Email, Social Media or What?


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Monday, June 13, 2011

Email,  Social Media or What? |

David J. DunworthThe Over-Caffeinated
Entrepreneur with David J. Dunworth, O. C. E.

Some time back I wrote an article entitled
Twitter – Much ado About Nothing, which was a personal

viewpoint regarding the true value of Twitter. My conclusion at that time

was that Twitter offered the least value of all the social media platforms,

and I remain with that belief, although slightly altered.

Under the purview of evaluating all of social media against
email marketing, there is some value to each social media platform, in my
belief. However, there begs the questions relative to the discussion. They
are:

  1. When it comes to marketing your company or
    yourself, which is better, Email or the use of  Social Media like Facebook or Twitter?
  2. Is there a noticeable difference in results?
  3. What about costs versus return on investment?
  4. Are the results even measurable?

I now consider the fact that Twitter is
valuable to an extent that you can post your message repeatedly, as opposed to
the limitations of email and other social media sites. Once the email has been
sent, it seems rather foolish to resend the same email again. The database mass
tweet system allows for the same message to go out because the audience may be
changing by the moment. This also is a shortcoming, because it’s nearly
impossible to determine your results. There are no metric systems to my
knowledge.

My personal opinion is
that email marketing has had its ups and downs over the past ten to fifteen
years, mainly because of the onslaught of new technologies, SPAM and overuse.
However, it still outperforms social media mainly because it is measurable,
whereas it is unclear how effective Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Delicious and all
of the other social sites produce measurable results. Remember, there are more
than 200 social media sites, and the list is growing by the day.

There is no secret formula to email; it’s not
rocket science. Emails are easy to create, and that can be a detractor because
users may not think their message through. A well thought out email campaign
still has its drawbacks, because only a small percentage of emails are opened.
SPAM marketers have ruined email marketing, but there are tips and tricks to get
your email opened. The Direct Marketing Association has information on their web
site that can help marketers get better results.

The absolute latest in email marketing is
video. There are a number of platform providers, like Talk Fusion, Constant
Contact, Azooka, Brightcove and several others. What they all have in common is
the ability to direct emails with a personal message, using templates of an
unlimited variety and target your audience. By personalizing the marketing
message to individuals within an organization rather than a blast email effort,
results improve dramatically. The only downside to this medium is that it takes
multiple messages to impact potential fans, customers or advocates.

As for Facebook, your visibility is practically
unlimited, dependent only upon your list of friends, the comments they place on
your wall, the ability to develop a business page all make for an effective
platform to get the message out. The shortcoming of this medium is that it is
extremely difficult to determine what return on your investment is. The more
fans you have that “like” your messages, the closer you will get to developing
some metrics on this medium.

Linked in, the social media site strictly
designed for professionals, is one of my favorites, as its initial mission and
vision was to unite the professional executives and others on a single platform,
for the purposes of advancing business connections. The value of this site is
that you can not only have a personal page, but a business page, advertise for
employment openings, share interests, arrange for all types of business
activities, etc. The limitations to Linked in are that it is difficult to
monetize from this site, but it is improving. Both Linked in and Facebook are
limited to a single message, whereas Twitter has unlimited abilities to send out
the same message.

Let’s not forget
about costs. Time is Money! Marketers steered away from direct mail due to the
overwhelming cost to print, stuff, postage and delays in delivery. The US Post
Office is allowed to hold bulk mail for up to fourteen days before delivery, so
even though it was less expensive, the time for the message to be delivered was
far too long. If they choose to use first class mail, the costs are even higher.
Thus, email marketing became the preferred medium.

Time is a cost that most marketers seem to take
little notice of, unless they are using direct mail. The fact of the matter is,
all forms of communications take time to prepare, deliver, monitor and analyze
results for their success or failure. Time is the great equalizer, and therefore
is something that must be taken into account. While there are virtual assistants
that can Tweet, Post on Facebook or send out mass emails, there are costs
involved.

There is little
dissuasion to the statement that the use of all social media, email, video email
and tweeting should be utilized. The number of messages that go out will in turn
have a yield, regardless of which one tipped the scales in the marketers favor.
The use of all forms of communications is recommended, and eventually there will
be metrics established for each of the forms of communicating.

I have written extensively on the latest
technologies in communications, specifically mobile marketing. Social Media,
Video Email, Live Broadcasting, Webinars, Video Blogs and much more are now in
the mix, so there is no clear winner, but using them all certainly
is.

David
J Dunworth is the CEO of TeXT-Icon Mobile Marketing Communications, and consults
to the entrepreneur and emerging enterprise sectors of business. For additional
information, see his blog at http://www.theovercaffeinatedentrepreneur.wordpress.com.

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About davidjdunworth

Dunworth’s success comes from a simple belief; “I can sleep when I am dead; then there will be plenty of time for that!” Since the door to door days of his youth, Dunworth has opened, managed and sold more than 25 businesses, and works as a consultant to entrepreneurs and emerging enterprises. His advice for entrepreneurs desiring to grow quickly: “Find the busiest man or woman you can find and enlist their support. You’d be amazed at the results.”
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2 Responses to Email, Social Media or What?

  1. Pingback: Marketing and social media – get over it! | acidlabs

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