Study Finds Nearly 40% of Consumers ‘Like’ Companies on Facebook to Show Brand Affiliation to Friends

ExactTarget Identifies X-Factors That Make Facebook Potent Viral Marketing Platform

INDIANAPOLIS--()--A new study released today by ExactTarget finds that while consumers primarily turn to Facebook to connect with friends and for entertainment, discounts and 'social badging' are the primary reasons consumers 'like' brands on Facebook.

Featured in Facebook X-Factors, a new report by ExactTarget and CoTweet, the survey of more than 1,500 consumers finds that 39 percent of Facebook users who become fans 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.

“Consumers use Facebook to interact with friends, be entertained and express themselves through their public affiliation with brands - factors that combine to create a potent viral marketing platform,” said Jeff Rohrs, principal, ExactTarget’s research and education group. “By engaging consumers on Facebook in a way that keeps them entertained, brands have an unprecedented opportunity to mobilize Fans and get introduced to their friends."

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.
  • The most common reason consumers use Facebook is to reconnect with old friends and friends that live far away (63 percent).
  • 37 percent of consumers use Facebook to manage their social life.
  • 30 percent of consumers use Facebook to occupy their down time citing it as a “guilty pleasure,” 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.

“Facebook provides a unique opportunity for marketers to creatively connect with motivated audiences online,” said Tim Kopp, ExactTarget’s chief marketing officer. “The Facebook X-Factors report provides marketers an exclusive look at why and how consumers use Facebook and how they want to interact with brands.”

Facebook X-Factors is the fifth research brief in ExactTarget’s and CoTweet’s six-part Subscribers, Fans & Followers research series set for release through September. The series provides marketers exclusive insight into how U.S. consumers interact with brands online based on a series of focus groups, interviews and surveys conducted in March and April. For more information about the study, to access an interactive application of the Subscribers, Fans & Followers data or to subscribe to receive future research briefs delivered via email, visit www.ExactTarget.com/sff.

About ExactTarget

ExactTarget is a leading global provider of on-demand email marketing and interactive marketing solutions. The company’s software as a service technology provides organizations a single platform to connect with customers via triggered and transactional email, integrated text messaging, landing pages and social media. Supported by collaborative global services teams, ExactTarget’s technology integrates with more sales and marketing information systems than any other in the industry, including Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Omniture and Webtrends among many others. ExactTarget’s software powers permission-based multi-channel communications for thousands of organizations around the world including Expedia.com, Aurora Fashions, Papa John’s, CareerBuilder.com, Gannett Co., Inc., The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The Home Depot and Wellpoint, Inc. For more information, visit www.exacttarget.com or call 1-866-EMAILET.

Contacts

ExactTarget
Mitch Frazier, 317-275-5034
mfrazier@ExactTarget.com
or
Dittoe PR for ExactTarget
Lauren Sanders, 317-202-2280 X 10
lauren@dittoepr.com

Release Summary

ExactTarget and CoTweet study finds nearly 40% of consumers ‘like’ companies on Facebook to show brand affiliation to friends.

Contacts

ExactTarget
Mitch Frazier, 317-275-5034
mfrazier@ExactTarget.com
or
Dittoe PR for ExactTarget
Lauren Sanders, 317-202-2280 X 10
lauren@dittoepr.com