A recent study has revealed that the average new media user follows an average of five brands online.

The 2010 Cone Consumer New Media Study asked over 1000 people about their behaviour towards brands online, here are some of the findings:

Not surprisingly, 77 percent of people said they follow a brand because it offers an incentive such as discounts or offers. Many brands use social media channels to share exclusive offers, Dell, for example posted this message on their blog back in 2009, “Beginning today, Dell will offer deals from the Dell Outlet exclusive to Twitter in the US. With over 11,000 followers, our team wanted to show their thanks to the Twitter world through these new deals which will continue each week”. In the same year, Dell generated over $6.5 Million in Twitter Sales alone and are continuing to offer exclusive deals, proving that exclusivity does indeed work.

Companies that interact with their fans are often rewarded, the study found that users who have a positive customer experience online are more likely to do the following:

  • Share information about the company across their own social networks – 62%
  • Feel a stronger connection to the company – 61%
  • Feel better served by the company – 60%
  • Purchase the company’s products or services – 59%

As the report revealed, generating engagement and keeping it are two very different things, Mike Hollywood, director of new media at Cone comments,

“Attracting new media followers is like starting a fire – coupons are your gasoline, and engaging content are the logs that keep the fire burning. Consumers’ affinity can only tolerate five brands, so companies need to think beyond the coupon or clever widget to figure out how to develop long-term relationships with real staying power. The best new media strategies are those that balance relevant content with timely promotions and ongoing company-consumer dialogue.”

As a brand, it isn’t easy to engage with your fans via new media. Although offers and deals can bring initial interest, it takes much more to develop long term loyalty from your customers.

To read more, the full study can be downloaded from http://www.coneinc.com/news/request.php?id=3425