Email Marketing or Social Media? Authors Need Both!

Indie Authors Need to Use Both Email Marketing and Social MediaSocial media workshops are all the rage at writers’ conferences but what about email marketing?

It would be smart if some conference leaders started including either mentioning email marketing or including sessions on how write effective email marketing messages.

The focus on email marketing may seem like a sudden shift, but it isn’t. Every webmaster worth her weight has been recommending that writers include an email sign-up form, along with a great giveaway, for years.

Pew Research recently gave further credence to this practice. In a study, it conducted, Pew Research discovered that found that 94% of employed adults use the Internet for work. This number is no surprise when you consider the widespread use of technology across industries.

It turns out that email is considered the most important business tool by 61% of those polled. In comparison, just 4% consider social media networks as important.

Start Collecting Your Readers Email Addresses

What does this mean for Indie authors? I have a few tips for you.

  1. Sign up for an email application such as MailChimp (that’s what I use), Constant Contact (I don’t like it, but plenty of people do), or AWeber (many people love this application).
  2. Establish a newsletter schedule and stick to it. If you don’t want to send newsletters – and I don’t blame you for deciding this – then collect email addresses through your email subscription application. You can do this with MailChimp, AWeber or a number of other apps. The idea is to collect email addresses. Don’t use a blog subscription program that doesn’t allow you to identify who’s subscribing to your blog because that would be 1) pointless, and 2) a huge waste of an opportunity.
  3. Use your email list to send quality content to your readers on a regular basis, as well as calls to action for books and contests. The content you select will depend on your genre and niche.

Now, you may be thinking, “Should I use email marketing or social media?” Both. And if you’re wondering if you can skip social media, well, If I’m going to invest in banish the thought!

Email marketing is great for selling but guess what’s better at nurturing relationships with your readers and expanding your reach of readers? Yep, good “old-fashioned” social media.

With email, you can speak directly to your readers.

With social media, you can answer questions, share content daily, and find new readers.

Remember, email is great for your current website visitors and readers.

Social media is wonderful for taking those relationships a few steps further and for finding new readers.

Pew Research Says More People Using Social Media

Pew Research on Social Media UseNow, about a month after the report on email marketing was published, Pew Research released findings from another report.

This study says that the use of social media is increasing. (No surprise, eh?)

In fact, in 2014 the four social media networks with significant increases in use were Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Here’s what the research giant said:

  • The results in this report are based on the 81% of American adults who use the internet. Other key findings:

  • Multi-platform use is on the rise: 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites, a significant increase from 2013, when it stood at 42% of internet users.

  • For the first time, more than half of all online adults 65 and older (56%) use Facebook.

  • For the first time, roughly half of internet-using young adults ages 18-29 (53%) use Instagram. And half 0f all Instagram users (49%) use the site daily.

  •  For the first time, the share of internet users with college educations using LinkedIn reached 50%.

  • Women dominate Pinterest: 42% of online women now use the platform, compared with 13% of online men.

What happened to Facebook? This is what Pew Research determined:

While Facebook remains the most popular social media site, its overall growth has slowed, and other sites continue to see increases in usership.

Facebook continues to be the most popular social media site, but its membership saw little change from 2013. The one notable exception is older adults: For the first time in Pew Research findings, more than half (56%) of internet users ages 65 and older use Facebook. Overall, 71% of internet users are on Facebook, a proportion that represents no change from August 2013.

Authors, what this means is if your readers pertain to the more silver demographic, don’t disregard social media. Their numbers are growing, especially on Facebook.

Facebook’s large base of users continues to be very active. Fully 70% engage with the site daily (and 45% do so several times a day), a significant increase from the 63% who did so in 2013.

In fact, Pew Research also stated that while engagement on Facebook by its users is growing, there seems to be little change in this category on other social media networks.

In addition, Facebook is somewhat of a “home base” for online adults using social media. It’s the most popular site and most often overlaps with the use of other social media platforms.

Overall, I love the findings from both reports. Email marketing continues in importance while social media use continues to gain ground and expand its influence.

When developing your marketing strategy this year, make sure you incorporate both email and social media marketing into your plans.

Related Reading

Social Media Just for Writers

Avoid Social Media Time Suck

Frances Caballo- Author of Avoid Social Media Time SuckAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by signing up for her newsletter. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

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