Social media is all the rage and will cement its place in the marketing mix in 2010 as companies realize that people are interested in the “communication” portion of “marketing communications,” whether they are consumers or business buyers. What about good “old-fashioned email,” as I called it in the “Content Marketing Strategy, White Paper Tactics”?
Each member of the social media trinity—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter—can reach an audience, but that audience isn’t necessarily following your updates as religiously as they’re checking their email. People may log in to Facebook several times a day, but their email windows are constantly open. The fact remains: email is still popular.
Indeed, eMarketer reported in November 2009 that college students are holding tight to email use despite the explosion in social networking sites. “These results may be surprising to some, but not if you consider the role email continues to play in the day-to-day lives of Gen Y,” the report stated. “As long as email remains the collection point for social networking updates, including alerts around new followers, discussion updates and friend requests, it will remain a powerful force in marketing and our lives.”
Similarly, SocialTwist, a widget provider, reported in Social Media Sharing Trends 2009 that, “Despite the social media revolution – traditional forms of networking like email and instant messaging continue to be the most popular mediums of sharing content across the Internet. Nearly 60 percent of overall sharing happens over emails.”
As perhaps the top social and marketing developments of 2009, social media are adding a personal touch to the public web—at breakneck speed. Or more precisely, at conversational speed.
Yet because of its ubiquity, email retains its position as the wires of online communication. Any 2010 marketing strategy should take that reality into account.