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Why do consumers follow a brand?

 

By John Giannatos

 

I will try to interpret the latest research on consumer behavior in relation to brands.

There are no random events or interactivity on the behavior of users in social networks, especially when viewed en masse.

People naturally relate to other people, not to a brand; unless, that brand has something to give to that friend. The connection of people with brands is linked to a previous post I wrote that discusses how a consumer gives value to himself through the “good” brand.

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The latest research from Forrester Research shows the reasons why an individual follows a brand or company on social networks.

Ι divide consumers into 3 basic categories:

Conscious Consumers and Utilitarian: Those who replied, “I wanted to get deals/discounts.”

Consumers who want to give value to themselves through the brand: Those who replied, “I love the brand and wanted to follow it” and those who said, “I wanted to keep up with news about them.”

Mimetic Beings. Those who replied, “I noticed someone following the brand/company profile.”

If your business has built a strong brand, then the people of the three above categories will have a reason to follow you. But, if your business is small or medium and the brand has not yet been established, then there is little to no hope for the consumers in category 2 to have any reason to follow you.

Your business should target the consumers in category 1, those who are looking for deals and promotions.

44,3% of consumers say that they are tied to a brand because they expect to receive a benefit from the relationship. (A connection is always a relation, which soon or later should exchange a mutual benefit.)

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Chadwick Martin Bailey’s 2010 research explores why social media users become brand fans.

The research clearly tells us that a brand in a Social Network should periodically offer something to their “friends” to keep the relationship alive.

This is the main point of my article, which comes in response to many companies making Facebook pages without a strategic plan, reason, or goal; they make it just to make it.

A Facebook page, or a similar profile on any other social network, must offer more than just news and updates. The company needs to do something to satisfy the clients/consumers to show that the relationship is two-sided.

After you understand that aspect of social networking you can concentrate on group 3, the copy cats. When your business offers a special or a deal, your consumers will be able to share the deal with their friends, and get these copy cats involved. Your group three will be the biggest supporters of spreading the word, because they will want to show off their relationship with your business. Thus, the user will not only have personal interest in the relationship with the brand, but will also acquire social value of sharing with his friends.

When your company gives more than one “reason” for the consumer to like the brand, and then begins the cycle of building your brand’s awareness. “I love Tommy Hilfiger because…” “I like Adidas because…”

When your consumers are part of a social network, they are ready to play the game of interactivity.
It’s beneficial for sure for the brand to participate in this game and create a relationship with its consumers.