by Adam Kościelak Oct 13, 2021

Are you getting lots of followers and interaction on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social sites? Or do you feel as though your company’s social media posts are simply sinking without a trace?

It can be tricky to promote your social media channels to your existing online audience. You may well have social media icons on your website – but busy visitors won’t necessarily notice those. So how do you bring in more social media followers?

One great way is to use your email list. Let’s take a look at the why … and the how.

Why use email to promote your social media channels?

When you send out an email to your list, you (hopefully!) have a clear call to action in there. Understandably, many marketers use their call to action to nudge prospects to buy – or to encourage existing customers to make a new purchase.

But there’ll be some people on your email list who aren’t ready to buy yet. They might read your emails for your great information, useful tips, or even your funny gifs. But when you promote a product or service, they simply tune your message out.

Promoting your social media channels lets you draw those people a little closer to you. If they start following you on a social network, they’re going to get to know your brand much better. They’ll see different types of content (perhaps those lovely reviews that you retweet or the fun customer photos of your products that you share) and this could nudge them further along your sales funnel.

Promoting your social media channels shouldn’t decrease your opportunities to make sales. Instead, it should help you develop your relationship with both prospects and existing customers.

So how exactly can you promote your social media channels through email? Here are some great methods to try. But first…

Get ready for your social networks to grow … fast!

If you’ve never done much to promote your social media channels before, then you might find that your audience grows really fast. This is fantastic news, but it can also raise some challenges.

Before you begin putting everything below into action, make sure you’ve got the systems and tools in place to handle increased social media activity. That could mean:

  • Using social monitoring tools to track the conversation about your brand (even if people don’t remember to tag you).
  • Bringing on board extra support staff, whether full-time or part-time.
  • Creating social media content ahead of time, so you have a queue of content ready to go.
  • Using tools like Buffer to pre-schedule content so you can post at different times to suit customers in different timezones (or on different schedules).
  • Streamlining other processes in your business – e.g. by creating a pre-send checklist for your email campaigns

Once you’re ready for growth, here are the six methods you can try out:

Method 1: Include your social media links in every email

It might sound basic … but you want to make sure you have links to your core social media channels in every email. Many companies do this in their email footer, with social media icons. Here’s how that looks in an email from Michael Hyatt & Company:

If you set up those links months or years ago when you started your email marketing list, then:

  • Check that you’ve included all your core social media channels (you might have added new ones recently or changed your strategy).
  • Make sure that your social media links are all working correctly.
  • Consider whether you want to change the design of your social media icons. You might want them to blend in with your color scheme, as with the above example, or you might prefer to use a color that stands out.

Method 2: Include a specific call to action relating to social media

Although it’s always a good idea to include your social media links in your email footer, many people won’t scroll down that far … or simply won’t notice the links. 

To really get attention on your social media channels, you need to include a call to action. Don’t simply ask readers to “follow us on Twitter” or “like us on Facebook” – instead, make it clear how they can benefit from interacting with you on your social media channels.

Syed Balkhi from WPBeginner does this really well in their daily email updates, with a section “FREE - Ask WPBeginner Anything”

There’s a clear benefit for the reader: they can get their question answered completely free. And of course in doing so, they’ll start an interaction with WPBeginner.

Method 3: Share content from your social media channels by email

Have you created some great content for social media that no one seems to be interacting with? Then share it with your email list, too. You can embed the post itself in your email or, if you prefer, take a screenshot to share.

This is a great way to call attention to your social media channels. You can encourage your email audience to follow you on social media for more content or you can link to the post that you’re sharing and invite them to leave a comment or reaction.

If your content is going to be complicated to show through a screenshot or an embed, you could summarize it instead. This is what Nicole Avery from Planning With Kids did in one of her newsletters on parenting, linking to an Instagram Live session she’d done:

As well as using this method for your own content, you can share social media reviews and shout-outs from other people in your email newsletter. This demonstrates the positive attention your brand is getting – and helps make people more aware of your social media presence.

Method 4: Offer to feature your email audience on your social media channels

Another method to try is to invite your audience to share their experiences or stories with you for your social media accounts. Here’s how 123-Reg, a domain registration and web hosting company, asked customers to share their stories:

This can be a great way to get more user-generated content for your social media channels, as well as a way to build stronger links with your customers. The case studies that you produce can also provide great content for your email newsletters.

Method 5: Run a giveaway and promote it through your email newsletter

Many companies run online giveaways or raffles to encourage more likes and shares on social media. If this is something you want to try, you can (and should!) use email to promote your giveaway. 

Simply include a link to the giveaway (and, of course, details about the grand prize) in your email newsletter. Here’s how Elegant Themes, a WordPress themes company, does that:

You can give people “tickets” for your giveaway when they take specific actions, such as:

  • Visiting your page on Facebook
  • Watching your video on YouTube
  • Following you on Instagram
  • Sharing a message on Twitter

… and much more. 

Method 6: Include a tweet or share button in your receipt emails

When customers have just purchased something, there’s a good chance they’ll be excited about telling their friends. You can promote your social media accounts in transactional emails as well as in marketing ones.

Here’s how Patreon does that with their monthly email receipts:

Clicking the “Tweet about it” button creates a pre-populated tweet with the text “Hey world! I just supported [creator] on @Patreon and you can too! Internet high-five?” plus a link to the Patreon campaign for the person you’re supporting.

This is a great way to build awareness of the @Patreon Twitter account with existing supporters – as well as an opportunity to bring in new Patreon members who see the tweet.

Growing your social media following can take time. But the different methods above let you leverage the existing power of your email list to build up your social media audience too. Why not try out one of them this week?

About the author

Jessica Perkins is a writer and SaaS marketing consultant who helps businesses scale up their marketing efforts. She is obsessed with learning and also is passionate about sculpting.

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