Why Do Consumers Become Facebook Fans? Study Says It Depends On The Brand

Consumers may be a bit more sophisticated than the conventional wisdom would lead us to believe.

According to a new study from Syncapse, there’s not a single dominant reason that consumers choose to become a brand’s Facebook fan. Instead, there are numerous different reasons it happens — and, what’s more, the biggest “fan-drivers” depend on what brand you’re talking about.

This is something that brands and marketers have been trying to sort out for several years. When I wrote about it in 2010 on Small Business Search Marketing, two separate studies both suggested that coupons and deals were the No. 1 reason that consumers become fans on Facebook and follow brands on Twitter.

That’s still a popular reason in the new Syncapse study — 42 percent of the 2,000 survey respondents cited “to get a coupon or discount” as one reason they fan a brand on Facebook. The top reason, at 49 percent, was “to support the brand I like.” The only other response that was mentioned by more than 40 percent of respondents was “to receive regular updates from brands I like” at 41 percent.

But what I like about the Syncapse study is that it goes a little deeper than studies I’ve seen in the past by breaking out the responses by which brand the consumers have fanned on Facebook.

That adds some nuance to the study results — like the fact that consumers have different reasons for becoming a fan of different brands. So, while word of mouth might only score 15 percent overall on the chart above, 27 percent of fans of the fashion brand Zara said they became a fan because of a personal recommendation from a friend.

And that stuff about deals and coupons being a primary driver of Facebook fan activity may apply to Starbucks (59 percent), Victoria’s Secret (61 percent) and Target (59 percent), but it’s not why consumers become fans of BMW (17 percent), XBOX (28 percent) and Adidas (32 percent).

The Syncapse study also found that 78 percent of a brand’s Facebook fans are also current users of the company’s products or services. But again, it’s a bit more sophisticated than that: BMW is a significant exception with only 36 percent of its fans also being customers.

You can download the report from Syncapse’s website. Contact information is required.

About The Author

Matt McGee
Matt McGee joined Third Door Media as a writer/reporter/editor in September 2008. He served as Editor-In-Chief from January 2013 until his departure in July 2017. He can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee.