Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Email, Social Media Strategy, Blogging and Content Creation, Email Marketing Advice, Integrated Marketing and Media, Social CRM, Social Media Marketing

Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different

From a business objectives standpoint, isn’t uni-directional social media more similar to email than it is different?

2484786902 c898dbca46 Social Media and Email   More Alike than Different

Social network connectivity is becoming the post-modern email newsletter. A way for consumers to stay up-to-date with the brand, hear about special offers, and occasionally advocate to their friends. This puts significant pressure on email to be more relevant, because most of what would be contained in an email newsletter or special offer now happens faster and more personally within Facebook, Twitter or other social outposts.

Social Media is Email Without the Database

Because social communication feels more authentic and timely in most cases, email marketers must fully embrace testing, personalization and optimization to boost relevancy for recipients. Because the real advantage email has over social is data. Email knows who you are, what you’ve bought, what you click on, what time you open. Twitter knows that you are @somecustomer, and what you Tweet about, and maybe your geography. It’s no contest.

I certainly do not support the Draconian position that somehow social networks threaten email’s existence as a marketing channel. But, if email marketers don’t actually use the data they have at their disposal to increase message relevancy, then the email versus social debate become more viable. 

Unify Your Team

The first step is for  companies to devise a coordinated strategy that uses email and social communication synergistically. Today, most companies have separate email marketing and social media departments, and they need to merge (or at least cooperate fully) to eliminate the unfocused, tone-deaf message conflicts that are all-too-common today. 

To best develop thriving, mutually beneficial relationships with your customers, think of your social communication and email communication programs as two rungs on a content ladder. Google’s new Buzz technology recognizes this convergence, by treating email connections between us as the core atomic unit of the social Web, rather than newer, more ephemeral connections made on Twitter, Facebook or elsewhere.

The Content You Want, via the Channel You Choose

The future of integrated communications is in consumer choice and personalized preference centers. Today, most contact preferences center around phone, email (HTML or text), and direct, postal mail. But, isn’t “following” and “fanning” just a new version of “opting in”? Won’t we soon see forms that ask us to choose one or all of these contact methods:

  • Email newsletter

  • Blog (via RSS or email)

  • Twitter

  • Facebook

  • Remember, social media is an ingredient, not an entree. Will you spend some time thinking about how to integrate your social messaging, not building a throne for it?

    (For an interesting look into the somewhat more distant future of email and social convergence, check this post series by the thoughtful Fred Tabsharani)

    (photo by Brunogirin)

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    • http://twitter.com/leifyoungberg/statuses/9164000913 leifyoungberg (Leif Youngberg)

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    • http://sharonmostyn.com Sharon Mostyn

      Jay, I agree with the premise of your article that email and social media are similar, but one phrase made me shiver – “uni-directional social media” – YIKES! Isn't social media about 2-way communication?

    • http://twitter.com/marchaseltine/statuses/9186549686 marchaseltine (Marc Haseltine)

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    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Hi Sharon. Don't be alarmed. Sure, social media is rooted in conversations, and listening to your customers and then responding on the social Web is a pillar of social media. But, it's not all conversational. If you update your company's Facebook page about latest happenings, or create a YouTube video, or write a blog post, the conversation comes AFTER the content is sent out, not before. That's what I mean when I say uni-directional social media. Messaging you deliver to your audience that creates conversations, rather than stems from them.

    • http://www.samuelfagan.com/ Samuel Fagan

      Great post. I was asked this question yesterday, email vs twitter and why?

      Thanks Jay

    • http://www.briantroy.com/blog briantroy

      For many companies – who look at Social Media as a new way to reach prospects – you are exactly right. Follow/fan/friend is just opt-in – and all you've done is agreed to be sent direct marketing.
      I'm actually pretty certain that by the end of this year the “marketing” end of Social Media will be rolling into integrated direct marketing – with vendors like Infusionsoft beginning to expand from email and postcards to include Facebook, Twitter, Buzz, etc.
      We need to start talking about Social Media as product (for those brands with high social utility) and Social Media as a method to improve execution (think Six Sigma or Toyota Production System).
      Those two areas are a lot more interesting than the devolution of Social Media into direct marketing.

      As an aside – if Social Media becomes just a Direct Marketing platform – I predict a significant backlash.

    • http://twitter.com/maddiegrant/status/9189481239 Maddie Grant

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://j.mp/c0HMvN

    • http://twitter.com/canvasllc/status/9189833716 {events by canvas}

      RT @maddiegrant: Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://j.mp/c0HMvN

    • http://twitter.com/guarruda/status/9189950756 Gustavo Arruda

      RT @jaybaer: Social Media & Email…More Alike Than Different? http://bit.ly/bonwg4

    • http://twitter.com/joltsocialmedia/status/9190158814 Jolt Social Media

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://bit.ly/aARZLa #socialmedia

    • http://twitter.com/katiiisays/status/9191193490 Kati Heffield

      RT @jaybaer The Content You Want, Via the Channel You Choose (the future of email and social media) http://bit.ly/avrDHR

    • http://twitter.com/spiral16/status/9191213185 spiral16

      RT @jaybaer: The Content You Want, Via the Channel You Choose (the future of email and social media) http://bit.ly/avrDHR

    • http://twitter.com/stevekoss/status/9191686779 Steve Koss

      Site-less web bulls-eye, no need for a web site! @jaybaer The Content You Want, Via the Channel You Choose http://bit.ly/avrDHR

    • jhodas

      Great read Jay. Just had that very discussion here this morning.

    • http://twitter.com/cerconebrown/status/9191891348 Cercone Brown &

      Are email and social media more similar than we would like to think? http://bit.ly/c1YGHw

    • awnpromo

      Once again, a very compelling arguement for using Facebook! And, I particularly like you thoughts on precluding the need for 'opt-in.' I thought I was going to lose you until your wrap up on 'integration.' I still see a huge value for a business to provide personal one-on-one customer service by maintaining a list of client thru e-mail marketing.

      Great article!

    • http://twitter.com/weintraub/status/9192862145 Weintraub Adv

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different – http://bit.ly/bxpcjg (via @jaybaer)

    • http://twitter.com/scstatelibrary/status/9193152829 scstatelibrary

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different | Convince & Convert http://ow.ly/17Szw

    • http://twitter.com/rubyjewell/status/9193471377 Wanda Jewell

      RT @scstatelibrary: Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different | Convince & Convert http://ow.ly/17Szw

    • http://twitter.com/four51/status/9193579092 Four51 Inc

      Four51 likes Jay Baer's stuff: Social Media and Email — More Alike than Different http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/bsa_social/status/9194202192 BuySellAds Social

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://bsa.ly/4g

    • http://twitter.com/krenee76/status/9194230343 Kiesha

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://bit.ly/c5sCfM RT @jaybaer

    • http://twitter.com/networkingceo/status/9194361037 Patty Farmer

      RT @jaybaer Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://bit.ly/bwS9PX

    • http://sharonmostyn.com Sharon Mostyn

      Jay, I should have known that you had a reasonable explanation behind the uni-directional social media phrase! Thanks for the explanation – it makes perfect sense now.

    • http://twitter.com/clrlysimple/status/9194676611 Patti Bunker

      Interesting analogy between social media and email http://bit.ly/cDOh9s

    • http://twitter.com/davidhibbs/status/9194976278 David Hibbs

      RT @jaybaer: The Content You Want, Via the Channel You Choose (the future of email and social media) http://bit.ly/avrDHR

    • http://twitter.com/braundoug/status/9195086305 Doug Braun

      The Content You Want, Via the Channel You Choose (the future of email and social media): http://bit.ly/d6YnKu (@jaybaer)

    • http://twitter.com/metrostarsystem/status/9195632650 MetroStar Systems

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different – Convince & Convert http://bit.ly/bzzePO #socialmedia

    • http://twitter.com/sgeiger27/status/9196072412 sarah geiger

      RT @jaybaer: Social Media and Email – What's Your Integration Strategy? http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/danticoa/status/9196121099 Alecia Dantico

      RT @jaybaer: Social Media and Email – What's Your Integration Strategy? http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/heathersanford/status/9196301994 Heather Sanford

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/rschoenefeldmsg/status/9196321215 Ryan Schoenefeld

      RT @HeatherSanford: Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/vjbrandcomm/status/9196372280 Joe Hodas

      Just had proof of this today in fact–Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://bit.ly/9K6iz9

    • http://twitter.com/dukkytweets/status/9196610561 Dukky

      RT @jaybaer: Social Media + Email: Whats Your Integration Strategy? http://bit.ly/c5sCfM Gr8 post-check out our results http://bit.ly/cCc4uM

    • http://twitter.com/bloomgfootprint/status/9196707762 Katie Fox

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://bit.ly/8Z5etG (via @jaybaer)

    • http://twitter.com/nuvota/status/9198140474 Nadja Specht

      RT @jaybaer Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different – http://ow.ly/1oItlj {I couldn't agree more with Jay}

    • http://twitter.com/greg_metrostar/status/9199108938 Greg (METROSTAR)

      RT @MetroStarSystem: Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different – Convince & Convert http://bit.ly/bzzePO #socialmedia

    • http://twitter.com/gerryschroeder/status/9201546777 Gerry Schroeder

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different | Blogging and … http://bit.ly/d8isHl

    • http://twitter.com/workhomedad/status/9201548628 Gerry Schroeder

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different | Blogging and … http://bit.ly/d8isHl

    • http://twitter.com/thebrandbuilder/status/9203298618 Olivier Blanchard

      RT @jaybaer: Why is your email and social media being handled by different people? (a vote for integration) http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/socialmediafltr/status/9203346622 Social Media Filter

      RT @jaybaer Why is your email and social media being handled by different people? (a vote for integration) http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/marketingfltr/status/9203346807 Marketing Filter

      RT @jaybaer Why is your email and social media being handled by different people? (a vote for integration) http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/toddnelmes/status/9203449292 toddnelmes

      Remember, social media is an ingredient, not an entree. http://bit.ly/ayb44p

    • http://twitter.com/jamietimm/status/9203497041 Jamie Timm

      RT @jaybaer: Why is your email and social media being handled by different people? (a vote for integration) http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/joshspeters/status/9203652207 Josh Shua Peters

      RT @jaybaer: Why is your email and social media being handled by different people? (a vote for integration) http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://www.sumo.com.au/ Sumo Group

      Great article Jay – as always. You are becoming one of my favourite bloggers! One thing that I find about email 'opt-ins' as compared to say twitter, is that a lot of people are not willing to give out a lot of data – they prefer the 'non-committal' options of SM. I find that companies need to ask for LESS information to get people to follow through to the 'Thank you page' of their forms – so I agree that it will all soon start congregating into more integrated communications where we will see forms with more SM contact options. It would be good to do an experiment to see what the consumer prefers as a form of communication?
      Lucinda Callie

    • http://twitter.com/gizamike/status/9204152864 Mike Howard

      RT @jaybaer: Why is your email and social media being handled by different people? (a vote for integration) http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/ullalaa/status/9204277784 Brian Hathaway

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different | Blogging and … http://bit.ly/d8isHl

    • http://twitter.com/clarabridge/status/9204355889 Clarabridge

      RT @jaybaer: Why is your email and social media being handled by different people? (a vote for integration) http://bit.ly/c5sCfM #voc #scrm

    • http://twitter.com/cohen8150/status/9204403599 Cohen8150

      RT @Clarabridge: RT @jaybaer: Why is your email and social media being handled by different people? http://bit.ly/c5sCfM #voc #scrm #cem

    • http://twitter.com/tdukcom/status/9204932213 Jackie Northedge

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different | Blogging and … http://bit.ly/aP1ZRf

    • http://twitter.com/scottbradbury/status/9206889215 Scott Bradbury

      RT @toddnelmes: Remember, social media is an ingredient, not an entree. http://bit.ly/ayb44p

    • http://twitter.com/lewiswebs/status/9207518343 Jennifer Lewis
    • http://twitter.com/josehuitron/status/9207919961 Jose Huitron

      RT @jaybaer: Social Media and Email – What's Your Integration Strategy? http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/admixsocial/status/9209821150 Laura Jablonski

      Great article by @jaybaer Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/nuvota/status/9210980276 Nadja Specht

      RT @jaybaer Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different – http://ow.ly/1oItlj {I couldn't agree more with Jay}

    • http://twitter.com/jasonbfrench/status/9211719986 Jason French

      RT @jaybaer: Why is your email and social media being handled by different people? (a vote for integration) http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/eperdan/status/9212077140 Elise P. Daniel

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/kpthaddoc/status/9215441615 Klavs Refstrup

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://topper10.net/ Sameer

      I even now feel email marketing is more efficient than the social media, Yes the fact is true that social media reaches out to a greater number, but the bounce rate is equally high.

    • http://twitter.com/blurmarketing/status/9228363198 blur Marketing

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://ow.ly/18b04

    • http://twitter.com/nouveaugeek/status/9235743112 Pia Simeoni

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://viigo.im/2som

    • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

      Jay: Thanks for continuing to be not blog about email marketing, but also to be an advocate. It always puts a big smile on my face to see posts like these that talk about how email and social media work together. Dare I say the “digital glue?”

      Ha ha. Thanks dude. Great stuff….always.

      DJ Waldow
      Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
      @djwaldow

    • http://twitter.com/greyz10/status/9276245456 Graeme White
    • http://twitter.com/andrewbates/status/9296717836 Andrew Bates

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different via @jaybaer | http://ow.ly/17Zx7

    • http://twitter.com/andrewbates/status/9296717836 Andrew Bates

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different via @jaybaer | http://ow.ly/17Zx7

    • http://twitter.com/wordpost/status/9313753446 Andrew Swenson

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different by @jaybaer – http://bit.ly/dbkeSt

    • http://twitter.com/wordpost/status/9313753446 Andrew Swenson

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different by @jaybaer – http://bit.ly/dbkeSt

    • http://twitter.com/aemailmarketing/status/9314209105 Bogdan Donisan

      New post: Andrew Swenson: Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different by @jaybaer – http://bit.ly/dbkeSt (http://cli.gs/jvsAA)

    • http://twitter.com/tabsharani Fred Tabsharani

      Jay, thanks for the shoutout brother. The future of more relevant email lies in Socialized Subject Lines. I'll publish part II of this series next week.

    • http://twitter.com/tabsharani/status/9353523867 Fred Tabsharani

      @jaybaer , thx for the shoutout in your latest article. really appreciate it. http://bit.ly/c8FxPv) Part II nxt week..:)

    • http://twitter.com/marketingfltr/status/9392468609 Marketing Filter

      RT @jaybaer Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/socialmediafltr/status/9392468437 Social Media Filter

      RT @jaybaer Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/mjgagnon/status/9392516606 Marie-Josee Gagnon

      RT @jaybaer: Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different http://bit.ly/c5sCfM

    • http://twitter.com/fondalo/status/9557437624 John Altes

      Social Media and Email – More Alike than Different: Social Media is Email Without the Database http://ow.ly/1aoki

    • http://twitter.com/toweraffiliates/status/9829194419 Tower Affiliates

      "Social Media is Email without the database." What are your thoughts? http://bit.ly/dgnMCU

    • http://twitter.com/ariamedia/status/10201581478 Ariamedia

      "Social Media is Email without the database….email marketers must boost relevancy" http://ow.ly/1fScI

    • http://twitter.com/ryanathompson/status/10201581973 ryanathompson

      "Social Media is Email without the database….email marketers must boost relevancy" http://ow.ly/1fSdO

    • http://twitter.com/lissansky/status/12966607301 Ana Lissansky

      The Content You Want, Via the Channel You Choose (the future of email and social media) http://bit.ly/avrDHR /via @jaybaer

    • http://twitter.com/lissansky/status/12966607301 lissansky

      The Content You Want, Via the Channel You Choose (the future of email and social media) http://bit.ly/avrDHR /via @jaybaer

    • http://www.internetmarketinginc.com/email-marketing/ Email Marketing

      The Email marketing technique is so versatile and quite surprising it is very easy to organize. However, the data base of the concerned company should be in good shape. Once, that

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