Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok…the list of social media channels to master continues to grow.
Social media is a natural starting point to promote what you’re doing—after all, it’s where your customers are. (And let’s be real, we’re all scrolling our phones at some point during the day.)
But social media isn’t truly yours to command.
I mean, who here has been personally victimized by changes in an algorithm? ::raised hand emoji::
What makes social media powerful for business growth is how you can build awareness for your brand and funnel your followers into a property you do own: email.
We spoke with two creators to find out how they connect social media and email to magnify the impact on their business so you can do the same.
5 ways to use social media and email together
Think of social media as the entry point to your marketing funnel. It’s where potential customers get to know you and your personality. You can be funny, you can dance, you can talk about what you’re passionate about, and you can showcase your work. With video, text, and image-based formats, the possibilities are endless, depending on what you want to share.
Email is the way to deepen your engagement with your audience beyond superficial social media interactions. It’s where you nurture your potential customers into a purchase, provide a great customer experience, or speak on a 1:1 level with them.
Of course, you need both social and email for business growth, whether you’re a musician, author, coach, podcaster, or other creative. Here are five ways you can connect them together to make both channels go further:
#1: Create a consistent cadence of content for both email and social
Instead of thinking about email and social media campaigns as two separate calendars to maintain, consider creating a consistent cadence where they go together in some way.
Fitness creative Nikki Pepper brings a connected approach to her marketing campaigns. “I focus on a holistic approach to health and wellness, with nutrition, training, and sound healing. Everything is run virtually,” she says.
Pepper categorizes each type of post for her 11,000 followers and mixes them up to stay consistent, sending out an email campaign each week to her 850-person list timed with one of the posts:
- Educate: Tips for training, nutrition, or healing that align with her areas of expertise.
- Inspire: Client testimonials and stories to help followers relate to the work she does and build credibility.
- Inform: Upcoming workshops, training opportunities, or other sales motions.
Sending campaigns at the same time doesn’t require new copy or imagery, either. “My best tip is to keep everything the same if you can,” says Pepper. “I want to reinforce the messaging across channels, so people can see something from as many points as possible to have it resonate with them.”
That’s also what Melissa Ruiz, public speaking coach, does for her 3,000+ followers and 200 people on her email list. Ruiz says, “I primarily serve those who are feeling a little panicked when it comes to their public speaking, whether it be pitching, telling their stories, starting their business, or running a meeting.”
Her social media channel of choice is Instagram, where she focuses on calendar days to add consistency to her social media strategy:
- Tuesdays: Quick speaker tips that you can put in your back pocket—something to help you as you go into your next meeting.
View this post on Instagram
- Wednesdays: Testimonials from clients to showcase real people getting real results.
View this post on Instagram
- Thursdays: Selling upcoming opportunities to work together, such as workshops, webinars, or her online course.
View this post on Instagram
While she doesn’t always time an email campaign directly with her social posts, she does make sure to include calls to action for her email list on her social channels and vice versa. “I always make sure to include links to both,” says Ruiz. “For example, I’ll include a downloadable template for anyone who registers for a workshop to share that they’re attending on social media. So I’m able to take the email and bring it to Instagram and hopefully get more eyes on it.”
#2: Know what type of content your followers want
To create this consistent cadence, you need to map out your content for both channels ahead of time and make sure they go together. To do this effectively, you also need to know what kind of content your audience wants to see from you. You can do this in a few ways:
- Start with the data. What’s currently performing well on either channel? Are there themes in the topics you post or send that seem to spark the most engagement?
- Talk with your current customers. These are folks that have already raised their hand and said they want to work with you in some way, either by purchasing your products, joining a program, or attending an event. Ask them what they want to see!
- Check-in with your followers and subscribers. Ask them questions about content and run polls and surveys. Don’t be afraid to build your content calendar in real-time with input from them.
Ruiz sends DMs to new followers to see what they’re looking for, since she offers multiple services. “When I have new followers, I make sure to connect with them on a personal level,” she says. “They may be here because I’m a public speaking coach, or they may not. I ask them, ‘What are your goals?’ and if they do engage with me, I can send them to one of my landing pages and get them onto my email list.”
#3: Promote your regular newsletters as a way to dive deeper
For your followers to join your email list, you need to clearly communicate value. After all, they’re already getting news and updates from you on their preferred channel.
Position your email list as a way to go deeper with you—and make sure your email subscribers get more tips, inspiration, or information. Instead of giving it all away to your social followers, tease the news and direct them to your email list to get the full details.
The important thing to remember is that your followers aren’t necessarily going to jump straight to purchasing from you if their only relationship with you is through social media. Building trustworthy relationships takes time—and a great, casual way to build that trust is through a regular email newsletter.
Ruiz puts out a twice-monthly newsletter she calls “Mondays with Mel” to start the week. “I keep my subscribers up to date with what’s happening with me, maybe offer up a funny story or include a special speaking tip,” she says. “Right now, I have a workshop coming up, so I’ll include information like that. No matter what, I always vary what I include so it’s interesting.”
But newsletters don’t have to be limited to longer monthly or twice-monthly missives. Pepper keeps her weekly newsletters short and sweet, and always times them with whatever she’s talking about on social. “My emails focus on whatever I’m working on at the time,” she says. “Right now, that’s a weekly YouTube video or a quick tip or workout.”
Both give their subscribers more than they would receive just by following them on Instagram, and aren’t afraid to tease their followers with the idea that they could get special news and updates, inciting a little bit of FOMO to get them to join the email list.
#4: Deliver a lead magnet via social media to build your email list
Your followers have already said yes to knowing more about who you are and what you do. Creating a free downloadable offer (called a lead magnet) can quickly turn them from interested follower to subscriber.
What you choose to offer will differ based on your business, but what you want to think about here is what your followers need and how that naturally brings them to your products or services. Anytime Ruiz talks about getting ready for a big event, she links the freebie in her bio.
“I have a few free downloads, and one of my most popular is a speaker checklist,” says Ruiz. “If you’re doing a virtual or in-person event, there’s so much to think about. Another popular one I offer is a list of 1000 interview questions to help people prepare for job interviews. I offer both for free, as a way to get people on my email list.”
But it doesn’t have to be a downloadable asset or PDF to draw followers in. Pepper keeps a regular calendar of free events, challenges, and workshops as her lead magnets, so she can show the value of what she has to offer in real-time.
She designed her most recent campaign to give followers a way to jumpstart their year and build some momentum that she hopes leads to joining her full-time program. “To sign up for the 10 day challenge, I ask for a bit more information, like first name, last name, email, phone number, and Instagram handle, and once they submit it, I drop them into a few email automations to get them started,” she says. “But even if they don’t end up fully participating, I have their contact information and can start that relationship with them.”
Both recommended keeping your link page tailored to the most relevant campaigns you’re running and ensuring your email list is always there. “I don’t want them to be confused when they click the link in my bio,” says Ruiz. “Especially when I’m launching something like a workshop, I want to make sure it’s all right there.”
#5: Create segmented campaigns just for social media followers
Your social media followers won’t be the same as any old leads that drop into your funnel—they’re people who want to hear from you, who know what you’re up to day-to-day, and who are genuinely interested in what you have to say.
That means you should treat them differently when you do get them to join your email list. The easiest way to do that is to use tags within ConvertKit for any email you receive through your social media link page.
“For my most recent challenge, I built a specific welcome flow so once they submit their email, they hear from me right away,” says Pepper. “It’s relatively simple, mostly logistics on how to access the challenge stuff, but it’s important to spark that connection immediately.”
Pepper also runs a DM automation that allows her to build a full campaign for her lead magnets, including tailoring her messaging to anyone coming in from her social media channels. “The one I used most recently was a call to action to DM me the word “Challenge” to sign up for my 10-day event,” she says. “Once they DM me that word, the automation picks up on that and sends them a quick response to grab their email or visit my landing page to sign up.”
That way, you can tailor their welcome messaging based on your existing relationship instead of assuming they know nothing about you.
Social media + email = multiplied marketing power
Combine them if you want to get the most out of your social media and email marketing efforts.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with what works, even if something flops. Social media goes through ups and downs and algorithm changes, but if you back that up with a solid email list, you’ll be able to weather any storm.
“Don’t make anything mean anything,” says Pepper. “If no one signs up, all it means is you have to tweak something and keep on tweaking. The worst thing you can do is assign meaning to it and think that you haven’t built something amazing. It’s all in experimenting to see what’s going to work.”