president, Cohn Writing Solutions, who does work for the nutrition industry: “Link to social media using headlines, bullet points, and tweets, so you can use your content in multiple ways to ramp things up.”
Of course, once you’ve begun integrating your e-mail marketing and social media marketing efforts, you’ll probably want a dashboard that will help you monitor and manage it all-and offer you additional tools to further synergize the two.
One handy solution is StrongView’s Message Studio service, which enables you to manage both marketing efforts simultaneously. One of the more interesting e-mail–specific tools in this package offers users the ability to match the e-mail addresses in their e-mail marketing database with the people on social media who are considered “top influencers.” Once you make that connection, you can also use the software to request endorsement of your products and/or services by those influencers.
A number of marketers, for example, have already used Message Studio to invite influencers to alert their Facebook friends about discounts and promotions-and have given those influencers rewards for the favorable mentions.
Granted, nutrition industry businesses using such tools will need to tiptoe lightly to ensure they’re seen as simply reaching out to socially active customers rather than becoming willing participants in privacy invasion.
But it’s clear that these tools are powerful. Essentially, the tools give your company the ability to monitor every public move made by many of your customers on the Internet-and then turn that monitoring and analysis into a marketing opportunity.
A similar solution that helps integrate e-mail marketing and social media marketing into one dashboard is Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This package offers you a 360° view of all your marketing efforts-e-mail, social, mobile-on one dashboard, and makes it much easier to track everything you’re doing marketing-wise with analytics and reports. A similar package featuring an all-in-one solution is Oracle’s Responsys.
As you get further along in your fusion of e-mail marketing and social media, here are some tactics nutrition marketers are using to combine the two:
“This is an excellent strategy as long as marketers are not overwhelming their readers with marketing messages,” says Rich Silver, owner, Crow Moon Marketing, which does nutrition industry marketing. “There should be a real desire to provide value to the readers, not just sell something.”
Joe Dysart is an Internet speaker and business consultant based in Manhattan.
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