Want your loyal customers to join your social community? Just Ask

Topics: Social Media

With all of the buzz surrounding social media these days, digital marketing’s once-cool favorite son, email marketing, can sometimes be overlooked. Fact is, brands have been using the inbox to communicate their message with customers for 15+ years – well before Facebook, Twitter or even Myspace existed.

If you’ve developed and deployed a sound email marketing strategy for your brand, you likely have a core group of users who regularly read your content and click through to landing pages or other Web properties. A second tier of contacts opens messages less frequently but does interact with content on occasion.

Many of these contacts have been in your database for years. All of them are familiar and comfortable with your brand. They have likely purchased your products or services in the past and might have even suggested your business to others. I received an email message over the weekend from Staples that offered a simple demonstration of how to use these loyal brand advocates to help you spread your message.

Your social media strategy already includes measures to grow your audience. Is your email database one of them? Aside from including links to your brand’s social profiles in your email messaging, have you asked your contacts to connect with you socially?

Sometimes a simple request is all it takes. In the email I received, Staples asks the question, includes a straight-forward call to action, and presents users with links to the Staples Facebook and Twitter profiles:

Below the main message, users are invited to connect with Staples via their mobile device:

Links to additional Staples social profiles follow the mobile app messaging:

The overall message here is simple: If you like our brand and want to hear more about what we’re doing, connect with us on your preferred social channels. Sound familiar? It should. It’s what we’ve been saying to customers to entice them to sign up for our email databases for years.

We’re now inviting these core customers to a two-way conversation. If we’re lucky, they’ll share the message with their own audiences, bringing new members to the community and new customers to our business.

It may be obvious for many of us to find and follow brands we like on our preferred social channels. But when it comes to loyal customers and brand advocates, it sure can’t hurt to ask.

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