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Home Blog Business Blog Facebook vs. E-Mail for Building Your Customer Base

Facebook vs. E-Mail for Building Your Customer Base

Social media, Facebook in particular, has been a boon to businesses for reaching customers but should you depend on it for growing your base?

Social media should be a part of any business’s marketing plan. Facebook is relatively easy to maintain and update, and gives you constant feedback, but there are drawbacks to Facebook that limit its usefulness for building your base. If your marketing budget is limited, put your dollars towards building an email list.

The following chart compares Facebook with a marketing plan built around your own company email list and shows why you should build your email list before you build your Facebook fans.

E-Mail Facebook
 You own your list Facebook has control
 Your open rate will range from 25-40%  Only 2-5% of your fans will see your post
 You control how many e-mails go out  Facebook determines if your post will be seen
Unlimited content Content/word limits
You control your photos Facebook groups photos
Manage your own contests 3rd party app needed
You own and collect customer data You must pay Facebook if you want access

From the website Campaign Monitor, “it’s the statistics on reach and engagement that show the real story. Did you know that organic reach on Facebook (I.e. the number of your fans who actually see your posts in their Newsfeed) is only 2%?

On the contrary, open rates for email marketing messages are generally in the 20 – 30% range, meaning your message is 5x more likely to be seen through email than Facebook.”

In summary, building your own email list is a much better use of your marketing dollars than building a Facebook fan base. You control your email list and your content, plus email has a much higher response rate than Facebook. If you have an email list with 1000 names and an average open rate of 25%, you would reach 250 of your best customers. Put the same message out on Facebook and with the same 1000 fans, you would only reach 20 people unless you pay to boost your Facebook post.

You own and can collect any data you want with an email database. Collect birthdates so that you can send good wishes, collect zip codes for targeted messages, or ask for any other information that you can use to build a good relationship with your clients.

Facebook is a good way to quickly get your message out but it has limitations. Build your email list first and foremost and then worry about Facebook and other forms of social media.

Jefferson is the owner of Jefferson Communications, publisher of Chesapeake Family, and an associate professor at American University teaching Mastering Digital and Social Media.

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