Brands must interact across all channels
While email, Facebook and Twitter may compete with one another for their share of marketing budgets, new research says that consumers expect brands to interact with them across all three channels.
Online marketing companies ExactTarget and CoTweet authored the report, which surveyed more than 1,500 consumers to provide marketers insights on how consumers want to engage with brands via email, Facebook and Twitter.
“Consumers don’t isolate their communications to email, Facebook or Twitter and expect brands to communicate consistently across the channels,” said Jeff Rohrs, principal, ExactTarget’s Marketing Research and Education Group.
“Marketers should focus on developing and implementing an integrated strategy that combines—not isolates—the powerful strengths of each of the online channels.”
Major findings of the research include:
• 93 percent of online consumers subscribe to email marketing messages, 38 percent are fans of brands on Facebook and 5 percent follow brands on Twitter.
• Of those who interact with brands via email, Facebook and Twitter, 27 percent of email subscribers, 17 percent of Facebook fans and 37 percent of Twitter followers are more likely to purchase from a brand after engaging with the brand via each channel.
• Of those who interact with brands via email, Facebook and Twitter, 24 percent of email subscribers, 21 percent of Facebook fans and 33 percent Twitter followers are more likely to recommend a brand after interacting with the brand via each channel.
• Twitter is most likely to drive increased purchase intent; followed email and Facebook. However, given the comparatively small percentage of consumers that interact with brands on Twitter and Facebook, email remains the cornerstone online retention marketing programs.
• 67 percent of consumers have subscribed to email marketing messages to receive discounts or promotions, compared to 40 percent of consumers who have become a fan of a brand on Facebook and 31 percent who have followed a brand Twitter for the same reason.
• 39 percent of Facebook users who become fans do so to publicly display their brand affiliation to friends – nearly twice as often as consumers who follow brands on Twitter (22 percent) and nearly four times more often than consumers who subscribe to email communications (11 percent) for the same reason.
• 20 percent of consumers indicate they have followed a brand on Twitter in order to interact with the company – more than become email subscribers (14 percent) or Facebook fans (13 percent) for the sake of interaction.
“Email, Facebook and Twitter offer unique strengths to marketers and consumers alike,” said Tim Kopp, ExactTarget’s chief marketing officer. “The Collaborative Future report provides marketers key insights and recommendations to develop effective online marketing across all three channels.”
Some of the major recommendations made in the report include:
• Promote Facebook games, applications and competitions in email and on Twitter.
• Communicate via Twitter and Facebook about exclusive content only available to email subscribers.
• Feature winners of Facebook competitions in email marketing newsletters.
• Post links to Web versions of email marketing messages on Twitter and Facebook.
• Create an email segment containing subscribers active on Twitter and offer them additional insider information via email marketing messages.
• Encourage email subscribers to post questions on Facebook and Twitter.