Social Media in Email

6 Creative Ways to Use Social Media in Your Email Campaigns

Would you go into an MMA fight with one hand tied behind your back? Definitely not. But do you integrate social media strategies into your email campaigns?

If your answer is no, you essentially have one hand tied behind your back. Social media is a pervasive part of our lives and, as such, a key digital marketing channel. In fact, 82% of Americans use social media as of 2022. 

Email marketing is our bread and butter, but if you’re not integrating social media marketing into your email marketing strategies, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customer engagement. It’s advantageous to blend these channels and have them work together. By using these channels together, you can:

  • Extend the reach of your campaigns
  • Grow your social and email list
  • Identify key influencers

We’ll break down how to use email and social media marketing together. Then, we’ll discuss how to encourage your email subscribers to reshare your content.

What are some ways to use social media in email marketing campaigns?

Ready to improve your digital marketing game? Here are some ways we’ve identified how to use social media in campaigns:

  1. Include social icons
  2. Use social share buttons in your newsletters
  3. Host social media-based contests
  4. Add social elements to your email unsubscribe page
  5. Include social proof in your campaigns
  6. Code live social feeds into your email campaigns

Let’s dig into each of these:

1. Include social icons

Before we jump into more creative ways to integrate social techniques in your emails, let’s start with the basics: social icons. Your email should always have your social icons so your audience can connect with you on other marketing channels, not just the inbox and your website. 

Since getting a new like or Twitter follower isn’t typically the focus of your email, it’s better to put these icons in the email footer, so readers aren’t distracted from the goal of your email. In other words, make your social media available to your subscribers, but don’t throw it in their faces.

Incorporate a call-to-action (CTA) with your social icons. Instead of just slapping them in your footer, give your readers an incentive to follow you on these other channels. For example, in an email from West Elm, they say, “Show your personal style with #MYWESTELM”:

You can bet if someone made it to the footer of the email, they’re interested in your brand and may want to engage on multiple platforms. By providing a specific hashtag for email marketing, you can easily track social engagement from your campaign.

2. Use social share buttons in your newsletters

Use share buttons to allow your reader to share your entire email newsletter or specific content blocks from your email through their social networks. Share buttons differ from simply embedding your social icons in your template. We’ll talk about how to encourage your subscribers to share your content. Let’s take a look at how share buttons boost your email engagement.

According to GetResponse, emails with share buttons have a 158% higher click-through-rate (CTR) than those without. 

A great tip when using social share buttons in your email is to ensure there’s an HTML webpage copy of your email. Then, code your buttons to share the permanent URL for the campaign. This is also what subscribers see if they click on a “View in Browser” link.e. But it would be poor form to make your subscribers visit a separate HTML webpage and then click another button to share your content or promotion with others.

Social share buttons make it easy for readers to share items they may want to purchase from a social photo-sharing website. While this may look like a run-of-the-mill group of social sharing buttons, it’s better than most because, in the end, it explicitly says, “Share this email”:

social media share buttons in an email

This is extremely helpful because readers won’t mistake it for a social icon they’d click on to follow the company. In the next email example,! decided to put the share icons at the top. It’s unclear in this email whether or not these icons are for sharing this email on social media:

Scoop.It email with social icons on the top.

Help your readers and reduce friction by making your content and buttons accessible and easy to understand.

3. Host social media-based contests

Sometimes it’s not enough to get your email list to engage with you on social media by asking politely. That’s why you need to offer compelling incentives, like a contest or giveaway, to encourage engagement on your other platforms like Facebook.

Daskalides Chocolatier ran an awesome email campaign personally incentivizing their readers to hop out of their inboxes and onto Facebook.

Social media contest in an email featuring chocolate candies

This email is beautifully designed and offers an awesome incentive, and makes it into a game.

4. Add social elements to your email unsubscribe page

This probably seems counterintuitive. After all, aren’t individuals who unsubscribe just done with your brand? Not always. Even though someone is bidding your email campaigns adieu, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to hear from you outside their inbox. Add social icons to your unsubscribe page so they can follow you on their preferred channels.

Habitat’s email unsubscribe page executes this tactic flawlessly with the text: “We noticed you’re not loving our emails, so why not like us on Facebook instead?” Conversion rates don’t just depend on email opens:

Unsubscribe email with heart graphic and social media CTA

5. Include social proof in your campaigns

Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when an individual looks to others’ actions to determine what decision they should make. According to CompUSA and an iPerceptions study, “63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews.”

In email marketing, social proof is a must. Sure, you have an incredible offer (product, service, etc.), but you need real people singing your praises to convince others.

MarketingProfs did a great job with a customer testimonial to show what a PRO membership does for their subscribers:

Social proof email with a testimonial for MarketingProfs

Bottom line: As an increasingly social culture, people want to know others find value in the product or service they’re considering. Ease your subscribers’ minds with social proof and create an environment where decisions are a no-brainer.

6. Code live social feeds into your email campaigns

This is one of the more innovative, interactive, and unique ways to incorporate social media and emails. To achieve a technique like this, you’ll need some coding experience and a platform to run a lot of email tests on! This hack in your template will require you to work with dynamic CSS and implement fallback strategies.

5 ways to encourage your subscribers to reshare email content

Mixing social media into your email campaign arsenal is a powerful way to improve your ecommerce strategy. Social media invites your readers to engage with you across various platforms in your brand ecosystem. More importantly, social media is a great way to encourage your customers to reshare your content. This provides valuable social proof for your brand and increases your brand’s organic reach.

But how do you get your customers to reshare your content? Here are five ways to invite your readers to continue the conversation and reshare your content on social media platforms:

1. Make your content easy to share 

Add a social share button to your content, so it’s easy to share. The die-hard fan might take the time to screenshot, prune, polish, and share your content. But your average subscriber doesn’t have that kind of time. Remove the friction and make it easy for your readers to engage with and reshare your content.

2. Use visual content

By and large, social media content tends to be very visual. While Twitter is an exception to this rule, even Twitter makes it easy for users to share images. Images and infographics are eye-catching, promote visual brand awareness, and encourage readers to share information with their social media followers.

3. Send relatable messages

Your subscribers are more likely to share a social media post they identify with. Boost your chances of your email being reshared by connecting your audience and sharing relatable content.

4. Be authentic

One of the most important things to remember when creating content is to be authentic. Stay on brand and let your brand’s voice and visual identity speak for itself. Your subscribers will be motivated to reshare your content because they appreciate your brand rather than because you’ve pandered to them.

5. Stay on-trend

While it’s important to be authentic, it’s also important to stay on top of social media trends. Infographic styles come and go, as do dance trends, viral videos, and social media challenges. Follow current trends to stay relevant.

Wrapping up

From coding your social icons into your footer to more advanced techniques like using live feeds in your campaigns, all have one thing in common: you absolutely need to test these social elements in your campaigns before you hit send.

In need of a testing solution that doesn’t require you to open your email on 20+ email clients and different devices? Try Email on Acid, free for 7 days, to get unlimited email, image, and spam testing!

This article was updated on August 12, 2022. It was first published in September of 2016.

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