Email is better.
No, social media is better.
Your communication planning probably (hopefully) includes an element of online marketing. While many businesses have put a great deal of emphasis on social media marketing over the past few years, it’s important to recognize that social media doesn’t exist in a silo and your other online – and offline – channels cannot be forgotten.
Today we’ll explore how social media and email not only compare, but how they can effectively complement one another.
Looking to reach the maximum amount of people in the minimum amount of time? Go social. With every “Like,” post or Tweet, your brand can be exposed to the networks of your fans and your fan’s fans. With the right messaging and ease of reaching a virtually unlimited amount of potential customers/guests/donors, social is a fantastic way to introduce prospective brand advocates into your online world… not to mention that with the proper strategy, many organizations have taken their social following and converted as well!
What resonates with you more (pretend for a minute that your name is Berta and that you went to see Iron Man 3 last night):
Have you seen Iron Man 3 yet?
Hi Berta, hope you enjoyed Iron Man 3 last night. I’ll see Robert Downey in anything! Last night by coming to the show, you accumulated 50 movie-goer points. When Man of Steel comes out, come back to see it with us and we’ll double your movie-goer points.
Sure, you can direct message a person on Twitter or post on their Facebook wall, but connecting with an individually-pertinent message is not easily scaled. Collect data that will allow you to communicate with the individual subscriber and create a meaningful connection through the lifecycle based on profile data, purchase history, etc. You’ll not only be building your list, but you’ll be building long-lasting relationships with your customers as well. It’s the ability to communicate in this way that has email’s ROI at a whopping .
With new social networks popping up every day, when your customer’s online time shifts from one social network to another, how are you going to let them know you’re there too? Email.
Social is built for multimedia – let your subscribers know about your latest video, your newly dressed window or photos from an event through email, but take them to experience and share them from within your social networks.
Though email has matured to the point where sending an individually-pertinent message is rather simple, social channels are your opportunity to have two-way conversations with active online customers. Handle customer service issues, answer product questions, or talk about other subject matters that your target may be interested in using your social channels adds a human element to your brand.
The more friends, family and brands an individual follows, the shorter the window becomes in the social space to be exposed to your message. If you have a message of value to your customers, email is still your best opportunity to get your message across.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that it’s not an either/or; these two channels (email and social) complement each other perfectly. Use email to build high-quality, long-lasting relationships through individually-pertinent content, and use social to expand your reach with rich media and participate in two-way conversations. Though both channels will certainly evolve, in the meantime, we must live in harmony and play to each channel’s strengths to get the most out of our online marketing efforts.