Social Media Marketing vs. Traditional Email Marketing

Many people think of social media marketing as something that is completely new and difficult to understand. The fact is social media marketing is merely a different way of doing the same things we have always done. Like most marketing, social media and traditional email marketing share the similarities of sending ads, requesting business, or soliciting sales or donations. They are also both commonly used to build trust, loyalty and brand awareness. These are some of the similarities of the two methods, but what are the differences?


Social media and email can both be used to establish brand recognition. The main differences are that a social media campaign that reaches its intended users is much more subtle in its approach. Take a branded message on Facebook for example. The message may not be clicked on or even read, but it has made its way onto the Facebook feed of the end user and subconsciously this user may recognize the brand and identify with it as they are exposed to regular instances of this type of interaction.

An email marketing campaign that reaches the end user (is opened) has a greater chance of communicating the desired message as the user has elected to interact with the brand as opposed to merely seeing a logo in their Facebook feed.

Acquiring Contacts

Buying contacts for email campaigns is possible as is purchasing ads on Facebook with the intent of increasing fan likes. Other social media and email contacts lists are acquired the old fashioned way of waiting for the end-user to contact you via email or a like or follow. There are more creative ways of generating contacts for each. One method of acquiring emails is to provide a newsletter on your website that first requires an email address before it is sent off. These emails should be stored for the newsletter list as well as for additional email marketing opportunities. Similarly, a prize giveaway on social media can be used for fans or followers who “like” or “follow” your page to generate more contacts.


Determining ROI on email and social media can be a tricky thing to do. There are different elements that may factor into how you measure success including open rates, revenues, clicks to a link or other calls-to-action. You can maximize your email marketing ROI by sending messages at the top engagement times of 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. For social media, a survey revealed that the top goals of your social media marketing should be to strengthen the brand, generate sales, and acquire contacts.

How do you use email and social media marketing to your advantage? Please let us know. Or, if you need help managing these important aspects of your business contact us today.