How many Facebook fans do you have? Is your LinkedIn group loaded with thousands of followers? If you got in at the beginning of the Twitter explosion, you could have tens or even hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers. Now let’s ask another question … how many of those followers you have worked so hard to accumulate are actually on your email list?
If you have 10,000 social network followers, what good are they really? That may or may not engage with you, and as soon as you make a post, an update or a tweet, your message is lost in the barrage of social networking updates that arrived just as soon as you clicked the enter button. Make no mistake about it, email list subscribers gained through your social media accounts are much more important than network followers.
The point just made is the premier reason you should be using social media to grow your email list. You work very hard to engage your followers. Unfortunately, so does every other marketer out there. You take time to write a really great blog post, and you link to it on all of your social networking accounts. Within just seconds of posting that update, your message has been knocked down to the bottom of the page and is virtually invisible.
However, when you use your social networking efforts to build your list, you are shooting the proverbial fish in a barrel. When you send an email to your list, you are not competing with millions of marketers on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. You gave that person a free download, e-book or checklist that they found valuable. In return, they joined your email list, giving you permission to contact them through their in-box.
This is a very intimate form of communication. It is a 1-on-1 contact instead of a 1-on-all-my-followers announcement. Each individual list member feels you are talking to just them. They do not get that kind of feeling on a social media network, where they have intentionally gone to hang out with all of their friends and followers, not just you.
Another good reason to use social media for list building is because your prospects are relaxed. Their guard is not up like it would be if they were on a used car lot. They followed you because they enjoy, trust or like you and the content you share online. So while they may be constantly scrolling through tons of content, when they do come across your post offering them a value-rich free download, they are more likely to join your email list than some random web surfer.
Social networking has a lot of benefits for the email list builder. Just make sure you are tempering the number of times you share the link to your landing page or opt-in page. Social media is all about socializing, and not selling. Engage and socialize frequently, and offer free valuable downloads to build your email list occasionally, and your list-building efforts will be successful.