During my networking at Social Media Marketing World this year I had the opportunity to talk with some of the top experts in the world about Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and more.
Given their respective areas of focus, it should not be surprising that they all take a slightly different approach with their social media. This is includes their overall strategy, as well as the channels, tactics, and tools they prefer to use.
Nevertheless, they all shared one common objective: Use social media to increase your email subscribers.
Growing your list should be among your top three objectives for a number of reasons, with one being its ability to convert your social marketing engagement into profitable outcomes.
Email Subscribers are Your Business Lifeline
When you know exactly what you are trying to accomplish with social media, you can more easily focus your efforts.
There are a lot of moving parts involved with social media marketing, and all of it is continuously changing. However, your list is a digital asset that can anchor everything.
- Your business owns it
- It keeps your customers, prospects, and influencers informed
- Your business is always in control
- You can be more intimate with your audience
- Special offers are welcomed
If you have read Built-In Social, you know that when I sold my landscape business after 20 years it was my list that everyone wanted, not the dozens of trucks and trailers that weighed down our balance sheet.
You have very little control over the various social media channels; and most traditional assets like trucks depreciate over time. This means your list of subscribers is potentially your most valuable business asset!
Have a Singular Focus on Growing Your List
Like so many other websites, mine needs some work. Friends and customers have commented that it doesn’t do justice to what I do or who I am. I agree.
However, when you go to my home page there is one clear call to action: Sign up for my newsletter and get my very best.
I take pride in what happens within this community. This is a permission asset. You asked to be here, and that is why I am committed to honoring that by giving this my very best.
3 Popular Ways to Grow Your Subscribers
#1 – Run a Facebook contest. Here’s an informative article and free ebook from the folks at Tabsite to help you run a Facebook contest.
#2 – Provide incentives, such as a free report. Here’s how it is done at Social Media Examiner.
#3 – Use an opt-in form to offer valuable resources. Top-rated business podcast Entrepreneur on Fire accomplishes this with the OptinMonster pop-up tool (wait a few seconds for it to open).
I’m not a fan of the pop-up boxes either. However, I talked to the creator of OptinMonster and he pointed out that 70% of all website visitors never return. This is why smart marketers are learning there are times when you have to be a little aggressive.
My plan is to put all these methods into practice.
Remember that content is still king; without it you have little to offer your subscribers. So, make it a priority.
If you do that and encourage subscriptions, you will thank yourself some day for having the foresight to build a community that anchors your business presence in the sometimes choppy social media waters.
About the Author: Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley)