Discounts Drive Users to Engage With Brands on Social Networks

by Pam Dyer

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Discounts Drive Users to Engage With Brands on Social Networks

As brands scramble to define themselves on social networks and connect with their customers, a new survey indicates that what consumers want from brands in this new engagement model is some old fashioned marketing: Good deals and customer service.

The results of Razorfish’s annual survey of 1,000 “connected consumers” was recently released, and it contains some interesting data. The sample group was about 50/50 male/female and the respondents all live in ten major U.S. cities and cover four major age groups:

Based on previous Razorfish consumer research, we have found that these “connected consumers” roughly mirror the U.S. population with broadband access. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, about 63% of all Americans today have a high-speed Internet connection, up from only 55% in 2008. This translates to roughly 200 million people, based on a July 2009 population estimate from the CIA World Factbook (total population 307,212,123, July 2009 estimate).

The survey found that the primary reason for “friending” a brand on Facebook or MySpace is for access to exclusive deals and discounts:

More than 25% said they followed a brand on Twitter:

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And 43% of those who follow brands on Twitter do so because of exclusive discounts or offers. That trumps being a current customer (24%), interesting/entertaining content (23%), and customer service/support (4%):

Following a brand on Twitter usually keeps it top of mind when making a future purchase decision:

FEED09_Chart-Q26

The report references Starbucks, the most popular brand on Facebook (by virtue of a promo that offered coupons for free ice cream and pastry). Whole Foods is the leading brand on Twitter, with more than 1.5 million followers. It gained its huge following by offering shopping tips and weekly specials.

Comcast has a great reputation for leveraging Twitter as a CRM tool thanks to the fabled efforts of Frank Eliason, Senior Director of Comcast National Customer Service. Virgin America and Zappos have also received high marks for using Twitter for customer realtions.

The takeaway:

Consumers are obviously very willing to engage with brands via social media. As social networks grow and attract more users, this will continue to be the case and undoubtedly gain more traction.

Brand marketers themselves need to become more engaged and give their friends and followers special offers — pushing out content and hoping consumers hop on the bandwagon isn’t nearly as effective. As social networks become more advanced and brands figure out how to leverage them, there will be many interesting new opportunities for marketing interaction.

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  • Neilmajor

    @pamdyer I’m glad people are mercenary. The idea of people becoming friends with inanimate objects for the promise of a lifestyle = creepy

  • http://twitter.com/neilmajor/status/5625166234 Neil Major

    RT @pamdyer: Discounts drive users to engage with brands http://bit.ly/7h5Mt Primary reason for friending a brand = exclusive deals

  • http://twitter.com/commetrics/status/5625513836 ComMetrics

    RT @pamdyer Discounts drive users to engage with brands http://bit.ly/7h5Mt Primary reason for friending a brand = exclusive deals

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  • http://www.ja64.wordpress.com/ Jane van Velsen

    I beleive we’ll see a lot more than Starbucks on Facebook as retailers begin to engage and understand the impact of social marketing. I’m just surprised it hasn’t happened sooner.

  • http://www.ja64.wordpress.com Jane van Velsen

    I beleive we’ll see a lot more than Starbucks on Facebook as retailers begin to engage and understand the impact of social marketing. I’m just surprised it hasn’t happened sooner.

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  • http://twitter.com/mhproductions/status/5634860568 Morgan Howard

    great post about a survey on why users engage with brands on social networks http://ow.ly/BuEO

  • http://twitter.com/lewisr07/status/5637479641 Bob Lewis

    RT @pamdyer Discounts Drive Users to Engage With Brands on Social Networks | pamorama http://bit.ly/wxI74

  • http://twitter.com/cosmicdust_/status/5650855875 Zeynep Berrak

    RT @tweetmeme Discounts Drive Users to Engage With Brands on Social Networks | pamorama http://bit.ly/wxI74

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  • http://brandhabits.net/ Andy

    Great insight. I think it’s important that brands realise that this is an opportunity to grow relationships though. If they’re social media strategy becomes solely about discounts and coupons then they’re missing the trick of turning sporadic, infrequent customers into loyal, high valuable advocates.

  • http://brandhabits.net Andy

    Great insight. I think it’s important that brands realise that this is an opportunity to grow relationships though. If they’re social media strategy becomes solely about discounts and coupons then they’re missing the trick of turning sporadic, infrequent customers into loyal, high valuable advocates.

  • http://twitter.com/adwrighty/status/5665431445 Andy Wright

    Discounts vs relationship – make sure you find a balance in your social media strategy – http://ow.ly/BLpa

  • http://twitter.com/k_nomad/status/5666538487 Katrina Greeves

    RT @adwrighty: Discounts vs relationship – make sure you find a balance in your social media strategy – http://ow.ly/BLpa

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