In recent weeks social networking services seem to be maxed. Twitter continues to have struggles as the fail whale has returned in full force, I’ve found posting updates to the site has become slow and challenging, and as a result I haven’t been updating as frequently. Facebook has it’s own share of issues with the recent interface enhancements, as well as cracking down on suspicious accounts, and locking users out whom they deem a dangerous, even LinkedIn has been slower than normal. All this instability rightfully puts internet and small business marketers on edge if they are using social media to grow their business.
SPECIAL UPDATE: Here is a great example of someone who was “devistated” when Facebook shut down a page he managed.
In a post last month in the post Why Email Marketing Should Be the Hub of Your Social Marketing Efforts it spoke of the common understanding in social media circles of driving social media traffic to your blog. Of course a blog is good, as it serves you or your companies own social real-estate, however, as the post suggests it is not enough, you need an email list.
Email Marketing Strategy – A Lost Art?
Don’t get me wrong, all the buzz and interest in social media sites is mostly warranted. Social marketing presents a great opportunity, and while business owners and online entrepreneurs figure out how to apply this to their business (no doubt some are ahead of others- but it is still early), they are also subject to the kinks and bugs of any early adoption technology. What is concerning is the unpreparedness that exists for any number of circumstances that might render your favorite social site (and your profile and contact information) unavailable.
Many out there are espousing building large profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and others. This is great, but with that emphasis what is often left out is an important piece of your email marketing strategy. Lead them to your special offer for joining your email subscriber list. As they connect on a social network, the next step is to connect further into your rings of intimacy (see diagram on last months email marketing strategy post), good news is, they will be more likely to opt-in because of their other connection with you.
10 Advantages of Having Your Own List
The main benefit of having your own list of subscribers is, you control it. If Twitter, Facebook, or any number of social sites become unavailable, those with a list can rest at ease. To encourage you to take action, here are a few things you can do with your email list, many of which impact profits:
- Promote an online event or webinar
- Announce a new blog post (RSS readers are still cumbersome for many)
- Promote and sell products
- Subscribers who become customers often become repeat customers.
- Customers can become affiliate partners
- With a vibrant list – attract joint venture partners
- Ask for customer testimonials
- Subscribers only information, which you may not want on a public blog or social site
- Testing a product offer to your list (or segment)
- Track open rates and clickthrus on your emails
Social networks provide an unprecedented opportunity for small business and online marketers to extend their reach, but don’t stop there. Leverage your social collateral and web traffic to build your list and draw subscribers, you won’t regret it.
What say you? What other advantages are there to having your own list? Am I making too big a deal here? Is this idea too overwhelming to consider?
*Image credits to buzz.bishop