Social media has proven to be a tough nut to crack, in many ways, for businesses. With the importance of social steadily climbing over the past few years, and continuation in this direction forecasted for the future, businesses certainly realize the importance of having and maintaining a social presence. Yet, at the same time, social media and social networks have proven to be a challenging place for many businesses to convert into customers. When traffic is generated via social, often the conversion numbers are very poor, which I’ll allude to some the reasons why below.

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What Is Working

What still works is something simple and straightforward. It’s proven and tested but not hip, sexy or interesting like social media. It’s not some cutting-edge media or tool. No, it’s email. Email still converts far better than social media does because it’s direct. Everyone uses email. Everyone has business interactions via email. The same can’t be said for any social network.

Email is proven to get tremendous results, its cost is free to negligible and everyone uses it. Email marketing is the perfect companion to social media marketing and should be used in conjunction with social media.

Social as a Phase, Not Be All End All

Social media, like email, is not going anywhere. At the same time, social may never convert at a high level because the intended primary use is for personal interaction with friends and family. Rather than giving up on social, ignoring it or wasting time on it being ineffective, the best application of social is when it is recognized and treated as a channel in your prospecting efforts. The goal of your social activity then moves from less of an “all or nothing” approach to a targeted effort to move prospects from the social channel to the email channel.

Top of Mind

Use calls to action to get your social followers to subscribe to your email list, and vice versa, that encourage the process by offering something of value or a strong reason to subscribe or follow. Both sides of your messaging benefits from this cross pollination, since your audience becomes more familiar and aware of your brand. Familiarity, as long as there’s a positive association, will boost open rates and improve conversions.

Your Brand’s Mini Web

And through this cross-channel promotion your messages now have broader purpose to serve your business. Your message gets further amplified and you stand out that much more than your competition. This creates a mini-web of your personal brand that also means your messages can resonate for much longer than normal.