Adam T. Sutton

Always Integrate Social Marketing?

A new report from ExactTarget and CoTweet reveals interesting differences in consumers’ motivations and habits when connecting with brands via email and social media. Take a look to find out more about why your customers are listening to you.

The report (you’ll be asked for an email address and phone number) is the result of three types of focus groups conducted with 44 people, and a 1,506-person survey (see methodology). It is loaded with interesting stats, such as:
o 38% of U.S. online consumers are fans of a brand on Facebook
o 5% follow at least one brand on Twitter
o 93% receive at least one permission-based email per day

The report offers plenty of other great metrics, and touches on useful topics, such as the motivational differences between consumers who first check email in the morning and consumers who first check Facebook. Check out the report for more.

The report also offers great best-practice advice for communicating with customers via social channels. However, there was one piece of advice I want to offer a different opinion on.

The report suggests that marketers avoid promoting exclusive, channel-specific offers in social media, and that “tone and content should be the primary differentiators in our channel strategies, not promotions.”

In general, this is sound advice. Integrating campaigns through multiple channels always drives stronger performance. And you do not want to condition followers to receiving special deals.

However, I feel like marketers should throw their social media followers an occasional treat. They are often truly fans of your brand. I do not think it could hurt to make them feel special, say, once every six months.

The “treat” does not have to be a discount or offer, either. For example, it could be a hint of a product launch sent to the audience two days before a press release is issued. And if it is a deal, it does not have to be exclusive to social media followers. Maybe, just once, they receive a coupon code a few days before your email subscribers.

How do you feel about occasionally giving social followers and fans special treatment? Waste of time? Vital display of gratitude? Let us know…

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Research And Measurement, Social Networking Evangelism Community



  1. September 4th, 2010 at 09:32 | #1

    Adam I agree with you. People follow businesses on social media because they want to hear and share information about your business. In my mind this can be leveraged to create buzz around your products and services. I would definitely give out special promotions or sneek peak on special news to your social media followers. It will make them feel appreciated and they will be that much more enticed to share your messages with their followers.

  2. September 8th, 2010 at 17:12 | #2

    Adam – great post. The same Exact Target research series has some great stats on the motivational factors that drive people to follow on Facebook and Twitter. Common to both as the largest consolidates set of reasons was to get access to promotions – discounts, coupons, sweepstakes, and to have fun. That can help attract customers, and of course you need to engage them as followers with your content to ensure that the don’t unfollow you after the promotion, and in doing so you turn people into fans over time and benefit from the viral marketing power of their activities. I wrote a post summarizing this topic http://bit.ly/cJpr00 if you are interested.

  1. April 28th, 2011 at 16:10 | #1
  2. April 29th, 2011 at 08:08 | #2