Why Consumers Interact with Brands on Facebook

An ExactTarget study finds that 39 percent of Facebook users who become fans of brands do so to publicly display their brand affiliation to friends – nearly twice as often as consumers follow brands on Twitter and nearly four times more often than consumers subscribe to email communications for the same reason.

Key findings of the research include:

  • 64 percent of all U.S. consumers—and three quarters of Millennials—have created a profile on Facebook making it the “default” social community.
  • 40 percent of Facebook users who become fans do so to receive discounts and promotions, 39 percent become fans to show their support for a brand to others.
  • 63 percent of consumers use Facebook is to reconnect with old friends and friends that live far away.
  • 37 percent of consumers use Facebook to manage their social life.
  • 30 percent of consumers use Facebook to occupy their down time and 31 percent say they monitor the amount of time spent on Facebook because of its addictive nature.
  • 65 percent of Facebook users say they login only before or after work/school and 69 percent use the site on weekends or off-days, requiring marketers to engage with consumers on nights and weekends as well as during normal business hours.
  • Women are more likely than men to use Facebook for maintaining personal relationships (63 versus 54 percent), connecting with old friends (68 versus 56 percent) and managing their social lives (41 versus 34 percent).
  • Consumers’ capacity for exposure to brand messages via Facebook is limited—half of all fans “like” only one to four brands and only 17 percent of consumers say they’re more likely to buy after becoming a “fan” on Facebook.

Motivation to “Like” Company or Brand on Facebook

Facebook Motivations % of Respondents
Receive discounts and promotions 40%
Show support for the company 37
Get a “freebie” 36
Stay informed about company 34
Get updates about products 33
Get updates on upcoming sales 30
Fun and entertainment 29
Access to exclusive content 25
Recommended 22
Learn about company 21
Source: ExactTarget, August 2010

Reasons for Consumer Use of Facebook

Results from the study confirm that for most consumers, Facebook is far more about personal, rather than professional, interaction. 63% of Facebook users are there to reconnect with old friends and friends who live far away, and 59% use Facebook to maintain personal contacts.

Reason % of Respondents Who Agree
Reconnect with friends 63%
Maintain personal contacts 59
Stay on top of social life 37
Fill downtime 30
Play games 30
Log in to read friend’s messages 23
Keep current on children/grandchildren 16
Maintain professional contacts 15
Source: ExactTarget, August 2010