Want to boost your company's exposure? Here are seven ways to build and grow your email list using social media.
When Facebook opened to the public in September of 2006, few could have predicted the behemoth that social media would become. Forerunners like MySpace and Bebo succumbed to the usability and simplicity of the Facebook setup, and Twitter was soon to begin gathering pace with its own interpretation of micro-blogging styled social media.
Pew Research Center states that currently, 68 percent of all adults in the U.S. use social networking sites, with more than 1.4 billion active daily users on Facebook.
Businesses were swift to jump on the bandwagon, and now over 50 million companies are using Facebook pages to promote their brand, with 65.8 percent of U.S. companies with at least 100 employees using Twitter to conduct marketing campaigns.
But how can you get social media to start boosting your company's exposure? Here are seven ways you can use social media to grow your email list.
1. Host a live video.
Facebook Live videos can be used to promote products, introduce special offers and announce giveaways. After a live recording has been made it can be repurposed and uploaded to other social sites, like YouTube and Vimeo.
By hosting a Facebook Live video you can engage customers by answering their questions in real-time and monitoring their reactions to different parts of your content. You're able to use this feature to display your expertise in a subject and invite your viewers to subscribe to your mailing list for more of the same content and information.
Facebook Live is is also heavily promoted by the social media channel in a way that can attract a range of new customers to your business. Following Facebook's success, Instagram also released their own Live feature, which can be tapped by companies to draw in a wider range of audiences that are attracted to this more interactive approach to marketing.
2. Create Facebook and LinkedIn groups for your business.
Groups can forge a community spirit among those who love your products and services. In turn, their enthusiasm can entice others into interact.
Creating social media groups for your business also lets you offer the kind of customer-friendly responsive service that modern stakeholders crave. By responding to feedback and answering queries, you can build an element of trust that's often hard to forge without a close connection to stakeholders on social media.
By regularly encouraging customers to sign up to your email list in the group (in a non-spammy way), you leave open the possibility of a natural progression for those within the group continuing to build their bond with your company.
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3. Hold social media contests or giveaways.
"Free" is one of the most appealing words in the dictionary, and through social media, you can entice people to sign up to your email list in return for a shot at winning free products or services.
Twitter is a great social network for businesses running contests. This is because of the potential your giveaway has of going viral and being seen by people who wouldn't have much prior knowledge of your company.
Announce your contest or giveaway, and tell users that they need to simply sign up to your mailing list to enter. The better the prize you have for the winner, the better the numbers of entrants will be. Remember to incorporate hashtags into your contest to encourage further sharing and exposure.
4. Use a call-to-action.
A call-to-action is one of the most effective ways of getting visitors to your website to take the plunge and subscribe to your newsletters and emails. They're often an eye-catching, inviting, bold pop-up or icon on a website that forces the visitor to make a decision – they could either sign up to a mailing list, or click the (often smaller) "no, thanks" button to continue browsing.
It's a great method to catapulting your email list into the minds of your audience – and you can apply a call-to-action in some of your social media accounts, too. On Facebook, your company's page can create a call-to-action by adding a "sign up" button to the menu bar at the top of the screen. To further compliment the invitation, you can add an image above in the header area of your page advertising the benefits of joining the mailing list.
5. Make use of social media headers and visuals.
Your header, whether it be for a Facebook or Twitter page, is your opportunity to add some artistic flair to your business outside of the unformed, plain formats of the social media platforms. While they make for a good visual tool to support a call-to-action, social media headers are capable of doing much more for your page than just pointing visitors to a subscription button. Eye-catching colors and a prominent logo are key, but you could also decide to get creative and add an offer, or an arrow advertising the call-to-action below, or simply an appealing tagline. The potential is nearly limitless!
6. Give your audience a taste of premium content.
Whether you're in the goods or services business, social media is an ideal tool for showing off your work in a way that appeals to your audience's curiosity. If your company deals in digital-based products, you can create a free sample for distribution among your followers. If you sell physical items, you could post a video that unboxes and trials your product. Either way, it can work wonders for public interest and bringing in new crowds.
By adding a note that suggests users can "find out more" by subscribing to your email list, you'll have guaranteed a boost to your subscribers simply by piquing their curiosity around what the full content could do for them.
7. Pin your hooks
Make sure that your best social media content is what your audience sees first. By establishing a "hook" – that prime post that will be of most appeal to visitors – and pinning it to the top of your news feed, you can encourage customers to subscribe to your mailing list.
The pinned post itself could be anything and can interchange with other posts depending on the day of the week or time of the year. If you have a sale or a special discount code for a fixed time period, add it to the top of your page for everybody to see.
It's also possible to create a Lead Generation Card via Twitter. This not only keeps your pinned tweet to the top of your content reel, but adds a "subscribe now" button below the post. This is an excellent use of a call-to-action prompt that's prominently positioned on your profile page. Through a Lead Generation Card, users can be subscribed to your mailing list in two clicks.
Other Twitter and Facebook businesses choose to embed an introductory video into their pinned post, while some are much more comfortable using it for prime advertising space. Virtually all pinned content needs to be engaging, so it's imperative that some kind of media accompanies your content – even if it's just a relevant picture.