Posted on April 14, 2013 · Posted in General

There’s no denying that social media provides a great platform for reaching customers, but that doesn’t mean it is a better medium for marketing than email. You have to decide the best place to implement your marketing efforts based on what your business needs. So, take a look at which marketing techniques work best in email versus social media to help you decide.

Which One Is the Easiest to Start and Grow?

One concern for many business owners is the time commitment involved in marketing. Email is really easy because you can place an opt-in button on your website, where Facebook requires more effort to build a following.

That’s the experience Beach Club Grill had. The business built a 2,600 customer email following in eight years and is still struggling to reach 1,000 Facebook fans. Social media is hard to grow unless you have someone on your staff dedicated to the efforts. The owner of Beach Club Grill, Greg Jurcisin, said, “We have a Facebook page, but I’m running a business; I don’t have time to keep running back to a computer to answer questions about something we posted.”

Which One Can Reach the Most People?

Another thing to consider when choosing whether to focus your marketing efforts on email or social is the amount of people you can reach. According to KISSmetrics, email has 2.9 billion users more than Facebook and Twitter combined. That means email is a bigger deal than social media. However, despite the numbers, some people still think social media can reach more people. This is because social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, are relaxed places where people click freely. Email is a more formal medium where people delete 80 percent of their emails.

Which One Has the Best Built-in Marketing Features?

Email and social media have comparable marketing features that make it hard to decide which one stands out. They both have easy ways to track ROI and other metrics and they are both low cost. The biggest difference is that social media helps search engine rankings and email opt-in features create a consensual form of marketing. So, you have to decide which of these features is more important to your business.

Which One Tells You the Most About Customers?

Successful businesses try to learn more about their customers to improve their products and services. Both email and social media provide insights about users, but the information they provide is not equal. Social media allows a business to break down followers by geographical location and languages. Email provides lots more opportunities, but you have to ask before compiling the information. For instance, you can find out specific demographics about email users, such as age income, language, geographic location, job title, and anything else you want.

You might have to do some experimenting to see what marketing efforts work best for your business. Social media marketing and email marketing both have their place, but they don’t have the same benefits for every business. It seems that large businesses do better on social media while small businesses prefer email marketing. What has your experience been?