Rapportive makes me smarter on email

If you’re like me, you love using social media to connect with family, friends and even strangers. But you probably see huge value in continuing to use email to further solidify personal and business relationships.

Many saw the demise of email as social started creeping into the work force. However, I have (as I’m sure many of you) been using email more. Firstly, it’s hard to convey a message in only 140 characters. Second, attachments are almost impossible to send on social too.

I actually see a symbiotic relationship between social and email. And this relationship is made that much stronger via a cool app called Rapportive (recently purchased by LinkedIn).

Rapportive is an email plugin (I use GMail) that uses people’s emails to connect to that person’s social media accounts (It’s like my very own social media spidey sense.) Here’s a snapshot of what mine looks like:

social media strategy

How do I use Rapportive? To better personalize my emails. Some may call it creeping. I call it being smart. I can check the recipient’s public social status updates to further understand who I’m emailing. And thus can craft a message that is also timely and more effective. If I can see (via Twitter, for example) that the person I’m messaging spent a wonderful day at the beach with her son, then I may use that in the email. For example, “Hello Mary. I hope you had a great weekend at the beach with the family…..”

I do want to point out that I would use this sort of information when I email someone I actually know. But the same process can be used when emailing someone I may not be close to. Social media data can tell me lots of things. I might be able to determine that the recipient likes a certain brand or communicates in a certain way. This sort of information can help me not just send a more relevant email. It will also help me communicate more efficiently and effectively with this individual over time.

And that’s the power not just of Rapportive but of social media. Remember: It’s about being social.