Recently Google launched its latest social networking offering – Google+ to match its largest competitor – Facebook. This is Google’s third and probably the most desperate attempt at getting social networking right and gaining market share after Orkut did moderately well while Buzz and Wave were total duds. Google code named this project as the “Emerald Sea”, as they had only two options-to drown under the power of the tide or to surf above on it. So then how could Facebook be far behind? It launched its “Awesome” feature, which honestly wasn’t that awesome. So I am pretty sure you know about all of this, what’s new you might be asking or what difference does it make to you as an email marketer?
It does, and let us tell you the whys and hows behind it:
1.First of all, let us not view social media as eating into your email campaign. To compare social media and email marketing is like comparing apples and oranges. But somewhere a comparison does arise, which is somewhat justified but that shouldn’t be the main point of the argument in any case.
2. Secondly, as we discussed in our previous blog, social media and emails serve two although not very distinct purposes, but distinct nonetheless, at least in their approach. Social media is primarily supposed to build and manage a community around your brand’s product and services. It is your online presence and real estate on the web nowadays which has replaced websites in some way or the other. Whereas email marketing is used to speak to those already a part of your community and get them to take specific actions as per your newsletter or emailer. At this time, you would remember call to actions and the numerous other things that your email can do for your company and its products or services.
3. Thirdly, the frequency of communication is different for the two media. Although there is no specified frequency that one should adopt for either or the two media, but there are best practices which one should follow when using the same. Consider this example, we can tweet 10-12 times a day but we would be considered out of our minds if we sent out an email those many times. Get the drift?
So if social media doesn’t eat into your email campaign, serves a different purpose than your newsletter and even its frequency is different than that of your email, why are we hell bent to tell you about both the mediums in this one post? So if you haven’t figured it yet, this post is on integration. The last post was on why email is still king whereas this one just gave you the reasons how social media and email marketing go hand in hand. The answer is simple, social media and email marketing are complementary services, like it or not and whether you believe it or not. The advertiser who understands this faster is the smarter advertiser.
So the answer for a successful email campaign will and should obviously include the previously talked about factors such as content, frequency, targeting, segmentation, etc. But now social media needs to be added to the list too. If you still want to know why? The answer is that social media greatly broadens the horizons through which you can get your customers to interact and communicate directly with your brand. Ultimately even your newsletter will either direct people to your website, social media landing page or in some cases both. But more than the website it is the social media page that has a better return on investment. Companies these days have reduced spending on websites altogether or increased spending on Facebook pages. And that is the sensible thing to do since your entire network in one way or another gets to know about your brand. Sure that doesn’t give one the confidence to say that every online social media user will convert to a customer, but some inevitably will, that too without you forcing them to do so.
What can you do from now on if you have ignored social media so far? Integrate. Integrate. Integrate. Integrate social media into each and every conversation you have with your customer, every email that is sent out. Those different buttons such as the Facebook like, twitter, stumbleupon, digg and others aren’t just good to look at visually but also add a dimension that email alone can’t cater to-interactivity. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and put these buttons into your next batch of emails. But don’t forget one important one nowadays – the +1 button 😉