Dec 7, 2010

Don't Be Distracted by the Next Big Thing in Online Marketing

Years ago I was babysitting my nephew.  He was sitting on the floor in his diapers with a boatload of toys and I was sitting on the floor next to him doing my best to entertain him.  I noticed that whatever toy of his I was playing with he wanted.  He’d reach out his little hand for the toy I had, dropping his current toy in the process.  Doing what any good and caring uncle would do, I decided to experiment on him.  I started picking up random items nearby and playing with them like they were really cool toys too.

“Brrrrrrrr!  Bam Bam Bam!” I exclaimed as I made a rolled up extension cord fly by like it was a fighter jet.  Sure enough, the little hand reached out to grab it, dropping a perfectly good Star Wars X-Wing fighter in the process.  It wasn’t long until I had 2 more Star Wars toys and a Buzz Lightyear figure that shot laserbeams from his wrist while my nephew had various cardboard boxes and an old shoe to play with.

We are naturally inclined to reach for whatever the next big thing is.  Right now, social media is that thing, and for the most part, it is worth reaching for.  But what shiny toys might we be dropping in the process?  Likely it is email marketing.

If you had a choice between 1,000 sales leads or 100, which would you choose?  That should be easy, 1,000, of course.  But I have run across a number of clients that have respectable numbers of email subscribers signed up to get email from them, but they are not utilizing that subscriber list anymore because they are focusing solely on social media now.  The problem is, they have substantially fewer friends on their social media profiles than they had subscribers to their email campaign.  In some cases it has been over a 10:1 ratio!  And on top of that, in most studies, email marketing converts at a higher percentage than social media marketing.

If you have an email list of opt-ed in subscribers, email them.  Share your social media links with them in your emails, so you can start converting them over to interacting with you with your online profiles.  This is how you use social media to increase your business.  You don’t want to start from scratch each time a shiny new marketing toy comes along.  Use the resources you have already built up and that are available to you now.

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