What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “social email”? Please, oh please, don’t let it be those chain emails you had to send to all your friends right now because otherwise you won’t get the good luck promised by the trite contents of the email. Man. What a flashback. Remember when you had to handwrite all those chain letters? Now, you don’t even have to forward them via email, you can just post the whole thing to Facebook and voila, you’re done and good luck is assured. The point is: social media like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram have forever changed the game. And, while email remains one of the top ways to contact an engaged audience and rouse them to action (actual action, not clicking a “like” button), it helps to use all those social tools in your efforts.
Here’s an easy outline to follow for sending social emails:
1) Send what people actually share. Your newsletter can be shared in a couple of different formats. Readers can forward to friends from within the email, or they can share a link to and archived version of your newsletter. If you post images, graphics or charts in your newsletter, these can also be shared. I think you see where this is going.
2) Balance social with your other content. While you might take up some interesting new formats for sharing content, you also want to make sure that everything your readers signed up to receive is still there. Keep the information and interest pieces consistent with your former content while incorporating these updated styles. This will help to ensure that present readers won’t be shocked by a sudden stylistic shift. It will also keep you from going overboard on graphics… something that can happen to the newly excited.
3) Keep up with trends. Watch for changes in the style, delivery, tone or format of shared content. Memes are fickle things; you can’t be late to the party. Right now, it’s all about the infographics. Don’t do the Harlem Shake; it’s too late. Get thee to cleverly designed data organizers with brightly colored graphics instead! It’s not just about having the latest and greatest in information delivery methods – it’s about creating content that is easy to share and likely to make the rounds on the social media sites. This allows you to reach a much broader audience and start making connections for yourself in the larger community in which you exist.
The integration of social and email can be a great way to spice up your newsletter and create content that makes the rounds on its own. Just don’t get too caught up in the land of infographics and forget to write the rest of your newsletter!