Why People Connect with Brands Online

According to recent Affluence Collaborative survey, wealthy internet users connect with brands on social networks for significantly different reasons than the general population. The social networks they use are different, too.

Among the general population, the main reason cited for connecting with brands on social networks was to receive deals and discounts. In contract, the top reasons wealthy individuals follow brands is a desire to be kept informed about the brand.

Brand Following On   Social Networks (% of Respondents in Each Income Group)
Reason for Following Affluents   ($200K-5000K) Affluents   (>$500K) General Population
Deals or discounts

39.4%

29.0%

44.3%

Love the brand

39.7

52.3

36.9

Keep up with brand news

31.3

34.8

27.5

Someone else following

22.2

31.0

18.8

Social network recommendation

21.2

33.5

16.1

Print/TV/Online ad

25.9

31.0

14.8

Mentioned in article

22.6

23.9

12.8

Professional interest

18.9

15.5

10.7

Tweets/posts

3.4

7.7

9.4

Source: The   Affluence Collaborative, NowResearch, EMarketer, April, 2011

Facebook was the No.1 social network used by all groups surveyed, but LinkedIn and Twitter attracted affluent internet users at nearly double the rate of the general population.

For wealthy internet users, connecting with a brand is largely about the brand itself, not offers. Affluents need to see a consistent message that makes following a brand meaningful for self-expression, just like when buying a brand in real life.

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