Nov 01, 2010
Introducing Social Networker: The Most Robust Tool Yet for Integrating Your Direct Mail and Social Media Strategies
It's a brave new world out there. From "Liking" and "Friending" on Facebook to "Following" on Twitter and "Connecting" on LinkedIn, social media is in. Now, you can combine the best of this new form of communication with the best of one of the oldest forms of communication with Click2Mail's latest mailing list feature.
Social Networker, a new option in our consumer mailing list, indicates the number of social network sites that a consumer is known to be a member of (including both free social and paid commercial networks). Though the data don't reveal the specific social network(s) the consumer belongs to, it opens up a wealth of opportunities for linking your direct mail and social media strategies.
First, let's put to rest some misconceptions that many people hold about social media (namely: it's just for kids). In fact, the average social network user is 37 years old. LinkedIn, with its business focus, has a predictably high average user age of 44. The average Twitter user is 39 years old; the average Facebook user is 38 years old; and the average MySpace user is 31 years old.
Direct mail to social media
The value of your social networks increases exponentially as they grow in size (1 new member invites 10 friends, who each invite 10 friends, and so on). So it's easy to see why companies are including their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn addresses everywhere - from point-of-sale signage to TV ads and billboards to radio announcements.
Indeed, using direct mail to both sell your offer and drive the mail recipient to your social media site(s) can be a huge win. Here's how to make it work:
1. You still have to follow the principles of good direct mail marketing (a compelling offer, a strong call to action, sensible copy and design). And your mailer needs to be about something more than just your social network. That said, there are a number of unique and inviting ways you can integrate the two. For example, launch a contest for the wittiest tweet about your product/service/company. Link up your Twitter and Facebook accounts and create a Facebook poll so people can vote on the tweets. Offer the winner a special freebie (or big discount). Then create a direct mail postcard with a list of some of the tweets (even if you created them to get the ball rolling) and a special offer for your product or service (everyone wins something). Who knows, you could go viral!
2. A daring strategy - one that has paid off well for companies like Old Spice and BMW - is to draw prospects into your story (and your brand) bit by bit. BMW, for example, developed a high-quality, all-star video with Madonna and Clive Owen, available only on the Internet, which it promoted with movie trailer-like TV commercials, inviting viewers to visit the website to see the rest of the video (and buy a Beemer, of course).
You could create the same sort of campaign with direct mail and YouTube (or any social network). Enshroud your brand in mystery or excitement with a compelling direct mail letter, then invite recipients to see the ending (or solve the mystery) on YouTube or Facebook.
Social media to direct mail
With the help of Social Networker you can use direct mail to drive visitors to your social media pages. But you can also use your social media pages to build your direct mail list. Offer a free white paper, special report, monthly discounts, or product catalog (which you send by mail, of course), to contacts in your social networks. When they give you their mailing information, you've doubled the value of that contact in your database (you now have two ways to reach him).