Social Media Vs Email – Which Is More Useful When It Comes To Small Business Marketing?

Given an option between social media and email marketing, which would you choose as a small business entrepreneur?

There is no doubt that with the buzz about social media marketing and the good things you can achieve by simply creating social media profiles and marketing on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, your first choice would be social media, right?

But what if I tell you that results have always shown that social media marketing is to a large extent a waste for businesses, would you believe it?

I know the gurus have always told you that social media marketing is the holy grail of business marketing right now. But unfortunately, many of these gurus only say such things because their main concern is selling you their product or service.

As a small business entrepreneur when it comes to marketing your business online, you definitely want to focus on those activities that produces the desired results and not just the noise. This is not only wise when it comes to investing your money but for the fact that you have limited time to run and grow your business.

Social Is Doing A Pathetic Job Turning Readers Into Customers!

This might seem counter-intuitive considering what the gurus have told you. But it’s true all the same.

A survey by McKinsey & Co. clearly puts email far ahead of social media in effectiveness when it comes to acquiring customers! In fact, email is nearly 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined!  This is really not what you have told by the gurus!

email marketing vs social media results

Does this mean you are wasting the hundreds of man-hours you spend every day posting and tweeting on the various social media platforms?

Not really.

This is because the McKinsey & Co. report also indicated that between 2008 and 2012 there was a 20% decline in e-mail usage while social media networks, instant messaging and mobile-messaging had some form of increased usage.

Personally, I want to believe that the slow-down in email usage was a as result of the increase of marketers sending spam emails and the buzz about social media which led to many businesses investing in social media than email marketing within this period.

How to Make This Info Useful For Your Small Business

Putting the results of the McKinsey & Co. report to use as a small business will entail combining the power of both email marketing and social media. Remember the two insights from this report are:

1.    Email beats social media when it comes to customer acquisition by as far as 40%!


2.    Between 2008 and 2012 email usage declined by about 20% compared to social media networks, instant messaging and mobile-messaging!

For a pragmatic strategy to drive results with these insights I will encourage you to read a post I did back in 2012 titled “The 3 Scientific Steps to Using Social Media for Online Selling!” I passionately believe that this will greatly help you.

Bonus Read: How To Use Social Media Marketing To Acquire Loyal Customers!


The McKinsey & Co research report is an eye opener for small businesses who wants to use social media marketing for their online promotions. It is clear that social media is not the right channel if expect short term rewards in terms of revenue or profitability. Besides to use email marketing you will need to understand what permission marketing is all about.

Simply posting updates about your business on social media and broadcasting marketing/sales messages through email will not help you achieve your business goals. A carefully crafted marketing strategy like the one outlined here is what will help you do this with ease!

So, what do you think? Are you having great success with your social media marketing as against what this research report states?


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