Constant Contact – Can’t Social Media and Email Marketing Just Get Along?
By: Constant Contact
Last week, SmallBizTechnology.com held a debate via Twitter about the merits of both email marketing and social media. For some reason we can’t understand, the hypothetical death of email marketing continues to be a hot topic this year (just like it was last year, and the year before, and years before that too), but most speculators seem to be stuck in an either/or rut. Even though the tools are not mutually exclusive, people are adamant about picking favorites.
This argument can be solved with a simple formula: Email + Social = Success. So the next time someone tries to corner you about the topic, just start declaring that in a bold, unshaken voice, until they, too, join the chant.
Social media is not some lurking predator ready to devour email marketing at the watering hole. These are two species that can peacefully coexist and prosper together — think plants and animals, not cowboys and aliens.
We took the “debate” to Martin Lieberman, managing editor at Constant Contact, and Dave Charest, our senior content developer.
If a business is into direct selling, can social media be used? Or is email better?
Martin: I think the two work hand in hand. Social media sort of “primes the pump” by developing the relationship with customers and letting them get to know the business. Then, when an email arrives that is more of a direct selling message, customers are more likely to be in a ready-to-buy frame of mind. Or, to look at it a different way, you use email to communicate with your current customers and social media to reach new ones.
Dave: It always depends on the business, but at the very least, social media is a great way to “listen” to what’s going on in the marketplace. So yes, it can be used, even if you’re not using it as an active participant. If you are an active participant, social media is a great way to make connections, generate interest, and allow potential customers to take the next step and join your email list. It’s really not an either/or debate. It’s a question of “How can you use both tools together most efficiently?”
What if you’re selling B2B versus B2C. Is the answer different?
Martin: While the specific tactics may be different, I don’t think the answer is. Social media allows you to communicate your expertise and develop relationships. That latter part is crucial, because regardless of whether you’re a B2B or a B2C business, people increasingly buy from people they know and trust, and prefer not to do business with companies they know little about.
Want to check out the who’s who and what’s what of email marketing?
Read The Buzz.
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