How to Avoid Losing Access to Your Customers (and Sales)

Door with lock

I hate seeing good people doing bad things to market their businesses, and lately, I feel like the kid in “The Sixth Sense.” I see them everywhere. 

The bad thing I want to warn you about today is putting all your marketing time and money on social media.

It should be one element of your marketing plan but, if you are spending more than 25% of your time or money on it, you’re wasting both.

Social media platforms are happy to provide a service you can use on their terms. Facebook is in the news the most, but it’s true for all platforms: they own your followers and control access to them, not you.

They write the rules and change them whenever they want to!

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at the Facebook business page changes.

  • Posting 3-5 times every day would help you show up in your followers’ newsfeed without paying for an ad?
  • Video was given priority (more organic/free reach) in newsfeeds over posts?
  • Only video posted on their site (not a YouTube link) was given priority (more organic/free reach) in newsfeeds over posts?
  • Only LIVE video on their site got more organic/free reach?
  • Posts from groups – not from business pages, were given priority even if you boosted your business posts?

Followers Change Their Minds

You can curse the social media algorithms all you want, but that’s not the only way you might lose access. Lately, several friends and family members have told me they are tired of the tone or content on Facebook, so they are deleting their accounts. If they were your followers, you’re out of luck. 

Rolling the Dice

I’ve heard a lot of business owners complain about these potential pitfalls, so I was shocked to get this email:

…to make it easier for me to stay in contact with all of you, I would like for you to go to the XYZ Facebook business page, Like it, and then join the XYZ Fan Group. That way, I can get the most up-to-date information and programs out to everyone without having to go through my challenging email program.

(The business name has been withheld to protect the uninformed 🙂 )

I called them immediately to explain why this is a bad idea and recommend an email service that might work better for them.

In addition to cutting themselves off from connecting with customers by only using Facebook, they forgot to consider things from the customers’ point of view.

Here are the phrases in that statement that made me want to scream: It’s NOT all about YOU!”

  • make it easier for me
  • I would like you to go to (2 different FB pages?! Ain’t nobody got time for that!)
  • I can get
  • my challenging email program

 

This is the exact opposite of putting yourself in your customer’s shoes.

Me, Myself, and I

Excessive use of I’s, me’s, and my’s – except when expressing gratitude for your customers – is like spraying customer repellent all over your marketing.

I will talk more about how to spot these red flags in your marketing in another post. Right now I want to focus on:

The Dollars and Sense of Email Marketing

As I said in the beginning, marketing and communicating with customers on social media should be one element in your marketing plan. Email marketing should be too.

When someone opts into your email list, they are saying, “I want to hear from you periodically because what you offer is relevant to me. So, I’m willing to give you my email address (direct access to me) in exchange for valuable information and offers from you.

Direct access to your customers is your business’ most valuable asset.

You control how and when you communicate with them – not a random algorithm that is skewed to make money for the social platform. Email marketing is a ridiculously effective marketing action that costs very little and has the potential to reap HUGE results.

“Email marketing is a quick way to engage with your leads and nurture them into loyal customers. It’s also extremely cost-effective, with some studies showing an ROI of up to 4400%.” – HubSpot

That means that every dollar you spend on email marketing has the potential to bring you a $44 return.

You might be thinking, “Okay, but I only have 6 subscribers on my email list, and with social media, I can get my message out to millions of people.” 

That is a complete myth. You will not reach “millions of people” for free on social media. Even your current followers may not see your message in their newsfeed.

Putting your post or ad on social media (even if you pay it), is like putting a sign on your car and driving on the highway during rush hour.

  • A bunch of people may see it.
  • Maybe a few will remember it.
  • And if you’re lucky, one or two will go to your website.

On the other hand, email reaches about 85% of the people you send it to (this is called the inbox placement rate) and has an average open rate of almost 23%.”  – OptinMonster

But wait, there’s more!

Folks who follow brands and businesses on social media aren’t necessarily interested in buying from them.

BUT research has shown that 60% of people who sign up to receive your emails do want to receive offers from you. They expect some of your emails to be promotional messages about your products, programs, discounts, etc.

44% of users check their email for a deal from a company they know, whereas only 4% will go to Facebook.” – OptinMonster

Here’s a real-life example of the different rates of return on social media versus email.

Sumoa company that offers web tools to grow your business, posted an ad for a new launch on Facebook.

  • The Sumo Facebook page has 74,000 fans
  • The post reached 928 people on Facebook
  • 10 people clicked the website link

The exact same message:

  • Emailed to 81,000 subscribers
  • Got 4,203 clicks

Source: Email Marketing vs. Social Media

Here’s what you need to remember:

Email marketing and Social media marketing:

  • Aren’t the same
  • Shouldn’t be treated as replacements for each other

 The smartest business owners use the two together.

For more information on email marketing, click on any title: 

If you are ready to include email in your marketing mix but don’t know where to start, let’s chat!