Social media is the talk of the town, but after many conversations we’ve found that people often leave with more questions about how to make effective use of social media for their business than when they came. To address this conundrum, VerticalResponse has put a lot of thought into how we can help small businesses use social networks to spread their email marketing messages most effectively (see our post from April). We think the social sharing features we’re about to release are the perfect combination of quick and effective, and as we put the finishing touches on them prior to release, we’d like to highlight some of the more unique aspects our new social sharing features will have.
Clicks vs. Social Reach
VerticalResponse has always been proud of our reporting features – they let you quickly see performance data in a nifty high-level dashboard with charts and graphs, and also allow you to drill into the details if you are so inclined. Continuing in that tradition, we’ve designed the social reporting to behave similarly: a combined dashboard view (so you can see your social data right next to your email data), along with downloadable details about who shared your email to their networks.
What’s particularly cool about our new social reporting is that in addition to showing the clicks from the emails, we also include a measure called Total Social Reach that will help you understand what happens after your message hits the social networks. These numbers have the potential to be wildly different, and in fact we’re hoping they are. Here’s why: let’s say you have 10 clicks on the “Like” button from your email. Once those 10 Likes hit Facebook, they can be re-liked/shared on Facebook, commented upon, etc., which has the potential to make your content viral. That means with 10 clicks, you might see something like 50 total Likes across Facebook (or more!). Wouldn’t it be great to know who on your list contributed to that?
With this approach, you not only see the intent of the person you sent your email to, but you’ll also see how people engage with your content. Armed with this information, you can take things one step further to determine who on your list has the most social influence (with a service like Klout), and then continue to focus on building a good relationship with them by giving them what you promised.
The Facebook Graph API
VR’s current social sharing features use an older integration with Facebook that, while functional, is somewhat limited in what it can do (the people at Facebook are in the process of fixing it as I type). Our new social sharing features use Facebook’s latest and greatest Graph API which is at the core let’s us automatically add Like, Tweet, and LinkedIn Share buttons to the hosted version of your email!
The two main benefits to this upgrade are that it allows a connection to all the Pages you control within Facebook at once (that means your profile and all the other Pages you own for your business) so that you can share your message more efficiently. And secondly, your recipients can share the content they receive from you. We’re obviously very excited about the upgrade and the additional functionality we’ll soon offer you, but since this is a completely new integration – even if you’ve been using our current social sharing features – we’ll ask you to re-link your VR and Facebook accounts just the first time you use the new sharing tools. It’ll only take a second, and you’ll be on your way to much more powerful social marketing!
So stay tuned, because expanding the reach of your email beyond the inbox is only a few weeks away!
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