With more than 500 million active users and the recent surge overtaking Google in time spent on site, you would think that Facebook is the king of content sharing. However; a recently research from Chadwick Martin Bailey found that email still tops Facebook for content sharing.
According to eMarketer, “86% of survey respondents said they used email to share content, while just 49% said they used Facebook. Broken down by age, the preference for email is more pronounced as users get older. And only the youngest group polled, those ages 18 to 24, reverses the trend, with 76% sharing via Facebook, compared with 70% via email.”
So what does this mean to your business?
For one, just like what the article points out social network sharing revealed much of our self-interested motivations behind sharing.
People love stories, especially stories about themselves. Unless you’re an effective marketer, most of us make decisions on how we feel about the relevancy of the content based on what we think was interesting, funny or helpful. Furthermore social sharing via Facebook is more about the person sharing while sharing via email is more about the recipients.
This goes back to knowing the customer and understand the habits of what people use and why. Social media will continue its explosive growth but marketers must not focus on tactics at the expense of strategy.
Here are 3 tips to help you focus on strategy rather than tactics:
Picture Your Outcome
You need the right motivation to help you identify what needs to be done to get the results you want. A Facebook fan page, be on the first page of Google or a YouTube channel is not a goal. They should be the contributing factor to getting your goal.
Set your objectives (usually has to do with sales goals) and figure out the tactics that can get you there efficiently and cost effectively. Reverse engineer from your outcome by doing research, ask questions, conduct tests and architect your sale funnel.
Talk to every customer facing points of your business, come up with a mixture of tactics so when one doesn’t work you have alternatives to implement immediately.
Become Your Customer
It’s always interesting to me that everyone talks about listening and conversing especially in the topic of social media marketing. Don’t get me wrong, there is definite value in monitoring Twitter feeds, LinkedIn Answer or check your sentiment via Social Mention.
The challenge for most marketers is that you’re still thinking from your perspective to simulate what might be going on in your customer’s head.
Don’t just send out surveys. Sit down and talk to as many customers as you can and just drill down with meaningful questions deeper and deeper. Figure out where they’re coming from and what do they think they want.
What does your solution have to do with their challenges? Is it obvious to them that they need your products or services to overcome their problems?
Know the difference between listening and feeling like your customers.
Identify Quality vs Quantity
Generating high quality leads should always be the number one focus over the amount of leads. From a business perspective, it’s about what you do with the lead and the opportunities it generates.
This applies to content as well across blogs, landing pages and social networks. Your audience will find value in your content if it’s relevant in solving their problem. Move the “free line” so they will step into the funnel.
Come up with your own system to rank your leads, clicks, retweets, likes on an ongoing basis and measure the effectiveness and impact of each channel.
It’s useless if you have bunch of weak leads that you spent a lot of time on trying to convert, instead focus on capturing those sales-ready prospects and lead them down the funnel.
Remember people have all kinds of reasons not to buy, it takes time to nurture leads so put more emphasis on finding those already looking for your solution (hot leads) will yield optimal ROI (return on your invested). Try testing your ideas with Google Adwords or Facebook Advertising.
It’s cheap to spend a little and get some proof of concepts that brings clarity to your assumptions.
The Take Away: Email marketing is about your audience and should be consider your top weapon from your marketing toolbox. It’s more personal and secure in many people’s eyes so tread carefully but don’t be afraid to test and find out about your customers. Learn, create, measure and improve.
I’ve always been an advocate of email marketing and will continue to stick with my opinion that email marketing is here to stay but business owners and marketers must recognize the implications of social medias well as SEO on email marketing. For more information on integrated the 3 read: How to Integrate Email Marketing, SEO and Social Media for more details.