social-presenceIt seems that currently we live in a world obsessed with social media. In the UK alone, there are over 38 million active social media accounts; that’s over half the population using social media on a regular basis. Yet in spite of this, according to the Office for National Statistics, less than half (43%) of UK businesses are taking advantage of the power of social media to engage with their customers and increase brand awareness. With so much of the population using social media, if your business is failing to use it, you could be missing out on connecting with a large proportion of your customer base.

Why Use Social Media

As well as enabling you to connect with a huge number of potential customers, having a social media presence can bring a number of benefits to your business. It allows you to receive comments and feedback from your customers (both positive and negative), and gives you a chance to respond accordingly. This will paint you as a business that cares about its customers, and enable you to build more meaningful relationships with them.

Social media can also be used to let your customers know about any sales, promotions or new product launches you are having, as well as advertising your expertise about your industry. By not having a social media presence, you could also be missing out on sales. Research by Search Engine Journal has shown that 46% of web users look to social media before making a purchase.

Social Media and Email Marketing

So, how can you build your social media presence? Using email marketing can be incredibly effective. Your subscribers are already people who have shown an interest in your business, so are likely to be interested in what you post on social media. They are also likely to share your posts with their friends and followers.

Businesses have long been adding social media buttons to their marketing emails:

However, it’s arguable how effective they are at increasing your social media presence. They are usually hidden at the bottom of an email, and are irrelevant to the content contained within it. A lot more effort is required in order to use email to drive people to your social networks:

Run a Dedicated Campaign

People want to know if what is being shared on social media is going to be engaging and relevant to them. By running an email campaign dedicated to your social media offerings, your customers can see for themselves if they are interested, and may even be motivated to ‘follow’ or ‘like’ you.

House of Fraser ran a campaign where they gave their subscribers a taste of everything they do on social media:

Encourage Shares

Your social media presence will be a lot more valuable and useful if your customers are frequently sharing things with you. You can use email to encourage this, adding links and hashtags to make sharing as simple as possible for your customers. Bravissimo have recently run a campaign to encourage their customers to share their experiences of the brand on social media:

Run a Promotion

Sometimes, only the prospect of saving money will motivate a customer to take action. A promotion can help encourage your subscribers to ‘follow’, ‘like’ or ‘share’ you. This could be a competition or a money off deal.

Blue Nile offered their customers a $10 discount to celebrate reaching one million Facebook fans:

Being active on social networks can be incredibly beneficial to your business. By using the power of email marketing, you can effectively build a powerful social media presence, and thereby build a stronger relationship with your customers in the process.