Email, Social Media and Positioning Your Brand

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According to Neilsen Research, the percentage of online time Americans are spending with email has dropped 28% from June 2009 to June of this year. Overall time spent on social networks and blogs has increased 43%.  Yet email clearly isn’t dead.  In fact from what I see, its volume is growing exponentially. I’ve noticed an interesting trend among my clients lately–many prefer to be texted about certain projects, presumably because their email boxes are full and they might miss the information.

But as we change our relationship to email and social media, how should organizations respond?  What can you do to use these tools wisely to position your brand and create a good experience for your customers.

Email is still a great way to reach large numbers of customers, prospects, donors or volunteers. Successful email campaigns can drive traffic to your social networking sites, where more personalized interactions can take place.

Make sure everyone in your organization has an email signature that includes your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube locations. It’s common for people in the communications department to have this, but often others in the organization do not and it’s a major missed opportunity.

Use in-person interactions to promote your social media presence. So, for example, your hold phone message could include “please join us on Facebook,” and your receptionist could say the same thing as she says goodbye to someone who’s been visiting in your office.

In your next e-Newsletter, include links with additional information can be accessed through your social media sites.

Encourage feedback to new content or campaigns–people love to comment!  Create a feedback mechanism so that you can then let your customers/donors/volunteers know what the response was.

Contests are great for driving eyeballs to websites and social media sites.

Include polls in your blog posts and tweet them.  Polls tend to get circulated and re-tweeted.

The most important takeaway from the Neilsen’s August research data is not that email is declining and social media is on the rise. It’s that this amalgam of communications tools is evolving. For those of us in the business of creating and promoting brands–both personal and corporate–we’ll need to keep evolving too.

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