In comScore’s “2010 Digital Year in Review,” it was noted that email use is declining, especially among the youngest generation, in favor of other communication methods such as social networking.  Yet, a Merkle report “View from the Digital Inbox 2011” found that people who used social media were actually more likely to check their email more often.  So anyone thinking they can just start replacing their email strategy and spend with social media strategy and spend is making a huge mistake.  As always in marketing, it’s about having a good mix of channels to get your message out.

Why is that?  After all, marketing would be a much easier job if we could just focus on one channel and do that really well all day long.  The problem is that people are not one-size-fits-all.  Based on level in the organization, job function, personality, and a host of other factors, people will migrate towards different channels.  I personally need my information in very short snippets that gets to the conclusion quickly.  I prefer to read vs. watch a video and I rarely attend a webinar (wayyyy too long!).

So here’s the bad news for all of you who know that you need to get into the world of social media to keep up with the changing marketing world – you have to do this in addition to everything else you’ve got going on.  The good news is that those people you are reaching with social media are more likely to be the ones that you are also reaching with email, so your marketing mix should be extra effective for that segment.  If you are trying to figure out whether the people you are targeting are using social media, check out Forrester’s Social Technographic Profile Tool and B2B Profile Tool.  If you are still not convinced, why not start asking your clients how they prefer to get information about products and services like yours?