Many think the widespread use of social media has made email marketing obsolete. But in fact, social media has made email more powerful than ever.

If you already use email and social media marketing to promote your business, why not integrate them? Both can be helpful on their own, but combining these tools makes them even more effective.

Because search engines seek to return the most relevant content of the highest quality, social shares have become a valuable component for search engine rankings. Social shares extend the reach of your emails, allow you to identify key metrics and provide an opportunity for growing the number of “followers” you have in various channels. The more people share your email, the more potential you have for increasing interest and exposure in your firm.

But where do you begin with integrating the two worlds of social media and email? Here are five places to start:

1. Add social icons to your emails. While this may sound like an obvious one, it’s just as easily forgotten by most. Don’t stop at adding tiny icons at the bottom of your email. Call it out in your email. Dedicate a little space to explaining why you want to hear from them and how they can do it. The more they understand, the faster they will find you on social media. In fact, WebDAM recently revealed a study stating emails with social sharing buttons increase click-through rates by 158%.

2. Ask your clients and prospects to share and connect. Sometimes just including social icons is not enough. While many of your readers recognize the Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn icons, not all of them know the specific action you want them to take. Take a moment to offer clear directions that are easy to follow. Here’s an example: “Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Simply go to our Facebook page, read through our posts, check out our photos and ‘Like’ our page.”

3. Develop an email campaign. To continue driving traffic and interest, try sending an email dedicated solely to educating your clients and prospects about your social media presence. This is also the perfect opportunity to incorporate your most popular email content into status updates (and vice versa).

4. Provide “social” incentives. If you want someone to connect with you or your firm on social media, you need to provide an incentive. That means answering the question: “What’s in it for me?”

For example, ask your clients to invite their friends to like your page on Facebook. In return, provide an incentive that benefits everyone, especially those who are spreading the message for you. You could offer to enter clients who successfully get friends or colleagues to ‘Like’ your company page into a drawing to win a Starbucks gift card.

5. Promote email marketing on your blog. One often-overlooked integration option is using your blog to mention, link to and ask for new followers. Think of your blog as an avenue to reach current clients and showcase your expertise to prospective clients. Content marketing is only going to grow in popularity, and building your own channel to share valuable pieces of information is a great way to get as much exposure as possible.

Each one of these areas is a small, meaningful step every advisor can take toward building a relationship between email and social media.

With excitement rising around social media in our industry -- a trend that will only continue -- it’s crucial for advisors to realize it isn’t one dimensional. Email is a perfect example. The key is to constantly re-invent the way you are interacting with clients and prospects to ensure your message is being heard. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Ron Carson is founder and CEO of Carson Wealth Management Group, a comprehensive wealth planning firm, and Founder of Peak Advisor Alliance, the largest advisor coaching program in the country. Joe Steuter, director of marketing at Peak Advisor Alliance, contributed to this article.

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