Fans, Followers, or Subscribers: Which Are Better For Brands?

Which one is it? Twitter or Facebook? Facebook or Twitter? These aren’t the only choices in social media platforms, but many brand marketers seem to vacillate between the two. The gold rush that is the social Web is so pervasive that brands tend to forget about other proven digital marketing tools, like good old-fashioned e-mail, that can be used in conjunction with social media marketing to increase engagement.

According to a recent report (PDF) from digital direct marketing firm ExactTarget that compares Facebook and Twitter to e-mail, “e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter offer unique strengths to marketers and consumers alike”. The study finds Twitter is most likely to drive purchasing among users (37%),  followed by e-mail (27%) and Facebook (17%). The relatively small percentage of consumers that interact with brands on Twitter and Facebook is cited in the study as a key reason for e-mail remaining an integral part of online marketing programs that are geared toward customer retention.

12 ways to integrate e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter

ExactTarget suggest twelve methods to leverage these platforms for marketing success:

  1. Promote Facebook games, applications, and competitions in e-mail and on Twitter.
  2. Feature winners of Facebook competitions in your e-mail newsletter.
  3. Tweet about exclusive content that’s only available to e-mail SUBSCRIBERS.
  4. Promote exclusive deals on Facebook and Twitter, but make it only available to e-mail SUBSCRIBERS.
  5. Post links to Web versions of your best e-mails on Facebook and Twitter.
  6. Include LIKE and FOLLOW buttons in e-mail newsletters and promotions.
  7. Include links to your Twitter and Facebook pages in e-mail newsletters.
  8. Collect e-mail addresses at the point of conversion for consumers who link to your site from Facebook and Twitter.
  9. Create an e-mail segment containing Twitter FOLLOWERS and provide them with additional “insider information” through e-mail.
  10. Include questions posted on Twitter and Facebook in your e-mails, and then answer them.
  11. Encourage e-mail SUBSCRIBERS to post questions on Facebook and/or Twitter.
  12. Host videos on your Facebook page. Include links in your e-mails and post links on Twitter.

Other key findings in the report

  • 93% of U.S. online consumers subscribe to e-mail marketing messages, 38% are fans of brands on Facebook, and 5% follow brands on Twitter.
  • Of those who interact with brands via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter, 24% of e-mail subscribers, 21% of Facebook fans, and 33% of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend a brand after interacting with the brand via each channel.
  • 67% of consumers have subscribed to e-mail marketing messages to receive discounts or promotions, vs. 40% of consumers who have become a fan of a brand on Facebook and 31% who have followed a brand Twitter for the same reason.
  • 39% of Facebook users who become fans do so to publicly display their brand affiliation to friends — almost twice as often as consumers who follow brands on Twitter (22%) and nearly four times more often than consumers who subscribe to e-mail communications (11%) for the same reason.
  • 20% of consumers say they have followed a brand on Twitter to interact with the company — more than become e-mail subscribers (14%) or Facebook fans (13%) for the sake of interaction.

Download the report to see all the data and some great graphics.

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  • This is great. As more and more research comes out about social networks, the more it has quietened down about how engaging customers with social media cannot be tracked. Like anything, after a while to develop some stats, anything can be tracked.

    And you are spot on about Email, Facebook and Twitter. These together form a powerful mix, and your suggestions for the strategy of integration and implementation are excellent.

    Thanks for sharing this Pam :)

  • All social marketing is amped up with cross promotion. These are some great points.

    I think the important factor is choice. Some people enjoy Facebook and want to share, some like the quick pace of Twitter others want email…a savvy marketer has to be everywhere.

  • Corporate Mentalist

    Interesting post, I think Facebook is the best medium to promote a brand now days. Thanks for the share!

  • Pingback: Twitter more likely to drive sales than Facebook or Email | Vincent on Social()

  • Melbourne Graphic Design

    I’ve found Facebook to be best for driving traffic to my website that actually buy. Twitter can drive traffic but it’s generally not buyers.

  • These are great tips for using different social media platforms and integrating them together to formulate a better social media marketing strategy. Entrepreneurs need to know the data you have listed here to understand the role of social media better in marketing their businesses.

    Thank you for posting.