Some experts claim that email’s dominance is being eroded by sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Others suggest that email has been rendered obsolete by the social media sites. Still others dismiss social media as a short-lived fad.
A new white paper from Delivra, an email marketing firm, tries to make sense of the conundrum, noting that “Email and social networks share some similarities, but the reality is that they’re very different channels, with very different characteristics.”
Two or three generations ago, Americans absolutely depended upon the USPS postman, who may even have come to the door, chatted with you, and delivered handwritten and typed missives. You may have known his name (almost surely a “he”) and he may even have dropped off mail twice a day.
Well, the telephone, faxes and, eventually, email and social media splashed a major ink stain across that Currier & Ives scenario … but the USPS still exists, and most of us depend – to a less extent – on its services.
No matter what delivery system you use, the marketing essentials are essentially the same:
- Establish your objectives – Focus on core understanding — who you’re trying to reach, what you’re trying to accomplish, and how you plan to change those relationships.
- Understand your audience – What are their needs, preferences and interests. You may find it eye-opening to see how your audience communicates/interacts on the social web.
- Map your strategy – Once your understand what makes your customers tick, you have to identify the right strategy to meet their needs and interests, and ultimately your goals as well.
- Take stock – Look at what is working and identify opportunities to integrate new strategies with existing marketing communications to engage, keep and grow the customer relationship.
- Fill your toolbox – Determine what new set of tools you’ll need to efficiently monitor, communicate, and engage customers.
- Measure your success – No one is looking for purely anecdotal results from their marketing efforts. Measurement is key to the ongoing success and shaping of your marketing.
Email may have cut into postal mail, but it didn’t eliminate it, and the same thing is true for social media and its relationship with email. Some messages traveling via email five years ago may now show up on your friend’s Facebook wall, but you continue to use email.
“Today, consumers expect (and appreciate) multiple points of contact,” the report contends. “No single communication type meets all their needs or fits with all their moods.”
Just be sure your audience is in tune with the symphony you’re playing. With the wide variety of delivery vehicles out there, it can be tough to identify exactly the right one, at the right time, with the right brand and the right message … and then target all that to exactly the right person with a dollar bill in his hand.
Your email messages should contain frequent mention, links and/or icons to help prospects connect with your social media sites. Your emails serve as opening lines in your conversations with customers, and the social media sites encourages people to expand on the conversation
Filed under: Social Media Marketing