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Why Millennials Engage With Brands on Social Media

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Some 84% of Millennials who have liked companies on Facebook say doing so is a way to show their support for the brand, according to recent research conducted by Nora Ganim Barnes, PhD, and Ava Lescault, MBA, at The Center for Marketing Research, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

Other common reasons for liking brands on Facebook include wanting to receive updates (83%) and a desire to get coupons/discounts (66%).

On Twitter, getting coupons/discounts is the top reason Millennials engage with companies (85%), followed by supporting the brand (78%).

The top motivation for engaging with brands on Pinterest is different, with 76% of Millennials who engage with Pinterest saying they do so to share information about their interests/lifestyle with others.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 405 people born between 1980 and 2000.

Most-Liked Companies on Facebook

Nike is the most-"liked" brand by Millennials on Facebook, followed by Apple:

  1. Nike
  2. Apple
  3. Amazon
  4. Target
  5. Dunkin' Donuts/Forever 21

Most-Followed Companies on Twitter

Nike is the most-followed brand on Twitter by Millennials, and Victoria's Secret is second:

  1. Nike
  2. Victoria's Secret
  3. Dunkin' Donuts
  4. Forever 21
  5. Starbucks/Foot Locker

Purchasing Behavior

  • 31% of respondents say they have purchased a product after liking it on Facebook.
  • 17% have purchased a product after tweeting about it.
  • 28% have purchased a product after pinning it on Pinterest.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 405 people born between 1980 and 2000. The youngest Millennials, those 14-17 years old, made up 17% of participants; 38% were 18-22 years old; 25%, 23-27 years old; and 21%, 28-33 years old.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Augie Ray Fri Dec 12, 2014 via web

    I believe your first line may be a misrepresentation of the data (and greatly inflates millennials brand wants on Facebook.) You note 'Some 84% of Millennials say they like companies on Facebook as a way to show their support for the brand." That is in one chart, but another notes that barely more than half--just 55%--of millennials are following a brand on Facebook (and that number is down 700 basis points in a year.)

    I think we need to be cautious with how we share data and not inflate brand leaders' expectations.

  • by Vahe, MarketingProfs Fri Dec 12, 2014 via web

    Hi, Augue Ray.

    You're right, and we've reworded the lede to refer to "84% of Millennials who have liked companies on Facebook say..." rather than "84% of Millennials say..."

    Thanks for the heads up.

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