Social network profiles help explain brand choices

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on July 29, 2010

Social network profiles help explain brand choices

Nearly 40% of consumers now say they are turning to Facebook and Twitter to supplement the news, information and marketing offers they receive via email, according to a study by ExactTarget.

The 'Social Profile' survey divided more than 1,500 consumers into 12 distinct personas that demonstrate how they interact with brands online, based on levels of social media creation and consumption, age, and income level.

According to Morgan Stewart, principal for ExactTarget's research and education group, consumers do not generally confine their engagement with brands to a single channel. Instead they tend to 'layer' marketing channels on top of each other help to meet their own personal objectives. In fact, it is the factors that motivate consumers to go online initially that dictate where and how they engage with brands, whether via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Among the study's key findings:

  • More than 90% of consumers who are a fan of (or officially 'like') at least one brand on Facebook also receive at least one permission-based marketing email per day;  
  • More than 75% of consumers who follow at least one brand on Twitter subscribe to at least one brand's email marketing channel;  
  • Nearly half of consumers who engage with brands via Twitter do so silently, regularly reading tweets even though they do not have their own Twitter account;  
  • 45% of mothers with children living in the home identify themselves as 'Deal Seekers' and, on average, are a fan of 10 brands on Facebook, follow 10 companies on Twitter, and receive 14 permission-based marketing emails daily;  
  • 33% of consumers identify themselves as 'Info Seekers', and are influenced most heavily by product reviews and other forms of user-generated content (UGC);  
  • While 28% of consumers under the age of 25 identify themselves as 'Social Butterflies' and are fans of the most brands on Facebook, they are also more likely to buy from companies that send them permission-based email.

"Simply understanding demographics of a customer group is no longer enough," explained Tim Kopp, ExactTarget's chief marketing officer. "By bridging the gap between demographics and consumer motivations, understanding the social profiles and personas identified in this study gives the marketer a whole new level of understanding of consumer behaviour."

The Social Profile study is the third research brief in ExactTarget's six-part Subscribers, Fans & Followers research series, and is available for purchase directly from ExactTarget - click here.

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