January 12, 2010

New Chart: What’s Motivating the Social Relationship Between Consumers and Companies?

SUMMARY: Working with Survey Sampling to access a nationally representative sample of consumers, this year’s Popular Media Study explores social media usage, and how it may affect the relationship people have with commercial interests.
By Sergio Balegno, Senior Analyst

Chart title: Why Consumers Friend or Follow Companies

View Chart Online
Click here to see larger, printable version of this chart

In reporting on this consumer study of social media use by consumers, we make reference to a group we’re calling "Max Connectors" -- those people with more than 500 social connections. They exemplify the new social consumer, and they’re especially valuable targets for marketing, at least in theory, because they can spread a positive brand or product experience so widely.

The motivations for consumers to track brands and companies through social media are generally predictable. However, there are exceptional aspects. Unlike our motivations for email or catalogs, getting a first or early look at features and products is at least as strong a motivation as beneficial pricing (that’s especially true of Max Connectors).

Another unique driver of social connectedness with companies is to "get to know" the company. Although other aspects of the Internet have already opened this arena up to scrutiny, social media accelerated the ability of individual consumers to monitor, communicate and comment on companies as citizens.

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