For the last few years, it has been assumed that social media, especially the likes of Facebook and Twitter, will become a one-stop shop for reaching individuals in their own pocket. The internet sector has been watching with a mix of excitement and quiet dread, that social media will quickly turn into a marketing behemoth that causes all other media types to be as good as redundant; certainly too small to spend good money on good strategy on. That assumption is rapidly beginning to show signs of decay.
In terms of reach alone, email marketing is far more effective, with daily Facebook posts being just 0.2% of the size of the number of daily emails sent. An email can reach three times as many accounts and over 500 times as many active users as Facebook. In fact, internet browsing only uses a quarter of the bandwidth that is used for checking emails. Email remains, by some margin, the most widely, and actively used ecommerce platform. Not only are there 3.2 billion email users, but some 91% of those also check their email daily. Facebook simply cannot compete.
Right Mindset for Engagement?
While being up on the “latest thing” concerns many online marketers, traditional email marketing is being ignored at their cost. The best and most effective marketing strategies use emails as the cornerstone of their campaigns, adding a dusting on social media platforms to extend the tail, rather than form the lion’s share of their success.
This is not to say that Facebook marketing does not have its purpose, nor its advantages. It targets a certain demographic. The demographic, however, is not necessarily primed for business. Facebook speaks to a largely young demographic and even then, it is not a single point of access to a whole generation.
Facebook marketing does not hold the same respect as email marketing either. Facebook does not provide a professional atmosphere that business to business or professional services do. Rarely do individuals log into Facebook with a hand on their wallet, nor an analytical mind for purchasing or research into a new supplier. As a result, social media marketing is not necessarily the best platform for product or service marketing. Instead, Facebook marketing is inherently more casual and more ‘pally’, as marketing posts sit in between posts from friends and family and must rise above the background noise of a Facebook ‘wall’ filled with videos, articles, jokes and striking infographics. Facebook is primarily an outlet for fun, not the serious considerations of business.
But Email Marketing isn’t Perfect
Email marketing certainly has its detractors too. Some 18% of emails never reach their intended recipient, which is a considerable amount of wasted effort. However, with Facebook, an advert targeted to a group that has been ‘liked’, has a miss rate of over 74%. The advantage that Facebook provides in terms of self-allocated targeting, (when customers themselves declare their interests), is more than combated by the levels of information ‘noise’ all around your content. Not only that, the figures quoted as “potential” are those that ‘like’ a page, or have declared interest in a topic, which does not necessarily mean that they will visit that page or even log in during the range of your marketing campaign.
If you remain in any doubt, listen to your customers! 77% of people prefer to receive promotional material by email, as compared to just 4% through Facebook (and 0% for LinkedIn).