Consumers expect to be rewarded for Facebook interaction

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A new study has found that a quarter of people only follow brands on Facebook to get something in exchange. The latest research from Mintel reveals that consumer motivation for engaging with brands online lies heavily with being rewarded for the interaction.

The findings suggest that nearly one in five (17 per cent) of consumers overall claim that they are happy to supply personal information to companies so “they can serve me better” compared to 47 per cent of Twitter users that are happy to subscribe to a company’s social profile.

Cecilia Liao, senior technology analyst, Mintel, said: “Our research reveals an interesting picture of consumers who will ‘engage in exchange’ with brands in the social media space. Brands who wish to use this medium may wish to think about the incentive they are giving consumers for doing so and brands should not assume that just because consumers are following them on social media they are engaged.

“Understanding how consumers like and want to interact with your brand is key to success with this medium. Companies need to establish what they are using their social media channels for and make this clear to consumers set their expectations on what benefits the channel will bring to them.”

The research also found that social recommendations are also gaining acceptance amongst younger consumers. Some 23 per cent of under-35s agree that “I am more likely to buy a product or service if I see my friends have commented positively or ‘liked’ it on social networks,” compared to only nine per cent of the over-35s.