Search Marketing: Email vs. Social Networking

December 14, 2012 - Digital State Marketing

In the scheme of things email is hardly a ‘current’ communication tool with social networking overtaking the trusty email in almost every way – in comparison, the cooler quicker blogging seems to be a lot more topical with the instant gratification mind-set of the younger generation. And from a search marketing perspective, social networking sites are a lot more accessible to use.

Occasionally a more traditional approach is needed and it could it be argued that whilst email is basically four decades old (meaning it’s firmly in the traditional camp, in technological terms), it remains one of the most powerful tools for communication/marketing that has ever been. There are roughly 3.4 billion email accounts across the world. When you compare this figure to the current user base of Facebook for example (which has recently reached 1 billion), it’s clear to see that email is still, and by quite a margin, the more popular type of internet communication.

This finding has implications for all internet based marketing (including search marketing), including the importance of monitoring target markets when creating a campaign.  A factor to consider and one potential reason for the continued popularity of email is thought to be that, unlike the majority of social networking sites, users are less inclined/obliged to respond immediately.  Another aspect to consider when comparing email with social networking sites is that emails still hold a certain level of privacy (no need for a profile) and also give an appearance of professionalism.  These are key considerations when one is judging those who choose email over networking/blogging sites from a search marketing perspective.

In conclusion although emails may appear to be out dated and underused they should not be underestimated. As they are clearly still an incredibly useful tool when it comes to online marketing. That is not to say however that social networking sites do not still have their place but it is important to be aware of who you are reaching when using search marketing or for that matter any other kind of marketing.