Synergies of Email and Social Marketing
There is a big debate right now about whether or not email and social marketing should be integrated. While there are many similarities they are two distinct marketing channels and you should use them separately to enhance, not just promote, each other.
Social networks are perfect for building your brand awareness, sharing information, and starting conversations with your audience. It helps you build individual relationships with your audience and humanize your corporation. It should not be used as a forum in which to sell your products, though. These channels give you a way to personally communicate with your audience, and a way for your audience members to communicate with each other, in a way that no other marketing channel offers. You don't want to turn off your audience by forcing a sales message on them.
Leave the hard-sales offers to your email campaigns. Email marketing is still the most direct way to reach your audience with targeted offers, and recent research shows that two out of three people use email to help them decide whether or not to make a purchase. People read and buy from email campaigns. They expect emails to contain product information that is relevant to them and an offer that is compelling enough to entice them to buy. But most emails lack the viral, interactive component that marketers need to reach new audiences. Simply posting a link to your email newsletter from your Twitter account or asking your audience to pass it along to friends through Facebook won't turn it into a viral campaign, either.
Knowing the strengths and limits of each channel will help you determine the best uses for both tools.