Companies looking to get more ‘Likes’ on Facebook or increase follower numbers on Twitter have been shown that they need to offer potential customers deals and discounts mirroring the way of the high street.
Research by Tamar, a social and search agency, shows that 54.4 per cent of consumers cited finding out about discounts as a reason for following or liking a brand on social media, while half of those surveyed followed a brand in order to find out about new products.
A third of respondents engaged with businesses in this space solely to find out more information about a company.
Dubbed Social Media Sectors 2011, the study comes after the launch of Facebook Places, an application offering customers deals at retailers, restaurants and a variety of other locations when the customer ‘checks in’ to the establishment.
An increasing number of firms are also seeing the potential advertising advantage that Facebook can offer, with the Tamar research indicating that 41.4 per cent of people had clicked on an advert they had seen on the social networking site.
The fashion sector appears to be leading the charge when it comes to Facebook, with Topshop boasting one million fans and online clothing retailer Asos.com opening a Facebook store, allowing customers to buy products directly on the social networking site.
Concerns over privacy have stopped 27.1 per cent of respondents to the survey from engaging with a company online, according to the study, although this does not appear to be a major obstacle for social interaction.
Tanya Goodin, CEO of Tamar, commented: “Our survey clearly shows that the vast majority of people do not feel that privacy issues prevent them from engaging with brands but they do need incentives.
“We are also seeing mismatches between some brand marketing goals and the needs of clients and consumers.
“This scatter-gun approach will need to be replaced with coherent strategies this year in B2B and B2C engagement as social commerce really takes off.”