Though consumers turn to Facebook primarily to connect with friends and fill downtime, product discounts and "social badging" are the most commonly cited motivations for "liking" brands on Facebook, according to a survey from ExactTarget and Co-Tweet.
Over two in five surveyed Facebook users (43%) say they "like," or are fans of, at least one brand on Facebook. Among them, 40% say they like brands to receive discounts and promotions, whereas 39% say they do so to publicly display their brand affiliations to others. By contrast, 23% of consumers who follow brands on Twitter do so for social-badging purposes.
Roughly one-third of Facebook users say they like brands in order to stay informed about company activities (34%) and get updates on future products (33%).
However, "liking" doesn't always lead to buying. Among Facebook users who like at least one brand, only 17% say they're more likely to buy after liking that brand on Facebook.
In addition, less than one-half of Facebook users say marketers are "welcome participants on social networks." But even those who welcome marketers say it's because they support free enterprise, not because they seek out interactions with marketers on Facebook.
Below, other findings from ExactTarget's study Facebook X-Factors, which examines how consumers are using Facebook.
Making Personal Connections
The most common reasons consumers use Facebook is to connect friends (63%) and maintain personal contacts (59%), whereas only 15% use the site to maintain professional contacts.