As a small business marketer, you often hear that social media is where you should be focused. Then you hear that you need to build an email list because email marketing is the most important thing you can do to drive business. So which is it?

Social media and e-mail serve different marketing functions—both of which are important. Social media is perfect for starting a conversation and building your community. People engage with social media, and it makes them feel like part of your family. And it gives you an opportunity to talk to your customers directly about the things on their mind right now.

Email marketing is great for sending unique offers to different segments of your list. It lets you provide personalized information to different groups of people at different times, for different reasons. Email doesn’t create the conversation, but it does let your customers know you know exactly what they want.

Both are important components of small business marketing. And, you can use your social media to build your email list (via forms on your Facebook page) and you can use e-mail to encourage your customers to join the conversation on social media.

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