Email Broadcast has a Facebook page—your business probably does, too. In a classic case of “everybody else is doing it,” we jumped aboard the social media bandwagon to make sure we didn’t miss out on the magic that Mark Zuckerberg was dishing out.
If you go to our Facebook page right now, you’ll see what remains of our “Like us” efforts: one post with a link to this blog (totally meta, right?).
Earlier this month, our team was discussing the whos, whens, and hows of dedicating more time and effort toward our Facebook page. See if this sounds familiar:
You meet to develop a social media strategy. Building off of the momentum of that meeting, you enthusiastically post, share, and promote on your page for a couple of weeks. Engagement, growth hacking, storytelling, buzzwords, and so on…you’re about to go viral. Higher-priority projects and deadlines start to stack up. Facebook gets shoved to the back burner once again.
Somewhere in the midst of our conversational deja vu, a new team member piped up with a single word.
Our knee-jerk response was a heavy eye roll and a “Because we have to.” But then we thought about it critically and that explanation didn’t sit well with us. We don’t like to do anything without a good reason, and “Because we have to” suddenly felt akin to “He started it,” and “I know you are, but what am I?”
Why did we have to devote our team’s limited time and resources to Facebook? What were we getting in return? How were our clients benefiting from our Facebook page? What has Facebook ever done for us, really?
The answers we found were pretty crappy.
We set up our Facebook page in 2009, and have since answered “What’s on your mind?” thousands of times with posts, pics, links, and shares. Despite this, we are not able to connect any of that to a new client (or dollar) earned. That’s $0 ROI in 7 years—and we’re not alone.
Forbes reported on a Manta study of more than 1,235 small business owners, of which 50% increased their time spent on social media. More than 60% of this group reported seeing no ROI from their engagement online.
So why are we doing it?
Getting our brand and messages in front of the companies and decision makers that mattered to us is growing increasingly difficult (and expensive) in the over-saturated social media marketing arena. Keeping up with the ever-changing updates to Facebook’s UI is cumbersome in itself. Executing an engagement strategy on top of that is a task that can easily fall to the wayside of higher priorities and client demands.
As social and mobile media have exploded over the past decade, a myth has materialized that if you’re a business and you’re not on board, you’re doing it wrong. This way of thinking champions the fear of missing out, rather than common sense. It’s why your dentist has a Snapchat and the Chinese takeout place down the street is trying to get you to follow them on Periscope.
Stick to what works.
At Email Broadcast, we operate on a pretty simple principle: Do what works. If the idea comes from way out in left field, but it produces results: Do it. If it’s a tough climb, but it’s the only way to the top: Do it. If no one else is doing it that way, but it works for us: Do it. We’re too sensible to be picky. We like results. Sexy or plain. We’ll take the paths that lead to success for us and our clients.
Regardless of its popularity, Facebook wasn’t working for us. So we quit.
What does work for us? Email (shocking, we know). It works, it’s proven to do so, and best of all: Email is what we’re great at.
According to research compiled by HubSpot, email marketing was cited as the most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention in the U.S. in 2014. In fact, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. Plus, more than 70% of US consumers say that they prefer email communication from businesses.
So as we leave our Facebook page to collect dust, we’re going to keep polishing our email skills, finding new ways to push the electronic envelope, and making our clients even more money.
Are you ready to ditch the ‘book, too? Leave a comment and tell us what works well—or hasn’t worked at all—for your business.
Check out the top 21 email marketing facts of 2016.