4 Ways That Email Bests Social Media

4 Ways That Email Bests Social Media

In a world where social media dominates the marketing conversation, businesses are (re)turning to email. A WSJ article calls email “the only guaranteed delivery option the Internet has left.” With options for subscribers to opt in or out, email puts the onus on creators to develop meaningful, engaging content they can’t get from a simple post on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

While social media will always have a place in a marketing program, here are four reasons why you should emphasize original email marketing content:

1. Excellent ROI. Email marketing’s return on investment is 38:1, more than twice as much other digital channels. In 2018, companies saw a $44 return on every $1 spent. That said, experts warn not to neglect other roads of ROI, such as trade shows and conferences — or, as the adage goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

2. You own it. Email differs greatly from social media because places like Facebook use algorithms that dictate what you see, whereas email is a direct engagement between you and the customer. Email allows you to skirt the rules — and often cost — established by Facebook. And perhaps best of all, companies own their own lists; there are no terms of service required, and no one gets in between the sender and recipient.

3. A captive audience. More people are deleting Facebook accounts, ignoring Twitter, and going through “digital detox,” but 77% of Americans still go online daily, with 26% of them on the web almost constantly. Another 50% reported the need to constantly check their phone. If you already have the eyes of the customer, it’s critical to engage them through thoughtful email content versus a brief post on a social media channel.

4. Quality over quantity. Too many emails from a business could dampen any advantage gained, which is why marketers are spending more time developing pointed content rather than regurgitating the same talking points email after email. While it’s important to distribute email campaigns on a consistent basis, don’t write something simply for the sake of writing something. The same can be said for social media — sending several tweets a day on the same subject is annoying, not engaging.

Don’t dismiss the power of email, as it increases engagement — and that coveted ROI.

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Optimization is Key

Building a relationship between search engines and SEO is essential if you want anyone to find your site.

In this article, Pauline Cabrera does an excellent job of providing a “to do” list for improving your website’s performance and beating the competition online. Don’t be fooled by the title – it’s more about websites in general than blogs in particular. From simple suggestions for optimizing your content to building links with the “right” sites to increase rankings. Much of what is shared in this article is the exact same advice TECH B2B gives our clients every day.

Social Media: Measuring What Matters

Social media is all about human interaction. And because you’re dealing with humans and their personalities (some would say egos), social media is a moving target and can be hard to read. As easy as it is to count the number of ‘likes’ on Facebook or views on YouTube, these indicators are merely introductory metrics. Rather, it’s evaluating what happens afterwards where social media shows its true value to B2B marketers and their clients. Here are some things I like to do to make sure I’m getting the most out of social media:

Review users’ comments. I want to know what users are saying about my videos on YouTube. I want to stay on top of comments they are posting (assuming they even are). Social media is more than just a vehicle to broadcast your message; you need to start a conversation. That leads to:

Engage the user. Be prompt in responding to comments or questions users leave for you or your client. Ask your own questions of the community, too. Participate! But no matter what the people say, don’t get defensive in your responses. I ‘liked’ a restaurant on Facebook and soon witnessed a war of words break out between the establishment’s owner and an unhappy customer. I get it’s hard to filter opinions when someone caps on your company. If you find yourself in this situation, offer to take the conversation offline a meaning far away from the eyes of other customers on your Facebook page (or blog or Twitter account).

See how they’re taking action. Are users sharing your Facebook posts? Are they Retweeting your Tweets? Web analytics guru Avinash Kaushik calls this amplification the rate at which your followers take your content and share it through their own network. Review the type of content that’s prompting these shares to find similar threads. The key word here is similar, and that might even be too strong. You always want to create original, meaningful content that keeps people interested.

These actions may not provide the solid analytics afforded by traditional media, but they get me that much closer to understanding what makes people tick on social media.

Social Media Marketing Is NOT About Posting Releases to Groups

To be fair, when I see companies posting press releases to groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, Association boards, etc., its usually from a sales person.

You can understand how this happens. Social media is labor intensive, even if you have a good dashboard to manage all your channels and the expertise to use it wisely. But even then, unlike traditional PR operations, social media marketing (SMM) takes some time (and content creation) every day.

So, Execs look around and see that salespeople have time on their hands. They send an email out with a bunch of links and tell them they’ll be reviewed based on their participation in these groups. The sales person, who might be the best closer on the planet, knows diddly about PR and marketing. (And — forgive me — but sales aren’t the most proactive employees when it comes to learning new skills; Learning about SMM ain’t no fun unless it comes with a commission check.) And so the sales person takes the easiest route, pulls the latest press release from the company’s website, posts the title and links it back to the press release.

Grreeaaatttt. Now you look stupid instead of smart, arrogant instead of helpful. Instead of building credibility and good will, you destroyed it by showing me how little you care about my time.

Social media is effective because it takes the wonkiness — the BS — of a PR professional out of the loop. In many ways, it is marketing distilled to its most altruistic essence. SMM is all about giving  (notice the use of the word “giving,” not posting or providing). It’s about giving content — honest opinions, how to solutions, career advice, etc. — that people NEED to know. Good PR and marketing are also about helping the company’s customer do their job better, smarter, faster. In fairness to my brethren in the salt mines of business communication, many times us PR wonks are hobbled by a poorly designed product or service, and ineffectual business plans based on the “build it and they will come” mentality of commerce.

So, before you post that next press release to a group, think about what value it gives the reader. If it appears that your serving yourself more than the group, go have a drink, or fax an order form to a friend. Do anything, but don’t waste your customers time, or mine.

Next time, we’ll talk about what DOES make for a good SMM post. Ciao Bella, and have a great Easter!