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The secret weapon of top social media experts – that they never mention

Author's avatar By Tim Watson 27 Feb, 2012
Essential Essential topic

There are many excellent social media blogs providing great content to keep you up-to-date with the latest social media marketing trends and advice.

SocialMediaExaminer is one of these sources of great information. So its no surprise they have 47,513 followers on Twitter and 76,391 people have liked them on Facebook, however they have a secret weapon.

In fact this same secret weapon is used by the top 7 of the top ten best Social Media experts as judged by SocialMediaExaminer themselves that they picked from over 600 nominations.

So, what is the secret weapon?  Email communications! Whilst their Twitter and Facebook stats are impressive, their email following is bigger at 129,329 people.

They are so keen to have you as a subscriber that the email sign up gets the prime real estate on their home page.

Social Media Examiner secret weapon

Should you hang around on the site, then a friendly invite will popup and suggest you subscribe.

Social Media Examiner email signup popup

And finally take a trip to their Facebook page and can you guess what they suggest you do besides the like?

Social Media Examiner Facebook email signup

SocialMediaExaminer do a great job of driving email list growth with many best practices being used.

Check out the screenshots shown in the post Top 10 Social Media Blogs: The 2012 Winners! and see the key objective high up on the page for the top seven of these is email signup. They use big fonts, large banners, boxouts and other effective ways to highlight the option.

I'm not knocking SocialMediaExaminer or any of the other Expert Sites. They all have great content. These are bright people and they know that to keep you coming back and to convert you they need to use email marketing.

You might thinking I am against social media marketing, but you'd be wrong. It's essential as part of today's marketing mix. There are great viral success stories like 'Will it Blend', that email alone could not achieve. With social media you can build up a community, reach new people, ask your customers for input and ideas, use them to shape your offer, a valuable resource indeed.

In time we may find that social media is the first touch point for new customers and only with trust will they engage with you in a closer email relationship. Only the best friends get to be email friends.

If you want to gain revenue from your community, you'd be wise not to ignore email marketing. Even if the SocialMediaExaminer email list was half the size of their followers, it would still drive more conversion. Email is thriving and still the killer converting secret weapon.

Author's avatar

By Tim Watson

Tim is founder of email marketing consultancy Zettasphere and EOS Implementer at Traction Six. Experience includes Operations Director at Email Reaction and Marketing Director (fractional) in the US delivering a 310% revenue increase to $5m. Tim has 15 years of email marketing expertise with a heavily analytical approach to strategic choices. Connect with Tim via LinkedIn or Twitter.

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