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Deals and Discounts Dethroned as Reasons to Follow Brands

Photos and videos are popular content, and many users want insider information

It’s practically common knowledge at this point that social media users follow or friend brands so they can get exclusive offers—especially money off. In Q4 2011, for example, Chadwick Martin Bailey found that for Facebook users, the desire to receive discounts and special offers was the top reason for “liking” a brand, cited by 41% of US users. But social media users also want to be entertained, and many look to follow brands and share posts that have engaging content.

In a May 2012 study from performance marketing company Performics, 48% of US social network users who accessed at least one social site a day said they “liked” or followed an entertainment-related company or product on a social network. Additionally, 43% said they “liked” or followed restaurants and food-related companies, and 37% said they were interested in celebrity-related companies or products. Sports was also on the list, with 32% of respondents having “liked” or followed such companies on social networks. Industries with less entertainment appeal, such as appliances, were “liked” by just 10% of respondents.

When it comes to the type of content users respond to on social channels, the entertainment trend continues. Photos and videos were popular, as 44% of US social network users said they were likely to engage with brand posts that contained pictures. However, traditional status update posts were also popular with 40% of respondents. After that, 37% said they were likely to engage with video posts, and 36% highlighted posts with jokes, cartoons or memes.

And the reasons why consumers engage with posts like this may be changing. Performics found only 45% of US social network users said that insider knowledge or special deals was a reason to “like” a company, brand or product. A larger percentage, 59%, said they followed companies simply because they shopped at their stores or purchased their products.

Overall, social network users have different reasons for why they “like” or follow brands online. But, in addition to stated reasons, like receiving deals and discounts, they demonstrate that they also want to be entertained by brands. Marketers, whether they work for an entertainment-related brand or not, can use this knowledge when planning what content to post on social sites.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Search Undervalued, Critical to Brand Campaigns” and “Ad Spending in Russia Bucks European Uncertainty.”

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