Though it’s often said that social media is a more effective means of marketing than email, email still reigns supreme. Here is why I believe email marketing trumps social media for marketing campaigns.
The Pros of Email Marketing
First, let’s take a look at just a few of my favorite aspects of email marketing.
Email marketing is more personal
With email marketing, you can send more tailored messages to specific segments of your audience. This ensures that your message is relevant to them, which increases the likelihood of them taking action.
Email marketing is better for building relationships with subscribers
With email marketing, you can send automated messages that are triggered by certain subcriber actions. These messages help to build trust and rapport with your subscribers.
You can also personalize email so that each subscriber gets content that is specific to what they’re interested in.
I also like being able to invite my email subscribers to reply to emails so that I can get feedback from them. Plus, there’s nothing like the personal interaction that comes, and the warm relational growth that occurs with one-on-one interaction.
You Own Your Email List
One of the biggest disadvantages of social media is that the platforms are owned by others, and their primary goal is to build their businesses, not yours. In contrast, with email marketing, you own your list.
This means that you can contact your subscribers at any time, without having to worry about being shut down by a platform change or algorithm update.
Even if you decide to change email marketing platforms, you can export your email subscribers and import them to your new email marketing provider.
The Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms are great for marketing because they allow businesses to build relationships with customers and create brand awareness.
Additionally, social media platforms provide a way for businesses to respond to customer feedback quickly and effectively.
The biggest advantage to social media marketing is that you can use it to promote your blog or business to people who otherwise wouldn’t know about you.
Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing
While there are many advantages to email marketing, the biggest determining factor when it came to my personal decision to focus on email rather than social media, are the negative aspects of social media.
Here are some of the biggest disadvantages to relying on social media marketing to build your business.
#1: Social media is a time-consuming distraction
Though social media can be a powerful marketing tool, it can also be a huge time-sink. Here’s why:
You have to constantly create new content, which can take a lot of time and effort.
You also have to be active on social media, which means replying to comments, answering questions, and messaging people back.
This can quickly become a full-time job if you’re not careful.
#2: Social media is unpredictable
Social media is unpredictable because you never know when a platform change or algorithm update will shut down your account.
The algorithms used by social media platforms are constantly changing. This makes it difficult to ensure that your target audience even sees your content.
#3: It can be difficult to measure the return on investment
It can be difficult to measure the ROI of social media marketing because there are so many variables. For example, it’s difficult to track how many sales are directly attributable to social media.
Additionally, social media platforms don’t provide detailed analytics like email marketing platforms do. This makes it difficult to track which social media campaigns are performing well and which ones aren’t.
It is true that there are a lot of metrics attached to social media. For instance, you can see how many “likes” you got on a post, how many comments, etc. But those are nothing more than vanity metrics that don’t necessarily translate to revenue.
#4: Social media platforms are constantly changing
Social media platforms are constantly changing, which can make it difficult to keep up with the latest trends.
This can be a problem because the changes can affect how well your social media marketing campaigns perform.
For example, if you’re using a platform that suddenly becomes less popular, you’ll likely see a decrease in the results of your social media marketing campaigns.
In addition to that, social media platforms may make changes that impact how often people even see your content.
This has happened on every platform, but one platform in particular that used to be popular for driving traffic to blogs just isn’t as effective any longer. That platform is Pinterest. Pinterest shifted to more of a pay-to-play model similar to Facebook’s which resulted in major losses of blog traffic.
Because of this, people who invested a ton of time and in some cases money using Pinterest to drive traffic to their blog experienced a huge drop in blog traffic.
With social media, you can invest a ton of time, effort, and money, only to have the rug pulled out from under you when the company – that you have no control over – makes changes.
#5: You need to have a large following to be successful
To be successful with social media marketing, you need to have a large following. This can be difficult to achieve if you’re just starting out.
Additionally, even if you do have a large following, there’s no guarantee that your content will be seen by your target audience.
This is because social media platforms use algorithms to determine which content to show to users.
The algorithm takes into account things like how often you post, which people interact with your posts, and how much engagement your posts generate.
If you don’t have a large following or if your content doesn’t generate a lot of engagement, it’s unlikely that your content will be seen by your target audience.
#6: You have to compete with paid advertising
To be successful with social media marketing, you have to be willing to compete with paid advertising.
This is because social media platforms make most of their money from businesses that pay to promote their content.
As a result, the organic reach of your content is going to be lower than it would be if you were the only one posting about your product or service.
This is why it’s important to have a large following and to generate a lot of engagement with your content. Otherwise, your content will get lost in the shuffle.
#7: Social media is often negative
Social media is often a breeding ground for negativity. This is because people are more likely to voice their complaints on social media than they are to tell you in person.
Additionally, social media attracts trolls and bullies. This negativity can overshadow the positive aspects of social media marketing.
#8: You must be active
To be successful on social media, you must be active. This means posting regularly and engaging with your audience.
If you’re not active, your content gets lost in the crazy sea of content out there. When that happens, you won’t generate any results from your social media marketing campaigns.
Now it is true that you also need to be active on platforms you own such as your blog and email list. But the activity level required in blogging and email marketing is nothing compared to the constant demand for updates and interactions required on social media.
#9: It’s easy to get lost in the noise
To build on the last point, social media is incredibly noisy. There are millions of posts published every day and it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd.
If you’re not careful, you can easily get lost in the noise. This makes it difficult to generate results from your social media marketing campaigns.
This is the primary reason most bloggers and business owners on social media resort to paying to be seen.
How to Combine Email and Social Media Marketing for Maximum Effectiveness
When it comes to marketing your business, using email and social media together can be incredibly effective.
Here are a few tips for combining email and social media marketing:
1. Send your email subscribers a link to your latest social media posts.
This is a great way to get more social media followers you already have a relationship with through your blog and email list.
2. Use social media to promote your email list
Make sure you’re promoting your email list on your social media platforms. I actually believe this is far more important than using email to drive traffic to your social media accounts.
You can do this by including a link to your sign-up page in your bio or by running ads that promote your email list.
3. Use social media to drive traffic to your landing pages
If you’re running a promotion or if you have a new product or service to sell, use social media to drive traffic to your landing pages.
Action taken on those landing pages potentially adds people to your email list which, again, is more important than building a following on social media.
Final Thoughts on Email Marketing Vs. Social Media Marketing
Email marketing is still a powerful tool that should not be underestimated. It’s more personal than social media, which can make it better for building relationships with customers.
And, perhaps most importantly, you own your email list – meaning that your subscribers have opted in to receive your content and you don’t have to worry about algorithms or changes in platform rules dictating whether or not they see your messages.
While there’s a place for social media, I strongly recommend investing more time, energy, and money into growing your blog and business instead of wasting it on social media.
If you do want to use social media, use it to drive traffic to your blog, especially to blog posts that include optin forms, so that by using social media, you’ll build your email list.
Pro tip: If you don’t yet have an email marketing tool, I recommend MailerLite. It’s what I personally love and use. The best part about it is that it’s free for up to 1,000 subscribers, and is reasonably priced even when your email list grows. Go here to sign up for your free MailerLite account. Note that this is an affiliate link, which means that if you sign up for MailerLite after clicking on the link, I may get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
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