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"Friending" brands egocentric, finds Razorfish
Have social marketers been kidding themselves that consumers "friend" brands on social media because they are passionate and want deep and meaningful relationships? Recent data suggests that perhaps all consumers really want from brands on social media is a good deal and great customer service.
When Razorfish surveyed 1,000 "connected consumers" about their digital habits and attitudes towards social media marketing, they found that promotions and discounts were primary drivers of "friending" a brand for over a third of social networking users and 44% of Twitter users. In other words, they were in the relationship for what they could get out of it.
"In hindsight, this makes perfect sense," says FEED: The 2009 Razorfish Digital Brand Experience Report (.pdf). "Dell has earned kudos from social media mavens for generating $3 million in sales from its Dell Outlet through Twitter. Starbucks has soared to the top of Facebook brand pages, with nearly 4 million friends, by offering fans coupons for free pastries and ice cream. And Whole Foods tops Twitter with 1.5 million followers by broadcasting weekly specials and shopping tips."
Customer service also ranked highly among social media users as a reason to follow brands - cited by 33% of social networking (Facebook/MySpace) users and 24% of Twitter users.
"These consumers, already customers, clearly are fans - there's little reason to "friend" a brand you're indifferent about, after all," continues the report. "For example, Comcast, Zappos, and Virgin have all earned high marks by using Twitter as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, solving customer problems in real time and building loyalty through special offers."
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