Social Media — All In?
“Social media” has become an accepted term to describe a variety of communication forms over social networks. Initially, it had a positive connotation. But as the medium has evolved, so have its negative aspects. Social media will continue to evolve over time, but as of today, people tend to view certain categories of postings with a measure of skepticism, thanks to exaggerated claims and links to false information. The bottom line is that though social media is an effective form of communication, its associated pitfalls mean that care must be taken when selecting a social media channel, because it may not be the right format for your audience, products, or brand.
While social media can be an effective part of an overall communications strategy, it should not be the only channel you use to communicate to your developer audience. Why? Consider the following:
- Demographics: Age and gender impact social media use and interactions. Females tend to use social media for information and communication, while males tend to use social media for entertainment. Social media has developed a following among older adults, so if older adults are your target, then you’ll want to research which channels may be right for you. Frequency of visits is also an area for consideration — for example, according to the 2021 Developer Survey by Evans Data Corporation, 44% of developers visit Facebook once daily.
- What type of net are you casting? Social media is a broadcast channel, while email is a narrowcast channel. If you have a clearly identified audience and want to address them with specific messaging, email offers an advantage of some degree of personalization, so it will likely be more efficient to use email when your personas are known.
- Based on the results of a recent CodeProject survey, email remains an effective and viable source of new product information for developers, despite intense competition from social channels.
Balancing the Equation
In marketing, the struggle between what the advertiser wants to say and what the audience wants to hear is eternal. In a perfectly balanced equation, every interaction would result in a sale, but this is never the case.
Consequently, each marketing tactic is an effort to persuade the audience and move them closer to a sale. With this in mind, doesn’t it make sense to use a variety of tactics in a way that meets (or even exceeds) the expectations of the developer audience? Ideally, it provides a level of amazement.
An example approach could be an email-social post-email program, where the thematic content is delivered over different channels. Another example could be an ad-email-ad program, which reinforces the message and addresses both the social and direct nature of communication.
More information regarding advertising and marketing strategies can be found in the D2D Marketing and Advertising Guide from DeveloperMedia.
“Marketing mix” is a term you don’t hear much anymore, but the reality is that you have a variety of tactics at your disposal that can be used to reach your developer audience, including social media and email. There is a time and place for everything, and both social media and email can be used in an overall communications strategy.
Selection criteria include how you want to reach your audience based on their media preferences, as well as your strategic goals. Time and time again, developers perceive communication via developer-oriented email newsletters and podcasts more positively than scattershot, broadcast messages.
Personalization of email and context offer a definite advantage over a shotgun approach, and a balanced approach to channels and formats can provide the variety you need to gain your developer audience’s attention. Even beyond the pandemic, email remains a foundational tool to reach prospective customers.
Social Media Demographics – SproutSocial
Email blog – DeveloperMedia
You’ve Got (To Use) Email! – DeveloperMedia
Email marketing to Developers – DeveloperMedia
Outbound Marketing to Developers (a.k.a. Email Marketing) · DeveloperMedia
2021 Developer Marketing Survey – Evans Data Corporation
Evans Data Corporation | Developer Marketing Survey Report 2021
D2D Marketing and Advertising Guide – DeveloperMedia
Email marketing basics – DeveloperMedia
Dev Marketing 101: Email Marketing – DeveloperMedia
Email as an information source – CodeProject
Survey Results – Where do you find info on new developer tools? – CodeProject