If you are into building a marketing list using Social Media, you must bear in mind the principles that apply to successful list building through websites. You must not ask for too much information – name and email are quite enough; you must offer something of value for free so that people want to opt in and, more importantly, stay subscribed; you must keep in touch with your contacts without spamming them and continue to provide value with out trying to sell to them.

With that in mind, let us take a look at a few site specific strategies that you could use to successfully build a list using social media.

Pinterest

You can now officially use Pinterest for business. You can take advantage of this and use the feature that lets you put a price tag at a corner of your pins. You could mention in the pin description that for a short period of time you are giving a ten percent discount only through this link. The link obviously leads to your opt in page.

You can try the same strategy using special ‘Discount Boards’ where you will be posting pins regularly to announce new offers. Of course, you must calculate how much you can afford to ‘pay’ for the list you will be building, but the strategy is sound.

Facebook

You can hold contests for essay writing, videos or photos, or you could prefer a sweepstake. Make sure you choose a third party app that supports mobile browsers to tap into the 500 million plus users that access Facebook from mobile devices. Set your goals carefully to avoid wasting time and money, and organize a contest with a prize that will further highlight your business. This could mean giving away your products to one lucky winner every day for a certain period of time.

Especially if you want to build a list in a short period of time, you might want to add a referral feature to the contest. Insert a clause that a contestant with 10 or 20 votes from other entrants will be eligible to enter the final phase. This will prompt entry from really close people of the contestants, friends or family who would be happy to see them win. What this means for you is not just a few more emails, but connecting with a group of people who trust each other. In future, when you convince one, you stand a fair chance to convince all or most of the others.

Apart from contests or games, there are third party apps that can add a subscriber form to your Facebook Page. This is very useful since people can subscribe without ever leaving Facebook.

However, your subscription option will display on your Page as a little box along with ‘photos’ and other info about you right under the ‘Like’ button. To draw attention to it,use an image that catches the eye. The image could even be a graphic text that will give a call to action visible clearly in thumbnail view.

Linkedin and Twitter

The options here may be limited, but if you are otherwise active, you can make use of a link in your profile section on Twitter to connect to your website opt-in page. You can use the same link while filling in your ‘Website’ on Linkedin.

Now you will need to make twits or updates that draw attention to these links. Don’t go around peddling your ware continuously, but teasers about upcoming giveaways (again, with the link in them) do help when they are supplementing your regular social interactions. This is especially true for Linkedin where your Website link will normally be hidden under the contact info tab.

In conclusion, it is important to point out that when you want to build a list using social media, you must have a social presence first. You could, of course, use Facebook ads to get the word out when you are new, but once you have your subscribers or fans, you must learn to keep them. Regular contact, a follow up after each contest expressing your appreciation for their participation, a twit to thank everyone that opted in to a certain offer, a pin that expressly thanks people who visited your site to attend an event – all these go a long way to building a loyal subscriber base. Remember the keyword ‘social’, combine it with strategies appropriate to particular social networks, and you should have no problem building a list using social media.

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