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5 Quick and Easy Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Engagement and Build Your Email List

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Email marketing is huge and likely will be for many years to come. In fact, in Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s recently released 2015 State of Marketing Report, 73 percent of 5,000 marketers agreed that email marketing is core to their businesses and 60 percent went so far as to say that it was a “critical enabler” of their products and services, an 18 percent increase over 2014.

Here are five quick and easy ways that you can use social media to build not just a large, but a highly targeted and engaged email list.

1. Integrate your email service with your Facebook page.

Most major email service providers will have an app that allows you to collect emails right from within your Facebook page. These apps will let you have a fully functional email opt-in form, and your fans will never even have to leave Facebook.

Related: 8 Social Media Mistakes That Are Killing Your Brand

Your fans will simply need to click on the tab underneath your cover photo to access the form. As always, it’s a good idea to offer something of value here rather than just asking your fans to sign up for your list.

2. Hold a contest.

Hold a contest that makes handing over a valid email address an entry requirement. Try to choose a prize that only your target audience would care about, otherwise you could end with a whole lot of subscribers who really don’t care about your business. A strategically designed contest can yield amazing results.

To increase interest in my annual social media live event, Social Boom, I ran a Facebook contest where the winner would receive an “All Access Pass” to the event. Within 48 hours I had more than 800 entries, each one willing to give me their email address in exchange for their entry.

The best part is that these are not just “any” email subscribers. They are interested in social media or they would have not entered a contest to win a free ticket to a social media event.

There are a lot of great, low-cost apps out there that make it quick and easy to build your own Facebook contest.

3. Use Twitter to reach more followers and build your list.

With it getting harder and harder to reach fans on Facebook without using paid advertising, many (including me!) are finding great success distributing free offers using Twitter. For instance, my free ebook, 23 Quick & Easy Ways to Get More Twitter Retweets, has been downloaded over 10,000 times, resulting in thousands of new email list subscribers, as a result of a continuing series of tweets.

Even more exciting, I do not have to actually be on site to post the tweets. There are tons of tweet schedulers out there. I use Hootsuite for my normal tweet scheduling but, for evergreen content, such as a free offer, I use SocialOomph and build something called a queue reservoir. The software lets me set the times, frequency and campaign duration as well as recycles the tweets for later use. It is about as close to an automated email-building machine as you can get!

Related: How to Get Online Customers to Find You and Trust You

4. Use visual-based content to increase conversions.

Tweets with graphics get way more engagement in the form of “retweets” and “favorites” on Twitter than those that don't. People focus in on and would rather engage with pictures than words. That means greater reach and virality for you and more people clicking on and taking your free offers, newsletter opt-ins, etc., and joining your email list.

This does not just work on Twitter. It also works on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and most other social media sites.

5. Promote your offers.

Did you know that 42 percent of Facebook fans like a fan page primarily for the discounts and coupons they expect to get there? Facebook offers are a great way for getting your fans to "claim" a discount or coupon. As I discussed above, you can also use offers to give away your free info product.

While you can also promote these via your status updates, using paid Facebook offers gives you an added benefit: those who "claim" your offer get an email with details of the offer. This gets your name and business in front of them -- not just on Facebook -- but in their inbox as well.

While you don’t get access to their email address at this point, you will want to make sure you collect emails on the signup page people are sent to when they claim your offer.

On a recent offer, I spent $200 in Facebook advertising and 488 people claimed the offer. However, I got much more traffic than that because many of those people shared the offer with their fans and friends. The bottom line is I added 1,000 targeted list subscribers in just a few days.

Hopefully you can use one or more of these five quick and easy ways to use social media to help you build your email list.

Related: 3 Facebook Hacks to Help With Organic Reach