Let the Silos Fall Down!

In Part 1 of my conversation with Convince & Convert President Jay Baer, we talked about why email and social media play the Madonna and Lady Gaga roles convincingly as well as their strengths and weaknesses. In the final installment of our discussion we jump into why social media professionals trip on email and what they should do immediately, as well as a few brands that integrate the two nicely.

Simms Jenkins: We know that email drives social media and often is the No. 1 reason people are visiting fan pages and returning to social networks. However, social doesn’t seem to be leveraged to assist marketers’ email programs, which usually have a higher ROI – why is that?

Jay Baer: It’s because people who work in social media professionally often have little experience with email, or interest in growing the email channel. The first thing most companies should do (after adding social media icons to email templates) is to set up an email sign-up form on Facebook. Alas, it’s pretty rare to see it.

SJ: Great point. Do you agree with the findings that the most active social media users are probably your best email subscribers?

JB: Of course. The people that like your company for real also like your company enough to become a Facebook fan or subscribe to the email newsletter.

SJ: Who are a few brands that are doing some great things in the social and email space from an integrated fashion?

JB: California Tortilla ties the channels together very well at the content level. Lululemon does some interesting integration too. Scotts (the guys behind Miracle-Gro) do a great job too.

SJ: What about the email purists that deride social’s value as just noise and fluffy engagement? Is there validity to that statement or are they just threatened?

JB: Email professionals that willfully ignore the 847 million members on Facebook, and the 500 million Twitter accounts are fooling themselves. Put it this way: the average Facebook user spends between six and seven hours per month on it, and with pleasure. People check their email a few times a day, but begrudgingly. Social networks change and/or improve their features and user experience every single month. When was the last time email got better in any meaningful way? That’s the problem email faces in the future…it never got any better.

SJ: What is your advice to a digital marketing professional that is confused by the tug of war game often played by email and social media?

JB: The goal isn’t to be good at social media. The goal is to be good at business because of social media, and integrating with email is a great step in bridging that gap.

Thanks Jay. It’s always a pleasure speaking with you but I appreciate your clarity on this important and often divisive topic. I hope each and every digital marketing practitioner can learn from this and figure how to better seamlessly tie all of their digital programs together, not even just email and social. Let the silos fall down! I hope my readers can add an opinion or two on their efforts in this crucial realm of the digital space.

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