Over the last few months, I’ve seen rants across social media about the reduced engagement on Instagram and Facebook. Basically, Zuck Inc. is making brands “pay to play”, shrinking reach, impressions and engagement across platforms. Folks are seeing leads and sales shrivel up, because the keys to the kingdom are held by a company that is post-IPO and hungry for ad money.
While there are ways to grow engagement (pony up the cash, for one), this trend underscores something that us marketers have known all along:
Email is fucking gold.
Organic reach of the content brands publish in Facebook is destined to hit zero. It’s only a matter of time. –- Marshall Manson, Social @Ogilvy
As social media platforms rise and fall (Cue The Gladiator soundtrack), the one thing that remains in use is email. 10 years ago, marketers were wooed by MySpace, but noooo longerrrr. They used to have millions of eyeballs, that have now grown up, left Myspace, and moved onto other platforms, taking their downloads and spending money with them.
Y’all. We have *got* to learn from the rise and fall of other social media platforms. Depending on one platform, be it Facebook, Vine (RIP), Tumblr, Instagram, etc etc, puts your business at risk. If you want to build companies that will still be selling product in a few years, you MUST:
- Engage with customers across social media platforms (don’t count on one to be your money maker)
- Build your goddamn email list like it’s your job (FYI, it is).
Email Email Email
Email is a tricky business, because if you send something that’s off message or uninteresting, you’ll see a huge spike in unsubscribes. Figuring out cadence, tone and CONTENT to send to your subscribers is absolutely key. By utilizing A/B testing and list segmentation you can find the magic combo through controlled experimentation, and build your list. The goal? Write emails that your subscribers send to their friends, because they’re just that good.
71% consumers favor email as their first online “check” of the day. –ExactTarget
Social Isn’t Dead
Social media remains hugely popular, but it should act as a step in your funnel. Said another way, growing your social media following isn’t your end game — it’s a step in the process to get your audience to eventually DO something (like, you know, buy something).
BUT Email isn’t The Endgame Either!
Use social media to grow your subscriber list. Then, using both email and social media, increase frequency and length of website VISITS, by having content you only share on your website, or forums/perks that can only be accessed by going directly to your website.
WOAH, say what?
That’s right. The goal in this whole FREAKING PROCESS is to get people on your website, buying, reading and engaging, turning lukewarm leads hot and moving shit off of warehouse shelves (or crashing your server because of download requests, etc, this is a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-Pick-a-Metaphor Day).
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Let’s get moving.