Written by Tomash Devenishek on January 8, 2013
in Social Media Marketing

Putting “Share” buttons in your brand’s email next year will not make you a social integration guru. This will.

I recently attended a presentation by one of the world’s largest and most innovative Email Service Providers (ESP’s); you know, the guys big brands use to send billions of emails to their clients and prospects. The key message was “email isn’t dead,” it’s evolving with the times and only traditional ways of using email (batch and blast) are actually becoming obsolete.

This theme reminded me that some forward-thinking brands, including a few of our clients, have already taken great leaps in this space by bridging the gap between email and social silos.

The Bonobos example

Enter Bonobos, a menswear brand founded by two Stanford MBA grads that clearly saw social media as a key pillar to the growth of their startup. Bonobos integrates real time, collaborative conversations and user-generated content into their email deployments.

Many brands do events, fewer send “thank you” emails – and even fewer still dynamically populate event photos from Instagram into that thank-you email. Bonobos does. They also seed social comments and conversations about email-featured products, which in turn enriches the social stories about those products.

Such vibrant social chatter is one of the most relevant and desired types of content for today’s consumer. A sound integration plan should harvest this unique content and share its message within a targeted email mechanism.

What this means for B2B

Social integration with email is a concept B2B brands also need to take a very close look at. With increasingly complex buyer journeys, more well-informed prospects and a growing number of suppliers, social chatter can help a brand cut through the noise of mainstream B2B tactics.

For any brand, social integration with email enables it to:

  • Collect richer data about clients and prospects.
  • Validate an offering or a value proposition.
  • Predict and understand customer and industry trends.
  • Grow its subscriber base.
  • Meaningfully expand the social footprint of the brand.
  • Alleviate the pressures and resources from creating proprietary content.
  • Make a quantifiable impact on e-commerce efforts and other business goals.

By 2015, advanced social integration tactics will likely be the norm – email content will become more real-time and user-generated than diligently controlled by the brand.

The technical infrastructure to implement such strategies does exist today. It’s the understanding of how email and social combine in a user-relevant way, and the initiative to pursue that understanding, that are still in development.

As always. If you’re looking to chat about this story or my other highlights of innovative brands, I can be found on Twitter (@tomashd).

 

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