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Webinar Recap: 3 Experts Weigh in on the Collision of Search, Social & Email

By , August 25, 2014

As social marketers, it’s easy to get trapped in our social worlds – dwelling on metrics like retweets, Facebook likes, and Pinterest pins. But, taking a broader view of your marketing program and how all channels work together, will better position your team to achieve real business value.

This was the topic of this month’s Shoutlet webinar, featuring Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing,  DJ Waldow, Founder of Waldow Social, and Teresa Caro, Shoutlet’s SVP of Industry Solutions. These experts shared perspectives on aligning social, email and search within your organization. We look at some of those connection points below – you can also watch the full presentation for more awesomeness.



“The exciting thing about the topic of search and its intersection with social,” says Odden, “is you can be guaranteed of one thing: Things are going to change. Then, they’re going to change some more.”

Odden shared insight into this ephemeral world of search rankings – reminding marketers to stay focused on the customer. By creating fantastic content and engaging your customer, you’ll continue to grow your social audience. This audience, and their actions, will have a big (albeit indirect) impact on search.

“That [social] audience may be empowered to publish – their own blogs and social sharing. The greater the audience, the greater the power to publish, the more signals they can create through social channels, and other channels, that are directly related to what Google looks into for ranking content.”

While an individual tweet may not affect search directly, says Odden, this indirect impact can be incredibly important to managing your search placement.

Social content, however, can directly impact search. The challenge is, how do you stand out among the sea of content creators?

“The common ground is customer focus – really understanding the relationship between consumers you’re after and how they discover content on the web,” says Odden. “Where do they look? What keywords do they search on? What questions do they ask to their social networks [and communities]? When you think about that, you can better create an engaging experience.”

Social Listening as a Tool Optimize to Content and Search

Social listening is an effective way to gauge audience needs and interests. Caro cites three ways listening adds value to other channels:

  • “Look at social as a source of inspiration. What are some relevant themes and trends? What are key topics of discussion?” Using listening to identify these and drive content creation will ensure your marketing is timely and relevant.
  • Social reporting: Tracking volume and types of conversations on social provides valuable analytics to help you evaluate the success of your campaigns.
  • A source of new conversations: The popular search phrases tend to be more expensive. Social is a great source to uncover other long-tail keywords and phrases.


“When I think of email and social going together, I always use the analogy of Batman and Robin, or peanut butter and jelly. Our mutual colleague Jay Baer uses Lady Gaga and Madonna,” Waldow says.

Email may be the older of the two, but it’s not dead yet. He underscored email’s vital role in the marketing mix, as a piece of owned data that connects directly to business objectives.

“Owned data is the key,” added Caro. “Facebook and other social data are rented. So the golden key is getting to owned data and using all your channels, not just social, to drive that. “

Shoutlet customer Ballard offers the perfect example. By running a Facebook contest asking people to enter (with their email) for a chance to win merchandise credit, the home furnishings company added 31,000 new names to their database – driving new owned data (email addresses) that Ballard could add to their customer email communications.

How to Socially Optimize Your Emails
DJ recommends three strategies to ensure your emails are social-friendly:

  • mprofsSocial sharing. Include social sharing options, like MarketingProfs does in their communications, so readers can share a piece of your content or the entire issue. Use tracking functionality to evaluate shares, impressions and conversions.
  • Social connecting. Share your other channels with email subscribers – encourage them to follow and connect with you in these other destinations as well. And give them a reason to do it, says Waldow. “Tell me why I should follow you.”
  • Social promotion. Get creative in encouraging subscription to other channels.  Blogger Chris Brogan saw a large boost in subscriptions by making a video ask.


contentmktIt all comes back to the customer, says Odden. As a business, look at how each channel drives action, and ultimately, how they all work in concert to support the customer’s buying journey. As an example, he shared the marketing strategy for a content marketing ebook series that used search, social, influencers, and email, to increase registrations to Content Marketing World.

The development processed involved finding and highlighting dozens of content marketers. The topics and marketers themselves were guided by keyword strategy.

“We emphasize what people search on and talk about on the social web as the guiding force for our editorial choices,” said Odden.

In promotion, this use of keywords helped discovery of the ebook series. The influencers, happy to share something they were featured in, promoted the books across the web.

Ultimately this “synchronization between search visibility and social discussion attracted a lot of people to the destination where they could subscribe and be entered into a lead nurturing program.”

The Final Takeaway? Be More Human.

“No matter which channel we use, we forget we are communicating with other human beings,” says Waldow. “We hit send and forget that humans are reading it on the other end.”

As you create content or strategies for any of these channels, think of the human on the other end, and ensure that the results speaks authentically. That alone can position you for success.

There’s so much more where this came from. Watch the entire presentation with these three experts here: