In a recent blog post, we discussed why people unfollow brands on social media. Knowing the reasons behind people disengaging from brands on social media, however, only paints half of the picture. As social media becomes ever more prevalent and crucial to marketing strategies, marketers need to have a good understanding of the various reasons that people choose to follow, engage, and interact with brands on social media. Understanding the nuances and reasoning behind this can inform marketers as they design strategies and develop content for social media marketing. With that, here are some key reasons that people engage with brands on social media:
- For promotions and discounts. Let’s face it, people love to save money. Although it may not be enough incentive for everybody, there are many people that will choose to follow a brand simply because they want access to news about sales, discounts, and promotions. Many brands are becoming aware of this, and encouraging audiences to connect with them on social media to stay on top of the latest deals. According to an August 2015 Marketing Sherpa survey, having access to promotions ranked as the top reason people choose to follow a brand on social media.
- For the latest product information. Many people now turn to social media for their daily dose of news updates, and the same goes for updates about the latest products and services. If a consumer is particularly interested in a company’s products or services, they may choose to follow the brand on social media to be “in the know” when new products, services, or features are launched. Someone who is really into Apple products, for example, is likely going to follow Apple on social media, to get news about the latest product releases and to know when to be in line at the store.
- For customer service. Now more than ever, customers are turning to social media for customer support- a JD Power report stated that 67% of consumers have used a company’s social media site for customer service. For many people, reaching out to a brand on social media is a more accessible and instantaneous way of expressing concerns and receiving support. Even further, research has shown that 71% of consumers who experience positive customer service on social media are likely to recommend the brand to others.
- For lifestyle content. Brands often go beyond simply offering a product or service, and grow to represent a lifestyle. Many people are influenced by the lifestyles that particular brands represent, and some people will choose to follow a brand on social media to receive more content that is in line with that lifestyle. Under Armour, for example, has 3.2 million followers on Instagram. While they do promote products and share product information, they also post a lot of content about sports and fitness, enticing people who are interested in those topics and the lifestyle that Under Armour represents.
- For the ability to offer feedback. Customers love to feel like they are being heard. For this reason, many customers are turning to social media to engage with brands and to offer input on products and services. Brands that are more proactive in soliciting the opinions of customers will send the message that customers’ feedback truly matters, and this can have a positive effect on customer loyalty.
These are just a few of the key reasons that people choose to follow brands on social media. The reality is that different people follow different brands for different reasons. Still, having an understanding of some of the main drivers of consumer engagement with brands on social media is very beneficial for marketers. Once brands are able to get increased engagement from consumers on social media, the next step is to encourage those consumers to become the marketers themselves- what we call social media advocacy.
As the complete campaign management platform for social media advocacy, Fanzee can help to make the process of executing a brand advocacy strategy more seamless and effective, allowing organizations to better take advantage of this powerful marketing method. Click here to learn more about how Fanzee can help.