Social Media has really taken over as an essential tool for businesses in the last two decades. It's sexy, fun, entertaining and everybody should have it!
I know of companies that don't even have their own website, they do everything over their social channels. Some companies open accounts on every social media platform just, 'to be there'.
When it comes to email though, the word on the streets has been that email marketing has been dead since the day it started, but year after year email marketing continues to deliver some of the highest returns on investment for any marketing channel at a whopping $45 to $1. What's surprising, is that even with these high returns, companies tend to have email marketing as an afterthought. Something that comes at the end of a meeting as... 'Oh yeah, let's send out a blast too!' (Please STOP using the word 'blast'. 😳)
So how do these two channels mix? Should you invest more in one than the other? Where should you spend your time?
The Social Media Channels
There have been tons of social media channels that have come and gone but seven have remained as the main social networks.
(TikTok as a bonus #8)
They all serve a purpose in their own way as 3.8 Billion internet users who have a social account, spend an average of almost 2.5 hours scrolling through social networks a day.
So the market is there, right? It makes sense to get on all the social channels!
Yes... and No. Let me explain.
When a business asks me if they should be on a social media channel, my first question to them is, 'Why?'. What value do you or your customers/subscribers get from this new channel? If the goal is to just repost the same thing you posted on your two other channels, how does that help you or your subscriber?
"It's the repetition," they say... "It helps with branding," they continue...
In a way... Yes, that can be true, but the question here is, are you getting the true value of your social channels with this strategy?
If you follow a strategy as mentioned above, you probably don't have time for all of the channels you are on, or you were never taught how to get the most out of them. Either way, I'd like to shine some light on a few thoughts to see if this helps you create a better strategy for your social channels.
The good and the bad of social media
With 3.8 Billion people on social media and the average person navigating 2.5 hours a day, it seems hard to find a downside. I'm a bit embarrassed to say this but, the other day while losing my afternoon on TikTok, I came across an ad from the service itself. The ad told me to take a break and go outside!
The app itself is telling its users to leave! It's that addicting!
To add another benefit for businesses, social apps know our every move and have perfected algorithms to show us the most optimal ad at the most opportune time. They study our moods, behaviors, and interests to nail these almost perfect ad delivery systems.
So what's the bad?
You don't own your content, followers, likes, or anything on their network. The social networks end up owning you.
Yep, everything that happens on social apps is owned and regulated by them.
What does this mean?
Let's start with how they regulate organic posts. When you post something on your business page, you'd expect your few thousand followers to see it, right? I mean, they are following you. Well, the latest statistics show that only 5.2% of your followers will see your organic posts. This means you have to pay-to-play.
And when it comes to ads, just because you pay, doesn't mean your ad will be seen. They also regulate the ads based on the highest bidder and ad quality/engagement. If you aren't good at creating engaging ads, not only will you get lower click rates because of your ads aren't engaging but, Facebook will also show your ad less to its audience, because they aren't engaging. Double wammy!
The image you see above is a screenshot of an artist I follow. His art can be a bit edgy at time and because of this, he is in constant worry of losing everything he's built over the last 10 years.
Social companies can remove your account due to a long list of gray area reasons that are always changing and up to their final say.
This isn't a solid way to build a lasting business, is it?
Putting Social Media in its place
Because everyone and their mother is on social media, we can't ignore the networks. It's important for a business to be on the right channels with purpose and, to use them in a way that adds value to their business and the subscriber/follower.
This is where Email Marketing comes into play.
If we think of a typical sales funnel where the leads poor into the top, social media can be an extremely good place to keep that flow going.
It's important to create a strategy that attracts your social followers into a more lasting relationship with your business. Your email list.
A few ways to do this:
Giveaways are an excellent way to promote your products to new potential buyers while attracting hundreds of signps to your email list for under $0.50 a subscriber. Facebook even offers integrated lead forms that connect directly into your email marketing service provider (ESP).
Signup Form on your Facebook page. Most ESPs offer an integration to add a signup form tab to your Facebook page.
For Instagram, use your profile URL wiseley. Point the URL in your Instagram account to a dedicated landing page. People who land on this page should ONLY come from your Instagram profile. Make sure to place a signup form on this page.
When you achieve the number of followers needed to do the "swipe up" actions, use this to promote your emails by asking subscribers to signup.
Once your followers become email subscribers, you have much more control over your communication with them. But like any relationship, trust is hard to earn and easy to lose. Don't ruin the experience by 'Blasting emails.'
Put effort into telling your story, take the time to properly segment your subscribers and, earn trust by nurturing your subscribers into loyal customers. In the 5 Email Marketing Automations Every Business Needs course, I explain how to implement the most important email automations every business needs to turn leads into loyal customers.
Join one social media site at a time.
Don't join a social network unless you have a good reason to do so. It has to add value to your customers and your business. If are a small local pet shop, do you really need a Twitter?
Own your content and take control of the communication with your customers. If your business has 100,000 followers but only 1,000 email subscribers, figure out a way to flip that.
It costs pennies on the dollar to email your subscribers. (Average ROI: $45 to $1)
An organic post on Facebook is only seen by an estimated 5.2% of your followers.
Take the time to nurture your lists and properly segment. It's the most direct communication channel. Done well, people will love to open your emails.
Please stop saying, 'Blast an email.' 😳
Thank you for reading. I hope I was able to inspire new ideas to make your marketing better. If you have more ideas on how to use social channels to build your email list, I'd love to hear them!