SilverPop has just announced their new “Share to Social” service, and it’s a pretty interesting idea. The way it works, according to the SilverPop press release, is that it “allows marketers to quickly turn emails into socially-enabled viral messages. With a click, marketers can place links within an email allowing recipients to easily post the message to their profile page on Facebook or MySpace, where friends can see the message, make comments and even post the email on their own profile pages.”
Now, while tell-a-friend systems tend to invite users to spam their friends, encouraging a user to post your email on their own social networking profile page is very different.
Of course, you don’t need to use a special system to do that – you can simply include a link in your own email to Facebook and Myspace, encouraging your readers to share your email with their friends there. It won’t be as elegant as something which takes advantage of the Myspace or Facebook API, which I assume SilverPop’s service does, but it’s a start.
The SilverPop service also offers tracking “which social network the recipient posted the message on, telling marketers which one achieved the best results. Silverpop creates a unique tracking code for every shared message, so marketers can tell, for example, that an email posted by a recipient on Facebook was opened 1,000 times while one posted on MySpace was only opened 100 times.”
Their tracking system even measures the number of click-throughs generated by the posting at a given Facebook or MySpace page, so you can know which of your user’s posts to Facebook or Myspace generated the most clicks. SilverPop suggests that you can use such tracking to spot and target influencers, saying that “Such sought-after influencers are easily identified and targeted. Lists of social influencers can be created in Silverpop’s solution with one click by simply viewing the “recipients who forwarded” list.”
Again, an interesting idea, certainly from a marketing standpoint. But also from a deliverability standpoint. Having your users post your message on their social networking sites is a way to get your message to lots of other people who never might have signed up for it, and there is no junk folder to worry about.
So is this the next wave? And, is this spam? Is it spam if I post something to my Facebook page, putting it in front of all of my ‘friends’?