Study: 60% of Consumers Follow a Brand via Social Media, Most Because of Coupons or Promotions
Forty percent of consumers cite they are most likely to search for coupons or promotions when interacting with a brand via social media, with one in four people indicating they are doing so even more often than before.
Alpharetta, Georgia, United States– December 6, 2010 – Empathica Inc., a leading provider of Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions to some of the world’s most respected brands, recently announced the results of its latest Empathica Consumer Insights research. More than 15,000 Americans and Canadians responded to the survey that focused on consumers’ online habits and social media usage.
The study revealed that consumers were very willing to follow brands, though most reported doing so in order to find coupons or deals. Six in ten consumers indicated they follow at least one brand via a social network like Facebook or Twitter. Forty percent of people reported doing so in order to search for coupons or promotions while 30% cited the desire to browse for additional information.
While couponing and promotion hunting is a primary driver of social behavior, the survey also found this habit was driving overall online behavior as well. Twenty-six percent of individuals also say they are specifically seeking more coupons online.
“The challenge for companies is to identify the triggers that make consumers want to follow their brand, further engage with them and keep them top-of-mind,” said Gary Edwards, PhD., Empathica EVP of Client Services. “Our survey results suggest consumers show preference to interacting with brands that offer coupons and promotions via social media outlets. It’s important for brands to recognize consumer preferences and what will help encourage them to visit an establishment.”
According to Edwards, while many companies today are adopting social media strategies, there is tremendous opportunity to further nurture existing customers via social media outlets. This involves going beyond social media adoption and engaging in this channel in such a way that encourages consumers to ultimately want to become an active brand advocate. Many companies are still finding this level of engagement and nurturing tremendously challenging today, Edwards said.
One in Three Consumers Recently Followed-Through with a Recommendation Made Via Social Media
Trust in social recommendations also appears to be increasing. The survey indicated that one in three respondents followed through with a friend’s recommendation received through a social media outlet like Facebook or Twitter. Americans appear to be more likely to make a recommendation through a social networking site than Canadians. Twenty-five percent of Americans and 17% of Canadians said they had recommended a brand, product or service to a friend via social media within the last three months.
This difference could be explained by Americans’ willingness to follow brands on social media networks, noted Edwards. Americans are almost twice as likely to follow 10 or more brands in social outlets than Canadians are. In fact, almost half of the Canadians polled didn’t follow any brands at all.
“There is an apparent disparity between how American and Canadian consumers are using social media sites to engage with brands,” added Edwards. “We see that consumers are willing to make that connection with a brand online, even go as far as to make recommendations via social networks, so brands need to make it easier for them to do so.”
Of those who use social media, Facebook was the overwhelming social network of choice for both Canadian (64%) and American (67%) consumers. Empathica’s own patent-pending brand recommendation application, GoRecommend, enables brand advocates to share positive brand experiences with their friends on Facebook, Twitter and email. After a customer completes an Empathica retail experience survey, the GoRecommend engine prompts those who indicated a “high intent to recommend” their experience, to share that recommendation with friends, family and co-workers on social networks. The location-specific recommendation can be posted on the consumer’s Facebook profile page, Twitter page or in a personal email.
“Social media outlets offer numerous opportunities for companies to further promote and encourage brand engagement, taking it past an in-store experience to further validate their commitment to the customer,” Edwards concluded.
About the Empathica Consumer Insights Panel:
The Empathica Consumer Insights serves as an authoritative voice on consumer based economic indicators; the retail, financial services and restaurant industries; consumer shopping intentions and customer satisfaction as reported by thousands of consumers in the U.S. and Canada. Results from Empathica’s Consumer Insights, led by Dr. Gary Edwards and Empathica’s Consumer Insights’ team, are published on a quarterly basis. The results are based on outbound Internet surveys with Empathica’s growing Insights Panel, derived from more than 30 million consumer surveys per year. Results have been weighted to reflect latest Census distributions in the U.S. and in Canada, including Region, Gender, Age and Income.
Aforementioned data is reported by the Empathica Consumer Insights Panel – Q2 2010, Issue 4.
For more information, visit www.empathica.com/insights/.