The other day a colleague asked me what I thought of Facebook as a tool for growing business. It was a timely question. He wondered what the new infusion of cash from Facebook’s IPO might mean for the young company. In particular, my friend was trying to make decisions about how to allocate resources in his company and wasn’t sure how much time or money he should invest in the Facebook platform. (“Should I hire a full-time social media person? Move my ecom guy full-time to Facebook? Invest in a Facebook add-on tool like Buddy Media?”). My answer must have sounded like Yoda to him– as I couched it as a retelling of the Aesop’s Fable, “the Tortoise and the Hare”—the hare in this case Facebook and the Tortoise, email.
“Wary should you be of the newest hare on the information superhighway for it is the dependable tortoise that will win this race…”
- Facebook has gone from Harvard campus novelty in 2004 (Remember Mark Zuckerberg’s first social media foray? “Who’s Hotter”) to a global powerhouse today where it’s community of 901 million members would rank it as the third largest country in the world
- With a valuation of $104 billion dollars, Facebook now has the resources to not only hire the best talent but also to buy any company it may need. It can now also address its core issue of how to monetize its site among mobile users.
- Facebook is everywhere. In my local theatre a few weeks ago– while waiting for the Hunger Games to start, an ad appeared on the screen encouraging me to “Like” the theatre chain—if I did so, I would be rewarded with a free bag of popcorn right now
- KING OF THE WORLD: “Email is still the most important thing most of us look at in the morning – before coffee, before we kiss our spouses, before we sometimes crawl out of bed – we check our email. We all know that social media and blogs are important – content (rather content in context) is the new digital currency of our professional and personal lives. However, when it comes time to make a strong CONNECTION with someone else it’s often an email (or a text) that does the trick.” –Raymon Ray Technology Evangelist
- #1 SOURCE TO SHOPPING CART: In a recent study by Seewhy which analyzed 60,000 completed ecommerce transactions across multiple sites from February 2011, the source of more than half (57%)of all users who reached the shopping cart was from email. The next largest source was ‘”direct” (18%) or those customers that accessed the site directly. Social media as a source was a mere 4.3%. More importantly, when Seewhy looked at actual conversions, 67% of conversions came from email as the source while, 24% from direct and only 2% came from social media. Therefore at the core level of measurement, a transaction, email is 33 times more effective than social media.
- SALES: In addition DMA reported that an average ROI of $43.52 per dollar for every email sent and noted that direct mail cost are “20 times higher” than email
- PREVALENT USEAGE AMONG ALL AGES: According to Constant Contact, 225 million people in the US use email daily. 91% of internet users are between the ages of 18 and 64. In addition, according to Pew Research 89% of adults read or use email daily. Contrast that with Quantcast’s estimate that there are about 148 million users on Facebook in the US…monthly.
- TRUST: Nielsen reported that consumers completely trust/somewhat emails they’ve signed up for 50% versus 36% for ads in social networks. (Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report, surveyed more than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries)
- EASY TO BUILD LISTS: According to Transact media 57% of consumers will sign up for an email ‘alert” or company newsletter. Email in fact, has little of the stigma associated with giving out an address or phone number, primarily as it is an opt-in medium that is easily ignored…