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The Trifecta: Making Email, Facebook and Twitter Work Together

You may think that email, Twitter and Facebook are all slight variations on the same tune, but the ExactTarget Research Series, Subscribers, Fans and Followers has shown that each venue has its own X-Factor which makes it special. The trick, which is summarized in their newly published final report, is figuring out how to make them all work as a team.

The study begins by breaking down the numbers and there was a surprise here. 93% of online consumers say they receive at least one permission-based email a day. These are the subscribers. 38% said they are a Facebook fan of at least one brand. These are the fans. The surprise is in the followers, those U.S. online consumers who say they follow at least one brand on Twitter. That number is 5%. That’s it.

I probably spend more time on Twitter than the average person, so my idea of the usage is likely skewed by that, but I would have guessed the number at 10-15%. The upside is that of that 5%, 37% said that following a brand it made it more likely that they would purchase something from them. 27% of subscribers agreed as did 17% of the Facebook fans.

I’m not great with math, but I’m pretty sure that means that a larger number of people are getting emails and are getting influenced by them as compared to Facebook and Twitter. But all three venues have their success rate, which is why it’s so important to make them work together.

Many of the people surveyed said they were confused by where to look for information because the branding across the venues wasn’t consistent. For example, if I want a company’s monthly coupon offer, will I get it if I sign up for the email, or only if I become a fan on Facebook? Consumers didn’t like being told they had to subscribe to any one particular method in order to receive information.

Ideally, you want consumers to follow all three channels. To do this, you must cross-promote one channel with another. Announce Facebook winners in the email newsletter, Tweet about content that’s exclusive to Facebook, create a special email newsletter for Twitter followers. All of that takes time and that’s money – two items most businesses don’t have in abundance. That means you have to pick your battles. Try mixing and matching and monitor the results. If a campaign isn’t getting results, try something else. Social media is so new, there isn’t a proven pattern for success.

There are a few tips you should keep in mind and these come right from the consumers you’re trying to reach.

• Make it worth their time.
• Show gratitude for their business.
• Deliver quality products.
• Honor their individual preferences.
• Provide excellent customer service.
• Be honest.

I’ll bet you already knew those things, but are those points coming across in your email, Twitter and Facebook campaigns? That’s what is important.

You’ll find a lot more detail in the ExactTarget Subscribers, Fans and Followers report. If you haven’t downloaded this six part series, do it. It’s free and there’s a wealth of information in each report. As a bonus, the reports are light on text and big on graphics, perfect for those of you who want to be informed but don’t have the time to plow through a twenty page report.

Finally, let me leave you with this thought. If your audience is on the go, they may prefer Twitter over email so that’s where you should be concentrating your efforts. More of a social audience? Hook them in with fun games and community events on Facebook. The point is, the only statistics that really matter, are yours after you run a social media marketing campaign.

Do you have any ideas for making you email, Twitter and Facebook accounts work together?  We’d like to hear about it.

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  • Tanja/NXT Media

    I use all three interchangeably all day long. It’s an awesome combination, and each has it’s own unique usefulness and fun. Thanks for sharing your thoughts in this post. ~ Tanja

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  • http://www.hw-brands.com Shlomo Green

    Nice. Very useful information you have here. Thanks for sharing, but I don’t believe twitter will work as a team.

  • http://www.summerhills.com Bangalow Accommodation

    Love this post. Thank you. And you are so right, it is important to use each channel specifically and for a specific audience, the mobile users will be quite different to the social network users.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/reginawalton Regina Walton

    I’m always amazed when people value Twitter so much. (Look I’ve been on it since 2007 also, so I’m not someone who hates or is baffled by it.) It’s a place to have great conversations with those in your community, if your community is there. It’s great for listening and quickly finding links to the latest news.
    I’d say since it shows up in Google searches now, it’s also good for SEO. I rarely pay much attention to a link in a tweet, but if that same link is on a post in a forum that I’m a regular on? I care.

    As for campaigns, you have to take an integrative approach. Some people could care less about Twitter, some like to share links on FB but others really just want the nitty gritty sent to their inbox. The trick, as you point out, is knowing what sorts make up your audience and going from there.