Though most active users of social networking sites say they visit those sites primarily to stay connected with friends and family, many also want to engage with brands: 65% of such frequent social networking users say they are a fan of at least one brand on Facebook and 31% follow a brand on Twitter, according to a survey from Invoke Solutions.
Active social networkers—those who have at least one active social networking account and frequently engage in social media-related behavior—say they interact with brands via social networks in various ways:
- 47% say they have posted a comment on a company's Facebook page.
- 41% have read blogs.
- 32% have posted a comment about a company or product on their own Facebook page.
- 17% have sent brand-related tweets on Twitter.
Below, other findings from the report, Hyper Social Networking, which surveyed 314 active users of social networking sites.
Facebook continues to dominate social media: 90% of surveyed social networkers say they have a Facebook account that they use actively.
In addition, 78% of social networkers mention the site when asked what they associate most with "social networking," whereas 31% mention Twitter.
Facebook has also become a key destination for brand information, especially for Twitter users: 62% of those who follow at least one brand on Twitter and 47% of those who are a fan of at least one brand on Facebook say they use Facebook as a source of brand information. Those figures compare with 38% of all social networkers who say the same about Facebook.
Still, most social networkers seek brand or product information via search engines (86%) and company websites (81%).
Interestingly, those who follow brands via Twitter are nearly twice as likely as other social networkers to use company blogs to find information (37% vs. 19%)—and fully one-quarter of such Twitter users say they have conducted a Twitter search (25%) or have added a company of interest to those they follow (28%).
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Twitter Gaining Influence
Roughly 35% of surveyed social networkers say they have a Twitter account that they actively use.
Some 31% of social networkers follow companies via Twitter—and such consumers are more likely than other social networkers to leverage the full spectrum of social media outlets to engage brands when they have a comment or complaint: 47% post comments on their Facebook page (vs. 37% of other social networkers), 68% post comments on companies' pages (vs. 65%), and 25% tweet and blog about brands (vs. 12%).
Rewarding Consumer Interaction
Consumers want to be rewarded for interacting with brands via social networks: 60% of Facebook fans cite coupons and discounts as the top reason they follow retailers on Facebook.
Some 16% become a Facebook fan to get early or exclusive brand information and 12% do so to view unbiased feedback about the retailer.
- Consumers' trust in social network content is reasonably strong, even if companies are posting it: 41% of social networkers say they trust Facebook posts from brands "completely" or "somewhat."
- The desire to use a mobile phone to access social media varies by age: 78% of social networkers age 50+ and roughly one-half of those age 35-49 say they don't use their cell phone for social media. Only 30% of those age 18-34 say the same.