Six in ten consumers (60%) say they follow at least one brand a social networking site and 40% say when they interact with brands via social media they do so primarily to find coupons and special promotions, according to a survey from Empathica.
Three in ten surveyed online adults (31.5%) say they follow brands via social media to find additional information about the brand. Fewer consumers do so to communicate with the brand:
- 7.5% interact to leave a compliment.
- 4.0% want to suggest improvements.
- 3.0% interact to leave a complaint.
Meanwhile, women are more likely to hunt for coupons: 46.6% say when they interact with a brand via social media they're most often searching for coupons and promos, compared with 33.4% of men.
Younger consumers are even more interested in deals: 49.5% of those age 25-34 and 45.8% of those age 18-24 say they're most likely in search of coupons and promos when they interact with a brand via social media.
Below, other findings from Empathica's Consumer Insights study, based on a survey of 15,000 online US and Canadian adults.
More than seven in ten surveyed online adults (72.3%) say they use at least one social network. Gender and age play a role in brand following behavior: 64% of online women "follow" or "like" at least one brand, compared with 56% of online men.
Though most consumers follow one to three brands (32.2%), those age 18-24 are the most likely to follow 10+ brands (16.3%).
Top Social Media Activities
Asked to rank the activities they perform most on social networking sites, 47.4% of consumers say their top activity is reading posts and view viewing pictures, followed by playing games (16.8%), updating their profile (12.7%), and commenting on other posts (11.8%).
Only 1.5% of consumers say their top social media activity is making recommendations.
Consumers' top-ranked social media activities also vary by age and gender:
- 49.2% of women say reading posts and viewing pictures is their top social media activity, compared with 45.5% of men; those age 65+ are the least likely to say so (36.8%).
- Gaming is higher among consumers age 65+ (27.5%) and those age 55-64 (19.4%).
- Men (14.5%) are more likely than women (11.0%) to say updating a profile is their top social media activity.
- Commenting on posts is higher among women (13.4%) than men (10.0%).
- Quizzes and polls are far more popular among those age 55-64 (8.9%) and those age 65+ (11.5%), but less so among those age 18-24 (1.3%).
Trust in social recommendations is increasing: 37.5% of consumers say they have followed through at least once with a friend's recommendation received via a social networking site.
Some 31.9% of consumers say they have recommended a product or service in the previous three months.
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Canadians are less likely than Americans to make recommendations via social sites: 23.9% of Canadians say they have recommended a brand, product, or service to a friend via social media in the previous three months, compared with 35% of Americans.
Not surprisingly, Americans are nearly twice as likely as Canadians to follow 10+ brands via social channels (12.9% vs. 7.7%). Moreover, 49.5% of the Canadians surveyed say they don't follow any brands at all.
Coupon Hotter Than Ever
Not only is couponing is a primary driver of social media behavior, but it drives online behavior as well, Empathica finds. Some 26.5% of all consumers say they're searching for coupons and promotions more than ever, and that level is higher among women (32.5%).
About the data: Findings are based on a survey of 15,000 North American online adults age 18+ (Americans and Canadians) in the second quarter of 2010.
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