While increasing your fans and followers on social networks is a great goal to strive for, your next goal should be to get those fans and followers into your customer database. This way, you will be able contact them outside of social networks and inside their email inbox. It is important to prepare yourself in case the social network you spent so much time developing a following on, suddenly falls out of favor. Think about what has happened to MySpace. If that happened to Facebook or Twitter, you might find yourself having to start over on the next social network of choice, but if you have successfully captured information to contact your fans and followers it will be easier to migrate your following. The following are five ways you can get your social media connections into your customer database.
1. Put a signup form for your mailing list on Facebook.
Take advantage of the ability to have custom content on your Facebook page by adding an email list sign up form to one of your Facebook page tabs.
While you don’t have to have a free giveaway to entice people to sign up, having one can help boost your opt-in rate. The form above on HubSpot’s Facebook page uses this tab image to encourage people to sign up.
Find out from your mailing list or CRM provider how to integrate an opt-in form to your Facebook page. Providers like Aweber, MailChimp, GetResponse, and Constant Contact have Facebook integration apps and easy to follow instructions provided on their websites.
2. Export your connections’ email addresses from LinkedIn.
Please note that you have to follow privacy rules, so you cannot use this tip to add these people to your mailing list, but you can use it to store their contact information. This is simply as a precaution just in case something should happen to your LinkedIn account. If you were to lose your LinkedIn account, you could start a new one and import those email addresses to re-add your previous network as new connections.
Use the dropdown to select an export type for Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Yahoo, or Mac OS X. The .CSV for Microsoft Outlook is usually the standard file format for importing email addresses to most other networks. For example, if you wanted to find your LinkedIn connections on Facebook, you could export the .CSV and import it to Facebook using the Add Personal Contacts as Friends tool.
3. Tweet your mailing list signup page once a month.
Unfortunately, you can’t place a signup form on your Twitter profile or export your Twitter contacts. But what you can do is tell your Twitter followers about your mailing list.
If you’re offering a freebie when someone signs up, it’s even better. Be sure to tweet new freebies such as coupons, e-books, or other items when available. Otherwise, tweet out a polite reminder to join your mailing list at least once a month for new followers and those who might have missed your last message.
4. Promote your mailing list on Google+ Hangouts.
There’s nothing more exciting than a live event. Google+ allows you to create Hangouts, or live video events with you and nine other participants via webcam. Other users can view your hangout later via YouTube.
There are two ways you promote your mailing list via Google+. One is to post an update on Google+ that mailing list subscribers will be invited to a special Google+ hangout with you. Another is to open up a Google+ hangout and discuss the benefits of joining your mailing list. Get creative with this method of live social promotion for your mailing list.
5. Add pictures to get your mailing list sign up promoted on Pinterest.
Want the mailing list sign up page on your website to get pinned on Pinterest? Make sure the page has an image!
The above pin of a HubSpot freebie includes a link directly to an opt-in page. This means that this share on Pinterest may lead users to sign up for HubSpot’s mailing list.
Another good tactic? Get a well-designed coupon graphic and pin it to your business’ Pinterest account and blur out the coupon code. Add some text to your pin saying mailing list subscribers will get this coupon for X percent off of one of your products for some Pinterest follower conversions to your customer database!
Bonus Tip: Use SocialToaster to Grow Your Database.
SocialToaster provides its users with an email database of their Brand Ambassadors. You can see how teams like the Baltimore Ravens and the Detroit Lions use incentives like points and prizes to encourage ambassadors to join their program. As you grow your database of Toasters, you can leverage it by sending them targeted messages to keep them engaged and promote exclusive offers. Learn more about how it works and check out a live demo.
What do you think? Do you have tips for converting fans and followers to email subscribers? What strategy are you using to collect contact information from your loyal followers?