In this week’s shAMA: Ask Me Anything, Shama shares tips on how to optimize your email marketing, get your employees to engage more on social media, and why it’s so important to create great content. For a transcript, scroll on down.
Hey Zen Nation, Shama here! Welcome to another episode of Ask Me Anything, where you ask your burning questions and I do my best to answer all of them.
Our first question comes from Aragon on Facebook – nice name! “What can be other good online marketing options other than social media, like Facebook, Twitter, etc. or spamming someone’s email?”
So Aragon, boy, do I have news for you. One: if you’re doing email marketing you never have to spam anyone. You know, the olden days of buying lists and doing that, those practices are really coming to an end fast. What you want to do, though, is build up a permission-based email list. And it all starts with a good value, or something you can give in exchange for an email address, right. Whether you’re offering a piece of content, a webinar, a reported podcast, a guide to something – you want to make sure it is a true value exchange, in exchange for an email address.
Then when you do email marketing, you want to make sure that it’s good valuable content that people look forward to. You know, at a day and age where our inboxes are overflowing, you really make it a point to share information that people are going to look forward to. And I can tell you that as many emails I get, there are still a few newsletters that I subscribe to because let’s face it, I like their content and I get them fairly regularly. If you do email marketing you want to make sure that it’s good content.
If you want to see an example, you can go to shamahyder.com and check out my own newsletter. I do a “Take 5 with Shama” that goes out twice a month, and it’s great – at least I like to think so! – and we’ve put in a lot of value and we’ve put in a lot of effort. Regardless of how you do online marketing, I think that it’s really important that you put in effort, you make it valuable for your audience, and you do it consistently.
The other thing to think about in terms of online marketing is don’t think in terms of platforms, or social media, or email marketing. Think about your broader goal – what are you trying to do? In my book The Zen of Social Marketing, I talked about the ACT Methodology, which stands for Attract, Convert, and Transform. The “A” is Attract: how do you attract attention? How do you get someone to know that you exist? In the ACT methodology is all about taking someone from a stranger to a customer or client or “ca-ching” as we like to call it.
The C stands for Convert – how do you convert someone into a customer or client? T stands for Transform – how do you tell your story in such a way that it attracts more people? Like case studies, and so forth. So when you think about online marketing in that way you can start looking at hey, what are specific things I can do to attract, convert, and transform. Social media, for example, may be a great tool to attract, to transform, but it may not be the best direct conversion tool. You can also look at such things like search engine optimization (SEO), you can look at content marketing, you can look at so many different vehicles. Just make sure you’re not getting caught up in the platform and you are really looking at your broader goal and going from there.
The second question comes from Yevi Goz on Facebook and he asks: How can businesses actually reflect an authentic social media presence, when so many of us and others are working and don’t have time? Are there any tricks to get them and their employees to engage more?
Great question, so here’s my answer. I think people engage in things that produce an ROI. A lot of times two things happen. Either, one, they don’t fully understand the ROI that they getting, or two, they give up too quickly to see ROI. Or I lied, I have a third one: They don’t have the right expectations set for certain things. Social media done right can be great! I mean, there are companies out there, we work with so many of them, that see excellent results using social media marketing but you have to realize this is not a one-shot thing. It’s not one campaign here, one platform here. It really takes a strategic, consistent effort to see results. So my friend, to that I say, once you start seeing results you’ll see commitment, but in order to see results you have to stay committed. It’s really important to engage with social media, looking at it from a long-term perspective and lens and you’ll get more results.
In terms of how you get other people to engage, like your employees, we actually had a client where we did this. We started an internal newsletter for them where we would take all the awesome content that we were creating and share links to that and we made it really easy. Step one: make it easy! We created automatic Tweets, automatic LinkedIn updates, and all people had to do once they got it was to simply copy, paste, and share. So that’s one.
The second thing is show them what’s in it for them, just like when it comes to social media in businesses and they have a hard time understanding, “How do we get value out of this?” Employees struggle with that too. You really have to show them how you get more value. So, for example, with one of our clients when we did that, we found that in the first month alone, there was an increase of thirty percent – thirty percent! – increase in traffic to their website and nothing had changed dramatically – only engaging their current workforce. When it was made really clear that “Hey guys, when we all support each other it drives the business, everyone does well, it’s a win-win effort,” more people engage.
As the stories starting spreading around the office – so for example Mike would say, “Hey, I shared this post and someone contacted me and said they were interested in working with us,” and then Suzy would say, “Hey, you know I shared this and someone said, I totally forgot you guys did that.” So it’s a great way to start that momentum going.
Again, you guys know momentum is my favorite word going into 2016 and you’ll know more about why very soon.
Alright guys, that’s it for today! Be sure to subscribe so you can get answers to all your burning questions. If you have questions, ask them in the comment section, on Twitter, Facebook, choose your poison. Use hashtag #shAMA and ask me anything! Until next time, market like a Zen Master.