Marketing InfographicsSocial Media & Influencer Marketing

What Makes Consumers Want to Follow a Brand on Social Media in 2024?

Social media has become more than a platform for social interaction; it’s become a dynamic hub for brands to engage with prospects and customers. The reason behind this transformation is deeply rooted in the behavior and preferences of consumers. Understanding why individuals follow brands on social media can offer valuable insights into crafting strategies that resonate with target audiences.

The Sprout Social Index Report sheds light on the primary motives driving consumers to hit the follow button on a brand’s social media profile.

why consumers follow brands on social media
Source: Sprout Social Index Report

Topping the list with a significant 68% is the desire to stay informed about new products or services. This indicates that prospects and customers value direct information and updates, suggesting that brands prioritize content that keeps their audience in the loop.

At 46%, the second most compelling reason for following a brand is access to exclusive deals or promotions. This suggests that special offers and sales can incentivize consumers to engage with a brand on social platforms.

Enjoyable and entertaining content motivates 45% of consumers to follow a brand. This highlights the importance of creating content that informs and entertains, fostering a connection with the audience through shared moments of enjoyment.

Engagement with the community or other customers is key for 28% of the audience. The social aspect of these platforms is still vital, and brands that facilitate a sense of community can strengthen their relationship with their followers.

Finally, 21% of consumers are influenced by brand values and missions that resonate with their own. In a marketplace where consumers are increasingly value-driven, showcasing a brand’s ethos and commitment to social causes can be decisive.

These insights underscore brands’ need to treat social media as a vital communication channel. It’s not just about broadcasting messages but about building relationships through informational, promotional, and entertaining content.

How To Optimize Your Brand’s Social Media Presence

By understanding and leveraging why consumers choose to follow brands, companies can develop a more effective and engaging social media presence that attracts and retains customer interest. To optimize social media strategy, brands should:

  1. Regularly update followers on new products and services to satisfy the primary reason people follow brands.
  2. Offer exclusive deals and promotions to followers to incentivize engagement and loyalty.
  3. Produce content that entertains and informs to cater to the substantial percentage of consumers looking for enjoyable content.
  4. Foster a sense of community by engaging with customers and encouraging interaction.
  5. Communicate the brand’s values and mission clearly, aligning with the personal beliefs of their consumers to build deeper connections.

A brand’s presence on social media can no longer be an afterthought. It is a critical touchpoint for meeting consumer expectations and building lasting relationships. Companies can strategically tailor their social media content to engage and expand their audience by tapping into the diverse motivations for why consumers follow brands.

Sprout Social Index Report

Consumer expectations are more nuanced, emerging tech is more powerful, and there’s a lot of ambiguity. By downloading the Sprout Social Insights Index, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the evolving role of social media and consumer engagement in the business world. The report emphasizes the increase in social media use and the resulting expectation of consumers for authentic interactions and timely customer support from brands.

It also explores the role of AI and automation in streamlining social media tasks to enhance strategic marketing efforts. The findings discuss organizational challenges within social media teams, particularly the need to break down silos between departments to leverage social insights throughout the business fully.

Additionally, the report advises reassessing content strategies to include more user-generated content and educational materials that align with consumer expectations.

Download Sprout Social’s Index Report

The insights are based on data collected from a substantial sample of consumers and social marketers in the US and UK, offering a broad view of the current social media landscape.

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is CMO of OpenINSIGHTS and the founder of the Martech Zone. Douglas has helped dozens of successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to assist companies in implementing and automating their sales and marketing strategies. Douglas is an internationally recognized digital transformation and MarTech expert and speaker. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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