Why Consumers Follow Brands on Social Media

People aren’t on social media to follow your brand. At least, not initially. They’re there to connect with friends and family, kill time, and be inspired.

When consumers follow brands, it’s generally as a response to things like feed discovery tools, recommendations from people in their network, because they already like a brand and because someone they admire (e.g., an influencer) mentions the brand.

Source: Sprout Social

For most brands it’s difficult (and inadvisable) to time an ad around a natural disaster, but understanding that people go online during pivotal events like holidays and political campaigns can help you plan your posts and content appropriately.

Another thing to consider—different age groups use social media differently. For example, Gen Z tends to find new accounts via the influencers they follow, while Gen X discovers new accounts from family and friend recommendations.

One major way to avoid losing followers is to understand why people are following your brand in the first place.

The number one reason people follow brands is to learn about new products and services. The next reason is to stay up-to-date on company news, followed by the desire to learn about discounts and promotions.

By the way, it’s just as helpful for brands to know what people aren’t interested in. People don’t typically follow brands to connect with people who are different from them or to communicate with the brand.

Again, it can be helpful to understand the least popular content types so you can avoid generating unfollows due to uninteresting or irrelevant content.

Survey results revealed that user-generated content was the least popular content type on social media, followed by Q&As or AMAs (e.g., ask me anything).

Nearly 60% of consumers who have a great experience with a brand are more likely to message the brand or reach out with a customer issue.

This type of consumer interaction goes beyond simply engaging with the brand’s social content, and is another (powerful) reason why it’s important for brands to have a strong social media presence.

Marketers who understand why their customers use social media including what platforms they favor, the type of content they crave, and the common issues they turn to social platforms to address, will be able to provide a more consistent, positive social media experience to their followers.

In short, if you want to make social work for your brand, you must be on the same page as your customers. Understanding where the disconnect lies between the marketer and the consumer is really the first place you should look if you’re having an issue gaining and keeping followers.