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Social media has an ever increasing role in today’s marketing world. With predictions of 2016 having over 2 billion unique social media users and the main 5 sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest) already having an estimated 2.7 billion users it’s important that you have access to almost a third of the world’s population.

Utilising the power of social media and email, as well as User Generated Content (UGC), can help you engage customers further and increase your ROI and sales.

Go beyond the button for better results

Share buttons are the most common feature for bringing social media into email marketing – with 76% of emails including them. They allow your customers to quickly share your content to their profiles online, essentially extending the first-hand reach of your email campaigns. However, you could also use social content to enhance your email content and not just your reach.

Using UGC from social media in your emails creates a more personal link to the customer, inviting them to engage past the product itself. However, that in turn has positive effects on sales too; a recent study showed that those who interact with UGC had a 9.6% higher conversion rate.

Despite this, only 14% of emails include social images.

UGC can also increase customer trust for your brand. As you know, building trust with your customers is vital, as a positive experience is likely to prompt them to use you again.  With the study suggesting that 59% of millennials trust it over other marketing platforms (only professional industry reviews scored higher, with 64%) it shows the importance of integrating social media with your email.

Exploit the benefits of integrated social media and email

Hyatt Hotels used UGC for one of the email marketing campaigns, using conditional content to show pictures of holiday destinations that customers have specified an interest in. Their use of social media earned them a SMITTY for Best Customer Service and has seen a 2000% increase in conversation volume, helping to build the trust and familiarity customers had with their brand. Furthermore, the use of UGC by Ivivva (a fitness retailer) in their email marketing campaign led to an increase in website traffic of 7x, within just 24 hours of using the social images in their emails.

Whilst Instagram delivers 58x more engagement than Facebook, it’s not just the image-sharing platform that can increase your sales. Twitter research has suggested that users exposed to a branded promotional video had a 28% higher purchase intent than the online norm. You can also consider embedding deep links with a pre-populated hashtag for instant sharing and a consistent brand message.

Some ideas to get you started

You could integrate an affiliated social media page with all your emails, useful for those who have a high turnover in products, as it can provide further reach and can help identify or strengthen your brand’s equity.

UGC is better used for events that involve the customer in a direct way:

But to make the most of UGC in your emails you have to consider which platform is best:

  1. Where do you have a greater presence?
  2. Do you want to be seen (Instagram) or heard (Facebook/Twitter)?
  3. And how does it look in your email – are you going to have a section dedicated to it, a live stream, etc.?

What social media can do for you?

By integrating social media into your emails you unlock the potential for greater sales and greater reach. And by making your emails ‘social by design’ you can build a relationship with your customers, increasing your brand awareness and customer trust.

All by incorporating the social media presence of your business into your email campaigns.

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