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It’s clear that social media has an outsized role in our lives. But how exactly does that translate for businesses and organizations? If people are mainly logging into their social accounts to read the news or post photos of their grandkids, there aren’t many opportunities to make a marketing impact.
This is where it gets interesting.
Modern social media users have actually come to expect interactions with brands. They want to learn about products and services, as well as get a feel for your unique personality.
Whereas entertainment and interpersonal connections were once the most popular activities on social media, brand engagement has now risen near the top. These stats tell the story:
Yes, engaging with brands is a priority for the majority of social media users. So you have an incredible opportunity to test content and build connections. And the buck doesn’t stop there. All the learnings and successes from your social media laboratory can be leveraged with great success on other marketing channels, such as email.
There’s a significant difference between repurposing something and simply reusing it. Reusing something is akin to copying and pasting, which is a self-serving approach that’ll feel unhelpful and inauthentic to your readers. Sure, it saves you time. But you need to think about the costs associated with boring your followers.
Effectively repurposing content for your email campaigns means that you take what’s working beautifully within your social channels and then strategically adapt it to benefit your email readers. The word “repurpose” actually means to find a new purpose for something that’s already existing, implying that you need to strategically consider how to use your social content within this separate channel.
Not all of your high-performing social content qualifies for the email realm, so be judicious. Here are a few key questions to ask:
As long as you can answer these questions in the affirmative, you have a solid piece of content that will likely perform well as an email.
Your repurposing strategies will vary from case to case because the unique purpose will depend on the audience and strategy. But here are four suggestions to help you start making cross-channel transitions that retain the original quality.
Social media is a predominantly visual experience. Think about how you usually view the content within your feed—it’s likely a lot of looking and only occasionally reading. If you’re on a mobile device, this phenomenon is particularly noticeable.
Pay attention to how quickly your thumb is moving as you swipe through content.
If your thumb pauses for a moment, hovering with anticipation over the screen, you must have encountered something particularly interesting.
Using the analytics tools built into your social channels, look for the content that got your followers to stop scrolling. The images within this content, whether they’re photographs or graphical creations, obviously pack a punch. Find creative ways to use them in your email, whether it’s as a hero image, embedded within the copy, or included as an attachment.
Let’s say that your brand shared an infographic on Facebook, and it absolutely blew up, leading you to want to share it with your email subscribers. You might start by looking at the post’s caption and seeing if it has relevance to your subject line. Rather than an afterthought, you should think about subject lines as the doors to your content. If it’s not accessible and interesting, nobody will ever open it up.
Next, you could think about the best way to present the infographic. If it had been shared by many of your users on Facebook, you will want to make the content equally shareable within this email. So you might opt to attach it to the email as a PDF file.
For the email’s copy, you could draw once again from the caption of the original post. Reading through the comments on the Facebook post, you could also identify some of the infographic’s elements that most resonated with your followers. These insights can further help you craft the subject line, headline, and body copy.
Social media is unique in that it breaks down many of the walls that have traditionally existed between brands and consumers. If a person really loved a certain brand of jeans in the 1990s, they might mention it to their friends. But the reach of influence likely ended there.
Flash forward a few decades and customers can now broadcast their feelings about a brand to a global audience. If a person loves their new jeans, they’ll post photos of them wearing them and then tag the brand. Savvy brands then display these photos on their websites as a way of enhancing their social proof.
Seeing examples of other people choosing a certain brand is always more impactful than merely reading their reviews of those same brands.
Those user-generated images are helpful for your website, so they might also become heavy hitters when included in your emails. Ask permission from the user to feature their photo and then brainstorm the best ways to showcase it to your subscribers.
Other assets you can borrow from social media include user testimonials and reviews. Round up the best quotes and then put them together in an email that showcases how ordinary customers feel about your brand. You’ll be amazed by how much more open people are to the opinion of their peers than they are to your (admittedly biased) perspective.
This is one of the simplest strategies out there. Review your top-performing posts from the past six months or so, then create a roundup that includes the best of the best. You could potentially use pull quotes to show some of the best or funniest comments from users so that it feels more energetic and collaborative than a basic list of screenshots.
A major benefit of this type of email is that it highlights the quality of your social media channels, which can, in turn, prompt your email subscribers to go follow your accounts. There’s likely some overlap between these two audiences, but this is your chance to spur some of the email-exclusive followers into action. Remember: the more touch points you have with customers, the more engagement you’re going to get.
Social media makes it easier than ever to seek the opinion of your followers. If you had a particularly interesting poll that got a solid response, you should send it out to email subscribers so that they can see the various perspectives of their peers. Such emails also highlight the engagement you’re getting on social media, which strengthens the image of your brand as customer-focused.
Once you’ve shared the best parts of the poll or survey, don’t miss the chance to share how your brand is taking the learnings to heart. For example, if an Instagram poll revealed that your customers love a certain product above all others, you could announce that you’re offering free shipping on that item for the next 30 days. Or you might say that you’re going to research new versions of the product so that you can continue to deliver an exceptional experience.
If the poll revealed areas for improvement, such as long customer service wait times, you could share the steps you’re taking to improve the situation. This kind of vulnerability and eagerness to improve can go a long way in building trust and loyalty.
There are plenty of good businesses out there that still operate within silos. They might have a dedicated email team on one side of the building, a digital team working on the other side, and a video team that’s entirely remote.
You don’t always have total control over where your people are physically located, but you definitely need to make sure they’re collaborating. Repurposing content builds goodwill between teams because it saves time, shows trust, and leads to better results. By knocking down the silos and encouraging your teams to share their top-performing content, you’ll set the stage for sustained success. And your followers will appreciate the efforts as well, as it provides a more cohesive experience and helps them engage with your brand when and where they most prefer.
Twilio SendGrid is happy to help you find the best ways to optimize your email campaigns and get the best results. If you don’t already have an account, click here to sign up for free. You’ll then have access to all the tools and resources necessary to create cross-channel content that doesn’t just get noticed but also drives action.