January 29, 2013

Key components of any Social Media Newsletter or Digests

This is my answer to the question, What are the key components of any Social Media Newsletter or digest? On +Quora

I've  managed a newsletter / knowledge docket for the Social Media Agency. We created this docket for our clients and I'm sure many other agencies have something of that sort that is sent out weekly/fortnightly/monthly for their clients as primary target audience.

So will share some experiences as to what in my opinion could be a very good idea/structure to create a Social Media Newsletter for respective target audience as such.

So what is it that drives these newsletters? I'm sure every one now gets a lot of information with smartphone / tablet apps like Pulse, Flipboard, Zite, Reader, Pocket etc. So why the need for another newsletter in your inbox to clutter your mailbox? 

What really does matter to audiences on 'e-mail' per se? 

Answer: Same thing as would matter when they are exploring / reading various social media sites. Unique, insightful and interesting information. More importantly the connection that they would feel to become the 'informed' professional in Social Media space.

So here are a few key components that I'd think would make sense while creating a 'newsletter/digest' typically informing them of Social Media happenings / content / news and more importantly insights that matter to their brands, relationships and individual use.

1. Intelligent Curation 

Try to find out what interests your target audience. Curate content that will provide them insights, information and most importantly allow them to understand concepts and learning that will help them improve their work / profile or give insights on their business.

2. Appealing Design 

This is a fundamental that I always follow in any form of content promotion and marketing approach. You'll probably find me advocating this as one of the top two points in most of my talks / blogs about content marketing. First comes the design and then the content marketing. We constantly keep giving Steve Jobs's example and I'm sure we very well know why.

3. Must Read or Should Read? 

Same concept as to product development. Does your content and overall thoughts you are curating / preparing for your newsletter really resonate with your audience? Does it give an opportunity for

4. User Interface and Ease of Access 

Does your newsletter come across as easy to read in email or is it too complicated i.e. One that follows multiple processes or steps to actually end up going to various links OR One that can be read in your mail in say, 10 minutes tops. (Tools like Xydo Curation can be great help) If you don't want to redirect people, you can always send a pdf with links. That works for a lot of folks too.

5. Frequency of your newsletter/emailer 

A key to ensure that your newsletter doesn't just become another cog in the machine or another SPAM / MARK AS READ EMAIL. Does it make the user click that STAR / favorite if he's too busy to read then, or does it really get him to wait for every week/fortnight to get more content / insights.

6. Does it stand out 

What does your Newsletter give that others don't? Think of that and this question will answer itself. It's imperative that you stand out. By that it does not mean you just wear a pink shirt with a green pant in a crowd full of suits. It means that how much of value add it provides to your reader by being that exceptional.

7. How Social/ Intelligent is your content 

It need not always be something that is curated. One off posts in the newsletter could be an editorial format as well. But overall, are you just randomly curating links from popular posts/blogs which people might have read and is information that they are already privy to, or is it an insightful blog that provides new angles and shift in analysis of data / trends on Social Web.

Some of my inputs on what could be key components of any Social

Media Newsletter / Digest. Do you want to add a few more points to round it to a NICE TEN components? Would love to hear from you. 

Srinivas has been a communications professional for over 10 years, and has been blogging since 2005. He has worked with the likes of Social Wavelength, now Mirum India, (A JWT Group Company) for four years and now Heads Learning and Development & Analytics at Social Kinnect: A Digital Marketing Agency in Mumbai. His passion for Advertising, Creativity, Social & Digital Marketing helps make a difference for the brands they work with. 

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