A new study conducted by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth reveals why people, specifically millennials, interact with brands on social media. The study can help businesses understand how to leverage their social media accounts and use them more effectively.
The study looked into why millennials, people born between 1980 and 2000, connect with brands on social media. This group makes up an important market for many businesses, as it includes young professionals and teenagers.
This chart shows why people followed businesses on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.Image source.
The reasons people connect with businesses on social media vary by website, but here are some of the most common reasons and what they mean for your business:
To Show Support
According to the research, 86 percent of respondents follow a business on Facebook to show support for the brand. On Twitter, that number is 87 percent and on Pinterest it is 78 percent.
This tells us that people, millennials in particular, view a “like” or follow as a way to support the brand and tell their friends that they like what the business does and stands for. We know that the persuasive power of friends is very important when it comes to getting more sales, so as people show support for your brand, their friends are likely to investigate your business. At the very least, these supportive interactions can help you raise brand awareness.
To Get Regular Updates
The researchers also found that people follow brands to get regular updates. The study found that 78 percent of responders connect with brands on Facebook and 81 percent connect with brands on Twitter to get regular updates from the business. These numbers are significant.
What does this mean for your business? That one of the main reasons people connect with you on Facebook and Twitter is to get updates from your brand, and by delivering that you can retain followers and get even more.
This also tells us that as you post these updates, you are sharing them with an audience who wants to hear from you and that is likely to include returning and potential customers.
To Get a Coupon or Discount
Another common reason people follow brands on social media is to get a coupon or discount. The study found that this is the reason that 64 percent of responders connect with brands on Facebook and that 66 percent follow brands on Twitter.
Knowing this, your business can offer coupons and discounts as an incentive to get more followers, strengthen your relationship with current followers and increase sales.
To Research Specific Products and Services
Respondents also follow brands on social media to do research on specific products and services. This highlights the importance of providing information about your products on your social media profiles.
You should avoid being too self promotional, but providing links, product reviews and information about what you provide for customers periodically can pay off, as people are looking for this kind of information. When they find it on your page, they may be more likely to become customers.
When you understand why millennials are motivated to follow your business on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, you can find ways to use these sites more effectively to benefit your business.
The complete study includes more statistics and data about this demographic’s social media use and how social media impacts sales. You can see more information about the study here.