Facebook or Twitter: Do you know which social network your subscribers use most? Their preference could frame how they interact with your email marketing campaign.

ExactTarget discovered that Facebook and Twitter users show different expectations when interacting with brands online. This means you can reframe your conversation with targeted content based on your subscribers’ social network of choice.

Catering your campaign to subscribers’ social media habits creates valuable, shareable content that will keep them talking (and engaging!).

The Content: Facebook Users

According to the study, Facebook users place the most value in entertainment and making public statements about their brand affiliation. 39% of Facebook fans liked a brand’s page to make a statement showing their support.

In the world of email marketing, entertainment can equal relevance and variety in your content, upping its shareability value.

Providing entertainment in your marketing messages means knowing your audience well and giving your subscribers more than a sales pitch. Cosmetics company Bare Escentuals offers subscribers both relevance and variety in their campaign.

Along with promotional emails, they also send a monthly newsletter packed with tips and comments from the staff. This example from February focused on dreams and inspiration with staff contributions:

…and a cleverly themed product placement:

Their strategy goes beyond the average sales email with quality, engaging content that should appeal to a Facebook user’s penchant for entertainment.

Engage their desire to make a statement for your brand by adding share buttons to articles in your broadcast messages.

Key Point:
Create variety in your messages to entertain your Facebook segment. Add social links your subscribers can use to show off their brand affiliation to friends.

The Content: Twitter Users

Consumers on Twitter show greater interests in news updates, interaction and exclusive deals and offers. ExactTarget’s study reveals that 20% of Twitter users follow a brand for the interaction. Only 14% of consumers choose email subscriptions for the same reason.

The key to keeping your Twitter segment engaged is sending exclusive deals and timely updates to keep them in the know about your brand or product.

UrbanDaddy’s Perks newsletter is a perfect example of the insider deals that would appeal to your Twitter segment:

Don’t have special members-only discounts to offer? Try sending some exclusive videos or downloads, like The Static Jacks did with a special music video just for their email subscribers:

(Screenshot of YouTube player that links to the video in the email.)

West Elm demonstrates staying in the know and ahead of the curve with their “sneak peek” email, looking ahead to fall design trends well in advance of the season:

Their subject line and message speak to both being in the loop and getting exclusive information on product updates, something that could connect with the preferences of your Twitter segment.

Remember: Twitter users are also all about the interaction. Feedback surveys are a great way to encourage interaction in your newsletters. Shoes.com steps it up with featured reviews submitted by their customers:

Encourage Twitter subscribers to follow your brand if you’re active on Twitter as well. Frame your call to action around insider information like Bluefly does with theirs:

Key Point:
Content for your Twitter segment is all about staying up to date and in the loop and offering exclusive access to deals. Add interaction with feedback surveys and featured customer reviews for even better engagement.

The How-To: Segmenting by Social Network

Before you can start targeting content, you need to know which of your subscribers use which social networks. You can then segment your list to send specialized content based on their preferences.

For current subscribers, include a survey in your broadcast messages asking which social network they use most frequently. Segment your list based on their responses.

For new subscribers, ask whether they use Facebook or Twitter by adding selections to your web form, or include a survey in your welcome message after they opt-in to your list so you can start segmenting them right away.

Now you can send the Twitter users on your list the latest developments and news updates, while subscribers using Facebook receive plenty of entertaining content that they can share on their wall to show off support for your brand.

The Conclusion: Email Has the Most Fans

Social networking might be the next big thing in communication, but 93% of online consumers still choose to interact with brands through email subscriptions rather than on a social network. The email conversation is the most important, and you can keep it going with messages targeted to your subscribers’ online behavior.

Have you considered leveraging your subscribers’ choice of social network to send better targeted content?

What do you think the benefits could be for your brand?

About the Author: Rebekah Henson is a published playwright and SEO writing expert who writes about building an online following through email marketing at AWeber, the leading email service provider for small-to-medium businesses. You can find more tips on marketing with email at the AWeber blog, or see how you can grow your own business with email at aweber.com.