It seemed like only yesterday that businesses around the world focused the majority of their marketing resources on social media, but those days are over.

There are so many different traction channels to leverage nowadays, and social media, from an impressions perspective, is just a shell of what it once was. Facebook and Twitter both adjusted their algorithms significantly to limit organic reach, mainly so they could control it for monetization purposes, using ads. If you want to play, you need to pay, unfortunately.

And there's also a lot of distrust surrounding social media and big tech nowadays. Privacy issues have affected how many people engage on social media, and they're top-of-mind for some. Facial recognition technology and third-party cookies aren't helping bring users back to Facebook and Twitter, either, as Gen Z has flocked to YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok instead.

Enter email marketing.

Businesses can leverage it to create their own private communication channel to interact with their ecosystem -- both leads and customers -- whenever they choose. Email marketing creates a private messaging channel, and it also has certain audience benefits as well. Unlike social media, whoever builds a list owns the data. Equity isn't common on the internet nowadays, and that's why email marketing and webinars are so powerful. Here are a few more reasons it's replaced social media as the traction channel of choice for marketers.

Use these email marketing tips to complement social media strategy for your business

Summary: Why email marketing is a key traction channel for digital marketing

There are over 30 traction channels for digital marketers to leverage, with all of them having different strengths and weaknesses.

In our eyes, email marketing provides the best return on investment, mainly because it's virtually free, aside from a subscription to an Email Service Provider. These ESPs, such as MailChimp and ConvertKit, often give marketers other tools to help with CRM, landing pages, pop-ups and more, so they're worth the investment. Not only that, email marketing doesn't require a high time cost, whereas social media management is quite the opposite.

Email marketing allows business owners to establish and build a direct, personal relationship with their list, and it can help convert a cold lead into a life-time customer. And sure, it takes time, but no audience is built overnight, so you just need to figure out which traction channels are best for your market vertical.

It's been roughly two decades since social media networks came into existence, and since that time, they've completely changed how people around the world communicate, do business and approach their daily routine.

For Millennials and Gen X'ers, it all began in 2003, when Myspace first launched. Having one's own page—which was more of a personal blog than anything—was the best way to express oneself digitally. But the most important part of Myspace's value proposition centered around connecting users around the world in the form of comments and direct messages.

And it's interesting, because when users first began to flock to social media, the networks were viewed as a medium to connect people around the world. But now many see social media as a disconnect. They feel it has fractured the manner in which we communicate, favoring these digital platforms over face-to-face interaction.

But the blame shouldn't be placed on Myspace, or Facebook, which launched the following year (as "TheFacebook."). There were some predecessors as well that enabled digital communication from a social perspective, although they don't fit the traditional social media mold as we know it today. AOL Instant Messenger (like in the screenshot below), ICQ and Yahoo! Messenger all had an effect on the world as we know it. But none of them should get the majority of the blame for social disconnect.

AIM

Fast-forward to today, with social media channels being the predominant way users communicate globally. Not only that, it's also the most common touchpoint for businesses and brand managers to reach their customers, both for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C). And that's exactly what we're going to focus on in this post.

There are a number of different social media sites in existence today, each of which harbors different demographics of users. As such, businesses and brand managers must employ different approaches on each individual platform to reach their audience. We've highlighted the key comparisons between each network, so you can do exactly that.

Strategy, comparisons for targeting social media users on each platform

Summary: How brands should use social media site similarities, differences for audience building and marketing strategy

Identify your ideal customer. Use that "avatar" to dictate which social media sites are best to allocate your resources, both from a time and financial perspective. Time is finite, and budgets for small businesses and brands in their incubation phase can be thin.

As such, we advocate starting with only one—maybe two— social media platforms to reach users. It won't take long for you to identify if your efforts are giving you a positive return, in terms of engagement and conversions. If they are, then, by all means, continue to build your audience there. If not, it's probably best to move on to another platform.

It's a long, complicated process to identify which sites are best for your brand, and it really depends on your niche and ideal customer, first and foremost. So start there, and make sure you continue to employ different strategies along the way.

Split testing tactics, strategies, approaches and even your profile information will allow you to identify what works best, and once you find that secret formula, the road to social media success gets a lot easier.

Lastly, make sure to optimize website performance. That should be a priority if you're funneling users to a landing page or homepage in search of conversions. Make sure you're delivering a frictionless, enjoyable experience for users.

Just remember that no brand should overlook social media, and while it can take time and energy to identify the right sites to leverage, it's well worth it in the long run.

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