The community Shul list – Yahoo Groups entitled TeaneckShuls, FiveTownsShuls & BrooklynShuls – are essentially the Jewish social media versions of Craigslist, Facebook, Etsy, Twitter, and Patch combined into one email. And, as a community resource, guide & bulletin board, it seems to be working very nicely for the Jewish community.
Here’s a sample of what we mean:
Often the most overlooked division of any Jewish marketing campaign, these Yahoo Groups provide a great source of hyperlocal marketing options to individual communities. At Henry Isaacs Marketing – a digital marketing, social media & design company – we tend to put a big emphasis on hyperlocal Jewish marketing via Shuls Lists; or as we term it, Jewish Social Media. With Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and other social media taking the spotlight when it comes to social media strategy, many companies looking to target the Jewish community underestimate the Shul List. Bad move.
How did the Shul list come to be? Great question and we have no clue. What we do know is that each community tends to have at least one group that they use for all notices. And the real question should be: how can I use this information to my benefit? That we can help you with. Whether you’re a Jewish business or Jewish non-profit, here’s some ideas & strategies for using Jewish social media aka the Shul email groups to benefit your bottom line.
Know which lists allow advertising.
Because these shul lists can be inundated with community notices & postings, there’s even less time to post the advertisements. So many shuls lists ban advertising messages entirely except for sponsored posts & pre-holiday open posting days. So unless you have something else to say besides an ad, you may not get posted at all. Know which lists allow for advertising, which don’t, and which allow on certain days of the week. If you really have a lot to say, use hyperlocal email marketing lists such as JewishBergen.com & Jewish212.com that allow complete email marketing options to large Jewish communities.
Ask questions. Trust me.
You’d be surprised at the response you get from recipients to any question. We once inquired about any music recommendations for a High Style Events client; we got about 21 recommendations. And that was from just one or two community email groups (we’re in about 30+ groups). Just like you need to be conversational on Twitter & Facebook (yes, you need to be social on social media, yes!) to increase social interaction, you should be asking questions, getting advice & offering feedback as well. If you’re a Jewish non-profit and want advice on a Super Bowl event or fundraisers, send a question out such as “Any Super Bowl events this weekend?”The feedback will give you some solid market research and enable you to plan your event or campaign better.
Track it well.
Use Bitly to track your links so you can see how well your post is being viewed. We blasted out a campaign for the Israel Forever Foundation and received over 200 click throughs. Because the Shul lists are closely moderated, text-based messages may include 8-15 messages per email, meaning every word counts! The best way to measure the impact is through a trackable link that provides stats on the location. Once you have that information, you can take the next step and increase your social marketing to your best communities.
Know how big your community list is & how often they send emails.
If you’re looking to have your message read at a certain time of day, plan out when each list will get your message. FiveTownsShuls & TeaneckShuls each send out about 5-8 emails a day (each with about 15 messages) so if you send them something in the morning, expect it to be emailed out by the evening at the earliest. A list like TenaflyShuls, however, may send an email out an hour after you post one. Some lists don’t send out for days. The moderators all have jobs doing something other than vetting your postings, so the bigger the volume, the less chance of having your message seen earlier.
Use hyperlocal email marketing lists as well.
JewishBergen.com and Jewish212.com are both email groups that offer hyperlocal email marketing to the Jewish communities of Bergen County & Five Towns, respectively. Building on the desire for advertising via shul lists, businesses & non-profits can now target Jewish recipients through email lists similar to the Shul lists.
LET’S SUM IT UP: These are some tips that should help you get a good start on hyperlocal email marketing via Jewish social media. There are many more nuances to it, though, including how to word your subject line, scheduling smart posts & sponsorships & creating content, as well as integrating these with your Facebook, Twitter & other accounts, so you’ll need to engage a Jewish social media experts (ahem, that’s us!) that can incorporate a smart Jewish social strategy into your overall Jewish marketing & communications campaign. For those looking to go it alone, the key is to recognize your best markets & find the lists that work for them! Let’s Get Started…