Which is Better, Email or Social Media?

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Which is Better, Email or Social Media?

Which is better for my Business, Email or Social Media?

Surprisingly enough, even today, I get asked this question a lot and every time I give the same answer, it depends.  No, it’s not trying to avoid answering the question, it is the answer.  Most Online Marketing professionals will automatically say, “Both are equally important” and for many cases that is the correct answer.  Then, there are those business where Email Marketing clearly has a higher ROI than Social Media and there are those where the opposite is true.  So which are you and how do you know?  To answer that question we need to consider who your customers are and how they like to be engaged.

Follow the Trends

There was a report that came out recently that showed some interesting statistics on the average age of web-based Email users.  This report showed an interesting trend in the change in the amount of web-based Email use.  It showed a significant increase in average amount of time spent using web-based Email among users over the age of 55.  It also showed a significant decrease in the average amount of time spent using web-based Email among users under the age of 55.  Just take a look at the enclosed graph.

Email Marketing vs Social Media

What can we learn

Now, what can we gather from this information?  Is it that Internet users over the age of 55 get more Email under those under the age of 55?  Based on the amount of Email the I get for work, I can’t imagine this is the case.  Is it that Internet users over the age of 55 take a really long time  to read your Email?  Well, that’s just being ageist.  I think what we can learn from this information is that Internet users over the age of 55 actually read the most of, if not the entire Email message they receive, whereas Internet users under the age of 55 probably only browse or scan the Email messages they receive.  Conversely, more and more of those under the age of 55 are using Social Media more than email to gather information.  These are assumptions and I know what happens when you ass-u-me, but solely based on the data, we can safely assume Internet users over the age of 55 are spending an ever-increasing amount of time using web-based Email.

 

Is Email Better or is Social Media?

With this being the case it would make sense for business with a larger customer base over the age of 55 to use Email as the basis for their communication with their customers.  Conversely, those businesses with more customers under the age of 55 it would make sense to use social media as the basis for the communication.  Now remember, there are few absolutes in life and marketing certainly isn’t an exception.  Using Email and not using social media, or vice versa, in your integrated marketing strategy is not wise and something I would never recommend.  But for answering the question of which is better, Email or social media, the answer depends on what your business does and who your customers are.

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