The business debate rages on about email marketing and social networks (social media). Should businesses focus more attention on their social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook…or email interactions? I tend to land right in the middle. Frankly, I’m pretty tired of people just arguing for the sake of arguing. What does the customer want? How does the customer want to receive YOUR information? Sometimes businesses fall short and forget the simple age old rule: Customers First. I don’t care if you don’t want to spend time on Twitter or you think it is stupid. I don’t care if email takes way tooooo long. If a customer has subscribed to your email, follows your tweets and has liked your fan page… they must want to be contacted through these channels (maybe).  The debate continues on… which one to use… when and for what?

When deciding how to share information with your customers you must first  understand how customers view each and every channel.

According to MediaPost Publications, the majority of costumers view email as the least intrusive way for companies to engage . Customers trust email more than social networks. Period. They believe they know how to avoid being scammed in email but do not fully understand the risks in social networks. Email is also viewed as being a good source for detailed information or when looking for exclusive deals.

Facebook engagement is more for entertainment purposes. Although customers can still get information and access to deals it offers a fun, different experience with the company.

Twitter is simple and to the point. It also fosters a relationship between the brand and the customer… which can generate brand loyalty and trust.  Like the people, like the brand.

So, which reigns as king? There really is no channel that surpasses the other. However, there are channels that are more appropriately suited  for delivering different messages to the consumer.  If we can agree that Facebook is more for entertainment then let loose a little (have fun with your fans on Facebook). Email your customers when you need to share some updates or detailed information.  An email is private. Twitter is perfect for engaging in a conversation with your customers. Get to know them and let them get to know the company on a more personal level.

Customers (for the most part) haven’t changed but there communication expectations have… thanks to social media and the Internet.