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Hal Licino

Social Sharing Buttons: Email Marketing's Seismic Shift

May 06 2010, 12:32 AM by

The advent of the social network sharing button has caused some pundits to note that it may mark the beginning of the end of Google's stranglehold on the web. The structuring of web navigation based on sharing features such as Facebook's "Like" button could supercede the more static indexing conducted by Google and other conventional search engines. A Google SERP is essentially based on an algorithm's preferences, but the "Like" result is based on your friends' and family's preferences. When a computer user is given the choice between a buddy's recommendation and a convoluted program's, it's not difficult to see why the "Like" button could set up a seismic shift in the currently well ordered Google-ized universe. These social network sharing icons can also be assimilated by astute email marketers into their campaigns to provide an additional layer of connection and pertinence to the prospects and their social circles.

Sharing Buttons Can Dramatically Increase Marketing Impact

Leading edge email marketers are exploring various means whereby social network sharing buttons can be integrated into their current campaigns. One of the most powerful advantages to incorporating social network sharing buttons is to provide a greater sense of relevance to the reader and their social cliques. By featuring buttons that allow easy sharing of content on a wide variety of social sites, the "pass along" rate of your messages can skyrocket. In a few and very special cases, the message itself can go universally viral, which will then increase your marketing impact by several orders of magnitude.

There Are Many More Social Sites Out There Than Just Facebook & Twitter

The inclusion of a social network sharing icon does not necessarily need to be limited to the top of the pecking order sites of Facebook and Twitter, but also to sites such as MySpace and LinkedIn. It can also extend to the bookmarking websites such as StumbleUpon, Delicious, Reddit, and Digg.

The Brand Should Be Primarily Interested In Conversing, Not Selling

This sharing initiative considerably encourages and boosts bilateral interaction as the inclusion of the icon communicates that your company is interested in a conversation based on mutual interaction. This display of corporate openness is enthusiastically welcomed by many social media participants as it is generally interpreted as a hallmark of credibility, relevance and professionalism. This portrayal leads to an increased likelihood that your readers will click on the button in order to amalgamate your brand into their social circle.

The Slightest Hint Of Hucksterism Will Bury Your Campaign

There are also some caveats in social network sharing button integration: Although you might be willing to head down to the used car sales lot to save a few bucks on some rusty wheels from a checkered jacket huckster, it doesn't necessarily equate to wanting to invite him over for dinner. Similarly, the inclusion of sharing icons can be interpreted as counter-productive by some readers as it may seem to cross the line into gung ho self-promotion which is usually a taboo behavior behind the fortress walls of the online social fiefdoms. Some of the less internet proficient prospects such as senior citizens may also feel deluged by the sheer density of your choices, as well as suffering from incomplete comprehension of exactly what social sharing is all about.

In order to tread the fine line between these two extremes, wise email marketers are exercising great care in the integral position of these social sharing icons and with a heightened sensitivity to the brand-customer relationship.

Posted in Tips & Resources

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