Can you really grow your email list by using social media sites?
Sure, getting more followers, shares or repins is pretty straightforward, but to really take advantage of social media in your business, you need a way to convert your social traffic into email subscribers.
The answer, though, is yes, you can grow your list through social, but it’s going to take a bit of strategic planning on your part.
There’s more to it than signing up for an account, posting a few status updates, sharing a few stories, and then sitting back while hordes of people start tripping all over themselves trying to get on your email list.
It’s a strategy worth pursuing, however.
According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 65% of the population is using social media. In other words:
- There are over 1 billion daily active users on Facebook
- Twitter has over 320 million active users
- Instagram has a community of over 400 million
This essentially means your target audience is on social media all the time.
It’s your job to get on their radar and capture their email address.
Let’s take a look at some of the key ways you can start using social media to build your email list.
Contests and Giveaways
An easy way to grow your list and drum up awareness of your brand is to host a contest or giveaway.
There’s something about contests, sweepstakes and giveaways that people find irresistible.
Whether it’s to win a product or service – or even just a gift card – if it’s of value, you can be sure people will enter for a chance to win.
What amounts to a business write-off or marketing expense can get you buzz, publicity and grow your email list seemingly overnight.
For example, Design Milk hosted a giveaway for their readers with a prize consisting of a DIY Print Shop Original Print Shop Kit worth over $600.
To enter, people filled out the form and gave their email address.
Design Milk promoted this on Twitter and Facebook.
— Design Milk (@designmilk) February 23, 2016
With a high incentive like in Design Milk’s example, many people will gladly give up their email address for a chance to win.
On the technical side of things, here are some places that make it easy to set up a social giveaway or contest:
Write a blog post, tell your current subscribers about the giveaway, and start promoting it on your social media channels to get the buzz going.
Optimize Your Social Media Bio
What does your Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or other social media bio currently say?
Most social sites have a spot for a personal statement or bio; are you taking full advantage of this valuable space?
Like a lot of businesses, you might have the obligatory boring blurb about your business and maybe a funny fact.
Instead of boilerplate write-ups and witty quips, tell people what you do and more importantly, what you can do for them.
Then, go ahead and throw a link to your lead magnet or landing page in there.
Use Bitly or another link shortener if your URL is too long.
Since you’ve already captured the reader’s attention – there’s a good chance they follow (or just followed) you – why not entice them to sign up for your mailing list?
This is an easy way to optimize your bio for conversions and gain more subscribers.
It’s exactly what blogger and photographer Julie Claveau is doing on her Twitter profile.
After telling you a bit about what she can do for you, she has a link for you to sign up to her free photography course.
Clicking the link takes you straight to a landing page where – you guessed it – you’ll need to give up your email address to join the course.
Make Use of Social Media Headers and Pinned Posts
Facebook and Twitter both allow you to upload a customized social media header image.
This is prime real estate you can use to promote your logo, company name and URL for your lead magnet or landing page.
Space is at a premium and this won’t be a clickable link, so like we suggested with your social media bio, use a link shortener like Bitly to shorten a long URL.
And, if you do use Bitly, go ahead and create a customized link that’s easy to remember (and type).
Not only do you want your lead magnet URL on your header image, you also want to have a pinned post.
With both Facebook and Twitter, you can pin a post so it always stays at the top of your page.
Whenever someone visits, it will be the first post on your timeline.
Brent Jones, a freelancer and blogger, pinned a post on his Twitter feed that contains a content upgrade – his preferred way to grow his email list.
By having the URL for your lead magnet in your social media header – and then as a pinned post on your timeline – it’s much more likely people will sign up to your list on their own.
And if they miss the pinned post or didn’t notice your header image, you still have your social media bio to attract their attention.
You’ll get them coming, and you’ll get them going – you do want to grow your email list, after all.
Add a Sign Up Button on Facebook
A great way to optimize your social media profile – on Facebook for example – is to add a Sign Up button to your header.
Start by logging into your Facebook page and finding the Create Call to Action button.
Just select the Sign Up option from the drop down menu and enter the URL of your lead magnet or landing page in the Website field.
That’s all there is to it.
You’ll have a dedicated button for people to click on in your profile header that takes them directly to your landing page – where you can work your magic to capture their email address.
It sounds so simple, but not a lot of people are doing this on Facebook.
And never underestimate how much people like to randomly click on buttons!
In addition, some email service providers enable you to integrate a sign up form tab directly on your Facebook page by using their Facebook app.
We won’t get into the technical details since each provider can implement it differently, but you can check out social media strategist Peg Fitzgerald’s Facebook sign up form to see what it could look like.
Social Media List Building Wrap Up
There you go – a handful of easy and highly effective ways to grow your email list on social media.
By running contests and valuable giveaways you’ll be sure to attract your target audience, and by requiring them to enter their email address to enter, you’ll grow your list quickly.
And with your newly optimized social media bio, social media header, sign up buttons, and pinned posts all focusing on directing visitors to your landing page URL, you’re doing all you can to push them to subscribe to your list.
Over to you – what other methods have you used on social media to grow your email list?
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