Welcome to The Social Smarty Show, your weekly podcast for social media marketing tips, tactics, and practical digital marketing advice. Let's get you taking real action to grow your online audience, build connections, and your business. I'm your host, Jodine McIntyre. Think of me as your digital marketing coach, cheerleader, and wingwoman all rolled into one. Grab some of my social media marketing known out for free at social smarty. Freebs.
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Welcome to episode number 17 of The Social Smarty Show. In this episode, I'll be teaching you how you can leverage the power of social media to grow your email community and drive more sales for your business.
Now, as always, I like to start with the why. So let's just quickly visit why I think it's so important for your business to have an email community at all. I mean, can't you just use Facebook and Instagram to market your business? And isn't sending emails a waste of time? Well, let me paint a picture for you...
You wake up one morning, you grab your phone from next to your bed, open up Instagram for a scroll. But as soon as you open up Instagram, a notification pops up on the screen: 'your account has been disabled for violating our terms'. You sit up in bed. What the heck? What terms have you violated? You jump on your laptop and you try and log into the Instagram website and the same error message pops up on your screen.
So you flick a message to your friend and you say, hey, can you check my Instagram to see if it's still there? They check it, and yes, it is still active. But the most recent posts are rather explicit and clearly not posted by you. You've been hacked. All those years spent building up that following and someone has stolen it.
So you start googling how to recover a hacked Instagram account, but you keep coming up with dead ends. Eventually you just give up and you have to start again from scratch. How are you going to promote your sale next week? Your biggest sale of the year? You had planned out all of your Instagram content for the biggest promotion ever. This is such a nightmare.
Okay, I'm not saying having an email community would stop your Instagram account from being hacked, but what it would do is it would give you two things in this situation. So number one, it would give you a strong marketing channel to promote that upcoming promotion, which doesn't rely on social media's algorithms. And it also gives you an audience to reach out to. If you had to start again from scratch with a brand new Instagram account, you could literally send out an email to your email community inviting them to come and follow your new account.
So makes sense, doesn't it? But what is stopping you from building your email community? Well, when I work with business owners, it usually comes down to one of three things, sometimes all three. Number one is time. So you're so busy working in your business that marketing kind of takes a backseat. You keep up with social media, occasionally, and you do what you've always done. But I'm going to hazard a guess that because you're listening to this podcast, you're probably ready to up your digital marketing game.
Reason number two, you don't know what to write in your emails. It's all well and good having a list and growing a database, but what the heck are you going to actually send to these people?
Reason number three always comes up in conversation when I'm talking with business owners or running workshops. You're worried about spamming your email community. So if we look back at these three reasons now, number one, I can't help you with that. Yes, marketing your business does take time. It is what it is. But without marketing, you might not even have a business. So I say this coming from a place of love and support, but suck it up. You need to market your business.
Reason number two, not knowing what to write in your emails. Yeah, I get it. That is a legitimate concern. You don't know what to write. It is tricky. But stick with me and I'm going to give you some ideas a little bit later in the episode.
Number three, spam. Yes, I know we don't want to spam people. But you see the thing is, if someone is opting into your email list, joining your email community, then technically you can't spam them because the definition of spam is sending unsolicited, usually commercial messages such as emails to a large number of recipients. Now if they have actually opted in, then you can't exactly send an unsolicited email. The other thing I would say is if you are worried about spamming people, then I can almost guarantee you won't be spamming them because it is something you're thinking about consciously. And you're not going to send out emails willy nilly that are irrelevant to your audience. So try and shift your mindset around that. Email is a marketing channel. People opt in knowing they're going to be marketed to because they've signed up to your emails and you're a business. So let's email them.
I think what business owners really mean when they say they don't want to spam their email community is that they don't want to send emails that are irrelevant. They don't want to be too salesy and they don't want to send too many emails. So emailing too frequently and that all makes sense. So again, I have some suggestions later on in the episode that will help you address these concerns. But you are a business owner or a professional. Your job is to make money. You need to market yourself to do that. So we need to get over that little mindset issue there.
Okay, let's get into the reason that you're here. How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Email Community now my first piece of advice is to get really clear on the mindset around your various audiences. So the members of your email community, they're really your VIPs. In fact you can even call them that. You could call it your VIP group, your VIP community, your VIP club. And it's going to be a combination of people who have bought from you. So previous customers or clients, plus people who are potential clients or customers, but they are like our top tier, these are our VIP.
Now our social media audience members, well they're also important, but they're kind of more our Pips are pretty important people. So our email community members are our VIPs and we need to treat them as such. So when we have anything to share in our business that would be of value or of interest to our audience, we need to turn to our email community first. So things like special promotions, offers, sales, new products or services, competitions, collaborations, different ways of offering your products or services like bundles or packages. Maybe have popular products that are finally back in stock or an opening in your calendar for a new booking or a new client. Your email community gets first dibs then. Our social media community is also important, but they're always second. So anything that we need to share with our audience, we share it via email first and then to our social media community.
Now, when I write my emails, I have a very clear structure that I follow and this really helps my email community know what to expect from me. But it also helps me immensely in writing my weekly emails. Yes, I did say weekly.
Now if the thought of emailing weekly overwhelms you, do not worry. Let's do monthly instead. So each month you are going to write an email to your email community. You're going to start by writing as if you are writing to a friend. This is part of nurturing your audience. They need to know you or the people in your business. We want them to feel that connection, to buy into who you are and actually care about you or your team. Now, after that intro, we are going to have three or four items that we update each week. So you could have a product or service of the month where we highlight something specific. We could have a special offer or a promotion. We could have a team member of the month who you want to highlight and introduce. You could share a review or a testimonial you received over the past month. You could share a specific tip or a way of doing things or a specific tool. Anything that really helps us create that structure for our email. So we want an item theme or an item type that we can just update every month, but we need to find that balance between making it easy for you and that structure, but also making it valuable and interesting for our audience. And then we are just going to duplicate it every month and switch it out.
But always with that mindset, this is going out to our VIPs. What would they enjoy, what would they find interesting, what would they find valuable? So now that we have our structure sorted, we are going to use social media to drive people to join your email community. And once we know what we are talking about to our email community each month, it's going to make it much easier to kind of talk it up and promote it on social media.
So we are going to use the power of FOMO, the fear of missing out. How do we do this? Well, on social media I would create a post that lets everyone know about the special offer or the promotion or the exciting news that I'm going to be sharing with my email community tomorrow or later this week. But basically we're going to be really specific but also a little bit vague. So it's like a teaser. And then our call to action for the post is going to be something like if you're not already a member, come and join my VIP club by signing up here and we're going to add a link to our sign up page.
Notice I said page.
I do not want you sending your social media audience to your home page and expecting them to scroll all the way down to the footer to find a tiny little sign up form. We need to have a dedicated sign up page. If you want to check out mine, you'll find it socialsmarty.co/sign-up now I'll pop a link to that in the show notes but go and check it out. It is literally a page on my website with no other purpose than to generate sign ups for my email list. Now, over on Instagram we obviously can't add clickable links to our post. So instead our call to action is going to be click on the link in my bio to join my VIP club and then we're going to edit that website link. So we're going to edit our account or edit our profile and where it says Website link, that's where we put in the link to our sign up page.
Now, if you have an online store or a booking form or other links you want to include on Instagram, what we're going to do instead is we're going to create a landing page on our website with just buttons on it. So the buttons will say things like sign up or join my VIP club book services now or Shop online, whatever it is that's relevant to your business and kind of those key actions that you'll be promoting on Instagram.
If you don't have access to edit your website or maybe it's a little bit tricky, you can use a free tool called Linktree. So check out linktree. It's really simple to use and I'll put the link in my show notes. I'll also link to my landing page, my clickable landing page for Instagram. So you can see how I've laid that out. I just use a page on my website. Now, another way you can generate some FOMO is to talk about how many people are in your email community. So to do this, I would create a post that says something like click here to join 527 others in the VIP club. And then you put your link to your sign up page. Or for Instagram it would be click on the link in my bio to join 527 others in the VIP club. Now, as humans we want to belong, we want to follow the crowd. So this can be a really simple tactic.
So we can also take a more passive approach and we can simply add that link to our sign up page or our page with all the buttons on it, all the links on it. We can just add it to our social media account. So we've already talked about Instagram, so adding it as the link in your bio. But on Facebook we could make sign up our main call to action on our Facebook page. We could link to our sign up page on the description on our cover image. We could do the same with the description on our profile image on LinkedIn. We could add the link to our featured content on our personal profile. For YouTube, we can pop the link to our sign up page in our account so it just sits on the header of your YouTube account. You can add up to five links there. You could even add your landing page with the buttons on it or the link tree that you've created for Instagram. You could add that to your TikTok bio once you have a thousand followers. So there's lots of places we can put this sign up page link. And it just means that if people want to find out more about you or they want to join your community, maybe they're not ready to buy yet, maybe they're not ready to do business with you yet, but they want to learn more about you. It's a really nice way to get them into your ecosystem so that you can kind of nurture them. And when they are ready to buy from you, then you will be top of mind.
Now, another idea to drive people to your email community from social media is to run a competition. Now, competitions can work really well to grow your email community for a competition. I would promote the competition on social media, so talk all about it on social media. But to enter the competition, you need to sign up to my VIP club. This means that our existing members are automatically entered because they're already in the club. And that means we're not leaving our VIPs out. So I would create a post talking about the prize you're giving away, and then the call to action is to enter sign up to my email community here or join my VIP club here. And then we pop that link to our sign up form.
Now, a reminder that it is really important to repeat ourselves on social media. So you might want to post once a month with your FOMO inducing post, don't miss out style post. And then maybe every three months you could run a competition with entry via sign up to your email community. The reason it's important to repeat yourself is because we want to make sure that people who missed our last post see it. We might have new people coming into our audience on social media. We might have posted it recently, but someone missed that post completely. They scrolled on by or maybe they saw the post and they just didn't take action right then and there. So we want to be using this kind of content every month in our content plan so that we're really driving people through to our email community.
That's it for this episode. I hope it has given you some really good actionable tactics you can use in your business, in your marketing. As always, come and find me on social media. You'll find me @socialsmarty.co let me know if you have any questions, any feedback. Otherwise I'll see you in episode number 18. Stay social.