Online marketers everywhere are discovering that email marketing is far more effective than social media marketing. There are many reasons for this, but how about the fact that there are nearly three billion people with email addresses? There are more email accounts in existence than Facebook and Twitter accounts combined!
Social media strategy is still important, even if just for the SEO benefits. You can tweet out or post your latest article and have it indexed faster than if you just waited for search engines to crawl your site. Of course, you can also reach your target market, connect with them, and spread your brand and online presence as well.
What if the two came together to create a more powerful, more cohesive tool?
As it turns out, there is an interesting trend towards email and social media becoming more integrated, more interconnected than ever before. Taking advantage of this emerging movement could prove to be quite beneficial because of how the world is connected through social media and email today.
Social Media Accounts
Every social media account has an email address attached to it. This is because activating a social profile generally requires the use of email. Moreover, many social networking sites allow you to search for your friends using email addresses as well.
That much is pretty apparent. What may not be as obvious is how this information can be leveraged for more effective marketing.
For example, Facebook advertising allows marketers to import (opt-in) email lists and create custom audiences for their ad campaigns. There is a very good chance that some of these email addresses are not attached to any social profiles of course, but it's still a great way to build a target market that is already interested in you or your product.
It doesn't end there. Some applications and email marketing platforms enable you to view more details about the emails addresses you've collected and the social accounts connected to them. For example, if a particular email address is associated with a Twitter account, you can view a few of their latest tweets. You could then start a conversation with this user, initiating a relevant interaction based on what they are already talking about.
Email marketing platforms generally provide you with social sharing tools for your campaigns. You can direct your list to 'like' you or follow you on all of your social profiles of course, but you can also embed social sharing icons ('like', tweet, pin it, +1, etc.) and have your campaigns pushed to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social sites. People often like to share newsletters on their social streams, so implementing share buttons is a no-brainer.
The LinkedIn angle is a particularly interesting one in that yes, you can share your newsletter with your immediate connections, but you can also share it with groups you're a part of. Of course, you need to observe the guidelines these groups have in place, but if you can get permission to share your email campaigns with larger, relevant groups in your industry, there's no telling how many people you could reach with a single campaign.
Bonus tip: It would be advisable to include a "new to our newsletter?" section with a subscription link as well. This ensures that people who aren't on your list but would like to receive future updates can get on it.
There's no telling how email and social media might intersect in the future, but it seems quite likely that the two platforms will only continue to become more integrated.
There are many potential upsides to this development. It could open the door to new applications and services to fill a niche. It could make social media and email marketing more streamlined and quicker to employ. It could mean less time wasted on promotion tactics that don't work.
On the downside, there could be some concern around privacy and the collection of user data. Integrating the two mediums could add to the noise that already exists on social channels and in many people's inboxes. This could lead to more marketing efforts being ignored or outright blocked.
For the moment, at least, these developments seem positive. Integration will enable online marketers to do their work more efficiently and better cater to an audience that is actually looking for what they have to offer.