Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Email Marketing says ‘I do’ to Social Sites

Email as a traditional online marketing platform has shown and continues to show immeasurable success for businesses. Social sites have now gained momentous popularity as well. However, these two platforms are not so much in competition as they pose very different advantages. For example, email newsletters have the ability to reach highly targeted groups on people on a one-on-one basis, while social networking sites gives company’s wider exposure and a more casual and authentic approach. This is where I would suggest the marriage of these two powerful online marketing platforms. Marrying email marketing and social media marketing promises a bright and happy future. These two mediums also tends to attract different age groups and demographics, and the integration not allows companies to reach a wider audience but also allows for increased exposure, increased brand awareness through brand ambassadors, and endless promises of going viral.

Employing widgets to link your email newsletters to your Facebook or LinkedIn account, and adding social networking site links to email newsletters allows companies’ to reach their customers on the platform they like best.

Email can now be integrated with social and professional networking sites. All it takes is some interaction, and prompts from one medium to the next. With social widgets, Facebook sub-forms, and social sharing options, integration and sharing on the internet has never been this easy. Social optimization has been made very simple - most of the time it’s simply a click of a tab, or social widget that allows you to publish what you see, or say on one media platform to the next. For example, on Facebook you can sign up for email newsletters, and in many email newsletters you can sign up to tweet that you like what you are reading, or that you want to follow the brand.

Marketing in general has shifted from a mouthpiece, i.e. billboards, to a more social medium to interact with clients, i.e. conversations and participation via email, blogs etc. However, this level of engagement and sharing has taken a further step into the more personal; marketing has now become commonplace in social networking sites, and through mobile phones.

Brand definitions are no longer assumed, or made up by marketing professionals; increasingly, brands are being defined by the market as market trends shape and influence all brands. Due to the increasing interaction between clients and marketing personnel through social networking sites, brands can no longer be controlled; rather, they need to be defined and shaped in relation to what is being said about the brand by clients. Marketers and business owners are no longer in control of their brands, thanks to social sites; now, it is the reader or consumer that is control. Ultimately, the public sphere that shapes brand identities, and with the public sphere being much larger and visible, so are brands and their publicity, be it negative or positive. It’s necessary to jump onto this bandwagon so as to monitor what is being said, to constantly improve, and to provide feedback as soon as possible to keep a positive public brand image.

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