There are three main components you need to create a strong presence online: websites, email and social networks.  Businesses often focus on just one element or keep each part gated off in its own silo, don’t make this mistake.

You should be developing all three equally and find smart ways to make them work together.  Your website should be the home for your content with email and social media being used as a distribution mechanism.

According to this MarketingSherpa survey, 75% of social media users said that email is the best way for brands to communicate with them.

Here is how you can make them work together:

#1 – Cross-pollinate Your Lists

It’s easier to bridge an existing fan over to other networks than find a new one.  Take advantage of the support you already have around you.  A great way to do this is to cross-pollinate your lists.

  • Add social buttons to your emails
  • Set-up an email opt-in form on your social pages
  • Offer prizes to create cross-channel referrals

#2 – Use a Clear Call to Action

A big mistake a lot of people make is that they hide their call-to-action.  It’s usually hidden in the footer where it provides no sense of urgency to the user.  Think about what you want to accomplish with each email and then push people towards what goal.

  • Keep it simple, highlight only one call to action at a time
  • Try to find creative messaging, avoid generic action statements
  • Make your desired action clear but don’t be pushy

#3 – Use Email to Start Conversations

Email is not the best place to develop community conversations but it can be a great kick-starter.  Try posing a question and then make your call to action an invitation to join the discussion.  This will drive traffic to your social pages using a more subtle approach.

  • Invest some time creating thought-provoking questions
  • Don’t go over the top with it but be controversial
  • Talk to your audience and take suggestions for good topics

#4 – Create Unique Strategies for Each Channel

The goal of your social campaigns should not just be to add a bunch of followers; you need to be creating engaging experiences with your audience.  To achieve this, understand how your audience uses each network.  According to HubSpot, these are the most common use-scenarios for each channel:

  • Email: highly-relevant, personalized content
  • Facebook: promotions, product updates, fun & entertainment
  • Twitter:  special offers, sharing content
  • LinkedIn:  networking, lead generation, sharing content

#5 -Market your Email Newsletter to Social Networks 

A lot of email service providers make it easy to give each newsletter a dedicated URL.  Take advantage of this and promote it.  It’s a great way to connect with people that aren’t currently on your newsletter and show them what they’re missing.  Think of your newsletter more like a magazine, something that people actually want to read.  Share information, resources, opinions, etc., just make sure it’s not a list of boring company announcements.

  • Post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • Give your newsletter a theme and own that niche
  • Engage others by commenting on their blog, social pages, etc. and include your newsletter

These aren’t hard rules but rather guidelines that will hopefully make you think differently about how to create more synergy between all of the moving parts.  Above all, keep experimenting and have some fun with it!

About the author: Patrick Carver is Director of Marketing at FlashIssue, a tool that helps marketers quickly and easily create email newsletters.