Facebook’s not all that: email is where it’s at

Kelly  | 

Is your business using Facebook as a push system? Then we’re sad to report you’re wasting your time. Facebook has been working to reduce the organic reach of businesses since 2012, with Ogilvy pegging organic reach at 2% last February. That means that fans rarely see your company’s post pop up in their news feeds. So have you got something to share with your customers? Send them an email.

This will be even more important in 2015, when a new Facebook algorithm kicks in. According to the experts at global research firm Forrester (who recently published a report on social relationship strategies), Facebook is set to slash organic reach even further. This will sound the death knell for customer interaction: unless your Facebook fans expressly seek you out – for example by coming to your page to ask a question, make a complaint, or offer praise – they simply won’t see your posts.

Bye-bye, Faceboook. Hello again, email!

You might not see this as a problem, because customers will still be able to make contact with you. And naturally you’ll be giving them the same lightning-fast, well-considered service you always do, right? The thing is, even the most altruistic of companies do like to get a little something back at times. And that means being able to communicate with customers when you think of them – not only when they think of you.

Short of running through the streets with a megaphone, what’s an SME to do? Forrester analyst Nate Elliott has the answer, though it might not be what you expected. Facebook was never all that, for companies at least. One of Forrester’s recent surveys showed that US online adults who want to stay in touch with your brand are almost twice as likely to sign up for your emails as to interact with you on Facebook. Emails are far more likely to get your customers’ eyeballs than Facebook posts are. Not only that, but you get to decide what you’re allowed to say in your emails – not Mark Zuckerberg.

Email ain’t goin’ anywhere

Over the past few years, the customer service buzz has emphasised the importance of helping customers on the channels that work for them – and those channels have increasingly been social media ones. We at Casengo would not suggest for a moment that you should turn away from offering customer service on Facebook and Twitter simply because it no longer offers you a way to promote yourself to customers. Far from it – you need to keep providing customer service on your customers’ preferred channels. But be aware that the rumours of email customer service’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. So get back in control: fight the chaos in your inbox and reach your customers better than ever!