Building Relationships through Social Media? Email May be Better.

relationship building using social media

Consumers love social media. For marketers social media is good for sharing content and generating leads and inquiries from customers and prospects.

But, social media may not be the best relationship marketing channel because it is an unreliable way to have a planned, consistent communication strategy.
Here’s why.

Even if someone likes your Facebook page, basically telling you that they want to hear from you, there is no guarantee that they will see your message because of Facebook’s algorithms.

An active Facebook user may have hundreds or thousands of items in their newsfeed at any given time, so the social media user may never see all of the content shared by their friends and the fan pages they like.

Facebook uses an algorithm to figure out the best content for each user. If somebody likes your Facebook page they only have a 6.5 percent chance of actually seeing one of your posts each time it comes out, unless you may extra to boost your post to the top of their newsfeed.

So even though that customer or prospect has liked you and told you that they want to hear from you, they won’t necessarily get every message that you put out there.

The same is not true with email.

If a customer or prospect opts into your email list, the chances are they are going to get your content in their inbox. This relationship is a lot more valuable because instead of possibly seeing your content in their social media newsfeed, your message lands in the email inbox.

Plus, email can deliver more content, presenting more opportunity for interactions. Facebook allows for only one post at a time whereas in an email you can send a number of articles, tips or offers in one correspondence. After reading one entry the customer or prospect will often return to read other content provided in the email.

We see this tactic often successfully used by news media, Groupon and others.

On Facebook after reading your content, the customer or prospect goes back into their newsfeed where they are likely to disengage with you.

Email also gives senders more control. Anytime you want to reach out to your audience you can do it. You can reach out to them directly — without a third party or an algorithm that neither of you understand sitting between you. With email the message will get to your subscriber’s inbox every time that you send it.

Email provides a greater revenue opportunity and is better at driving ROI. Email subscribers are more likely to click-to-read your content or click-to-purchase.

The better content that you send them, the more likely that they are to click, and the more they click the better the relationship and the higher the revenue potential.

While you can segment by age group, gender and location on Facebook, the targeting opportunities are limited. Email offers a much greater opportunity to truly personalize the content according to each individual previous click-throughs and purchasing habits.

While social media has its benefits, if you want to engage with subscribers on a planned, consistent basis, then email marketing should be at the top of your relationship-building plans.

Mark Weinstein