One of the questions that I get from clients is, should I be doing Social Media, or should I be doing email marketing? And my answer is always both. And there are some specific reasons why, and we’re going to talk about that today. My name is Susan Czajkowski, I am the Com Coach. I do digital marketing consulting and communication coaching.
So when I say that you should be using social media and email marketing together, it’s because they serve two different purposes that marry together very well. On the side of social media, you have outreach where you can meet new people and have them find you on social media and connect with them and generate community. It really is about generating leads.
In email, that’s not the way it works because you already have to have their email addresses. So you’ve already at least connected with them once. One of the biggest differences of the two is, on social media side, that you haven’t met them yet – or, maybe you’re connect with people that you do know, but now you’re connecting with them in the space you can communicate with them on a regular basis. And email, where you do know them, but now you’re able to communicate on a more personal, one-to-one level.
In Social Media, it isn’t really appropriate to go and do direct sales – unless you’re advertising, but we’re not going to talk about that today. Just know that in social media, it really is about engagement, about interaction and information and entertainment and community building.
Emails Can Afford to be More One-on-one
In email, it’s okay to do a little bit more sales. You still want to be informative and educational, but then you can be a little bit more promotional because you’re letting them know what an opportunity is, and here are some things you can do to learn about that. That personal-ness is a big distinction in email, especially since you can be personal about it. “Hi, Paul, here’s the email that I’m sending you…” and be very direct about this email and be personal, even though you’re sending the same email to hundred or even a thousand people.
Your Social Media Posts Are Aimed at a Collection of People
In social media, when you send out a message, you’re sending it out to a group and hoping someone will be responding to it and engaging with it. When you first send a Social Media message out and post it to your business page, or post in a group, you’re sending it to a collection of people. You can tag somebody and start to make it personal, but generally speaking your posts are to the masses.
One of the distinctions that really differentiates email and social media is ownership. Because we spent so much time on social media, we can get this impression that we own that space, but actually we don’t. I’ve heard people refer to it as “rented space”, but we’re not even renting it. Because for the most part, unless you’re buying an ad, you’re not even paying for it. You’re spending some time, but you’re not spending a single penny.
So it’s not even rented space. It’s somebody else’s space that you’re using, and they can change that at any time, and we see that all the time. When we’re lucky, the social media channels tell us ahead of time what changes they make, but generally speaking we don’t know what the changes are going to be, we don’t have any control. We can’t say anything; we can sit there and object all we want, but we don’t even rent this space. It belongs to somebody else.
You Don’t Own Your Social Media Space
The thing to keep in mind is that in social media, you don’t own that space, and you really not renting it. However, when you send out email, you own that list of emails. It’s important that you’re always refreshing and building your email list, because email lists degrade as much as 25% a year. You always want to be refreshing and rebuilding that list, but that list is yours. And the messages you sent are yours, and your ability to brand that message and really claim it and call it your own is all yours. You can send it out and really make those communications come from your voice, in a way that you can’t on social media.
Because even as you incorporate, if you can get your logo on certain branded pages, it’s in the space that belongs to the social media – so every time you use that social media, you’re advertising that social media channel. Keep in mind that there’s a distinction between the two in terms of what you own.
Use Social Media to Bring in New Customers to Your Business Channel
And from your business, you don’t want to put all your eggs into a basket that you don’t own. It’s better to bring them together, use this channel that’s available to reach out and find new people, and bring them over to this channel where you can communicate with people directly.
The Hidden Costs of Social Media Marketing
In social media, there is a perception that is we’re not spending anything, that it’s free. But you’re spending time, you’re learning how to use it. The only way social media really works is if you use it consistently. So when I say you’re spending time and effort, I mean that you have to use it constantly, there are certain ways to use each channel, and you have to use them that certain way. If you really want to touch beyond a small percentage of the people that you’re connected with, you need to start spending and advertising. So it actually becomes more expensive than you think would be from the outset once you start getting into it. You need to think about it from a cost perspective in those terms: effort, time, maybe some literal money to put into each. The bigger splash you want to make in either channel, the more money you might need to spend.
When you use social media and email together, they both serve two different purposes and goals. In social media, your opportunity to not just generate leads but create community, create discussion, if you have a group like you can on Facebook or LinkedIn. You have the opportunity to literally create a community that you can engage with, and help people engage each other as well.
It’s just a different environment than email, where your goal is to build a one-on-one relationship. Your goal is to maybe move that person through the sales process by providing information, by answering questions, by creating some intrigue or some interest, but also meeting letting them know about sales that are coming up, or letting them know about events that are coming up. You can be a little bit more direct.
Let me be clear that in both cases, both social media and email, your communication should be about 80% informational, educational, entertainment, and about 20% sales/ Think about it as, 80% of the time you’re earning the right to sell 20% of the time.
Let’s talk about return on investment, and essentially, data. We want to talk about the measurement capabilities of both email and social media. Some of the social medias do offer dashboards where we can see where our engagement is, but they don’t tell you exactly who engaged – usually, not in the data portion. Sometimes you can; it depends on which dashboard you’re looking at, what social media channel you’re looking at.
What’s nice about email platforms – and when I talk about email platforms, I’m not talking about Gmail or Outlook, I’m talking about an email platform like Constant Contact, which is the one I prefer to use. You’re going to see not only that somebody opened your email, you’re going to be able to see who opened it and when they opened it. If they clicked on a link in the email, you’re going to be able to see which link they clicked on and a list of who it is that clicked on that email. So that data can really serve you. Maybe you’ll go and find out who clicked on that link, and send them another email just to do a follow up. “Hey, in case you’re interested, here’s a little more information.”
So you can really use that data to help those people move along the sales process, or at least leverage some of that interest or maybe learn a little more. Maybe those are the people you build a type of relationship with. In email, you can get very specific about the information. In social media, you’re really more working on, “okay, they found this post useful, maybe I’ll do more of that post.” Your information can be a little bit more general over social media.
Integrating Social Media and Email Together
These two tools, social media and email, work really well when they’re integrated together. You have two separate goals that are going to serve your business. When you’re in social media, you’re building relationships in terms of the masses. When you’re in social media, you’re building leads and finding new people, hopefully bringing them into email, where you can build a one-on-one relationship and move them along the sales process. It’s these two tools together that are really going to help you connect with your audience and move people along that process and really build the audience that your business is speaking to.
About Suzan Czajkowski
Suzan Czajkowski, M.A., PCC, is an award winning communication coach and digital marketing consultant. She helps small business owners design their own marketing strategies, communicate effectively about their businesses, and make good marketing decisions that generate great results.
Suzan started her business, TheCommCoach, in 2009 after leaving her last corporate job as a Marketing Manager with an international publisher. She has worked in a variety of different industries including fitness, technology, academics, and the military. She has a B.A. in Communication from the University of Delaware and an M.A. in Communication from the University of Montana. Suzan is a Certified Leadership Coach through Georgetown University and is PCC certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF). She was awarded Business Coach of the Year by ICF’s local New England chapter in 2013. She is a Master Certified Authorized Local Expert for Constant Contact, and is Inbound Certified through Hubspot.