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Why We Like & Follow Businesses Online - How Do You Get People To Follow Your Brand Online?

In the past few years, social media users have noticed a new kind of post in their feeds. It's not a selfie, it's not a funny video of a pet, and it's not a recipe.

If this post is done right, it will advertise and entertain at the same time, getting the user to like the brand and spend money.

Brands have jumped on the chance to put their products or services right in the news feeds of their customers as soon as they realized the opportunities that come with social media.

Consumers use social media posts from companies to help them decide what to buy. So it's not too surprising that people choose to do both social sharing and shopping research on the same platform.

But why we like & follow businesses online to begin with?

Why Consumers Follow Brands Online?

The Sprout Social 2020 consumer index survey, Edition XVI: Above & Beyond, found that 50 percent of consumers have used social media more in the past six months.

The information in the report was gathered between February 28, 2020, and March 4, 2020, from the responses of 1028 consumers and 1003 marketers.

Based on the research, it's clear that social media is a powerful channel for brands.

The survey showed that 89 percent of people will buy from a brand they follow on social media and 75 percent will spend more with that same brand.

But social media is full of pitfalls, such as bad targeting, too many ads, and the possibility of going completely off the rails with content, all of which can have bad results.

Consider the following:

  • 49 percent of customers stop buying from a brand because the product or service isn't good enough or because the customer service is bad.
  • 45 percent of people stop following a brand because it doesn't post relevant content or has too many ads.
  • 39 percent of people stop following brands because they are worried about their privacy.

To keep from losing followers, brands need to make sure their social media strategy is always in line with what people expect and what is normal on social media.

To do this, they need to know a lot about how their audience uses social media.

Why (And When) Do People Use Social Media, Anyway?

People don't follow your brand on social media.

Not at first, at least.

People go there to talk to friends and family, pass the time, and get ideas.

Most of the time, people follow brands because of things like feed discovery tools, recommendations from people in their network, the fact that they already like the brand, or because someone they look up to (like an influencer) talks about the brand.

How consumers find new account to follow chart
How consumers find new account to follow chart

As the chart above shows, most people find new accounts to like and follow through suggestions in their feed or through the discovery tools on a platform.

So, running social ads on sites like Twitter and Facebook is a great way to get your brand known on a certain site.

Sprout asked people when they were most likely to be on social media to find out when this was.

Half of the people who answered said it was to share personal achievements.

In order of importance, sports events, natural disasters, holidays, political events, pop culture moments, and award shows are some of the other top reasons people use social media.

Most brands can't (and shouldn't) plan an ad around a natural disaster, but if you know that people go online during important events like holidays and political campaigns, you can plan your posts and content better.

Another thing to think about is that people of different ages use social media in different ways.

Gen Z tends to find new accounts through the influencers they follow, while Gen X tends to find new accounts through recommendations from family and friends.

Sprout says, "Social data can tell brands when their customers are most likely to be on social media and what kinds of content are most likely to resonate."

If you want to reach people who are getting married, having a birthday, or going on vacation, think about which social media sites those people use to get ideas.

People Follow Brands Online Because They’re Interested In Their Products

One of the most important things you can do to keep your followers is to figure out why they started following your brand in the first place.

Nearly 60% of consumer respondents said that the main reason people follow brands is to find out about new products and services.

The second reason is to keep up with company news. The third reason is to find out about sales and discounts.

By the way, brands can also benefit from knowing what people aren't interested in.

People don't usually follow brands to connect with people who are different from them or to talk to the brand, as the chart above shows.

But why do people choose to stop following a brand?

Poor product quality or poor customer service is the main reason people stop following brands. Almost half of the people who answered the survey said this was the reason they stopped following brands.

Other top reasons are bad customer service, content that doesn't make sense, too many ads, and worries about privacy.

Once you know what your specific customer wants, likes, and doesn't like, you can make content that speaks to them more often (and avoid the dreaded "unfollow").

When your followers like what you post on social media, it really pays off.

Over 90% of people who follow a brand on social media also visit its website or app, and 90% of those people will buy from that brand.

Also, 85% of people who buy that brand will recommend it to a friend or family member, and 84% will choose it over a competitor.

A Word About Content

Sprout asked people what kind of social media content they were most interested in.

At 68 percent, images were the most popular type of content, and videos came in second at 50 percent.

Text, stories, and polls were also popular, but not as much. They were used by about 30 percent of the people.

The types of content consumers want to engage with chart
The types of content consumers want to engage with chart

Again, it can be helpful to know what kinds of content people don't like so you don't lose followers because you post boring or irrelevant things.

User-generated content was found to be the least popular type of content on social media, followed by Q&As or AMAs (e.g., ask me anything).

When a customer has a good experience with a brand, nearly 60% of them are more likely to message the brand or reach out with a customer problem.

This kind of consumer interaction goes beyond just interacting with a brand's social media content. It's another powerful reason why brands need a strong social media presence.

Other top reasons why people contact brands are:

  • Problems with customer service
  • The brand's posts match the beliefs of the customer.
  • The customer wants to connect with other people.
  • Concerns about privacy or safety
  • The posts from the brand are fun.

What This Means For Marketers

Marketers can give their followers a more consistent and positive social media experience if they know why their customers use social media, what platforms they prefer, what kind of content they want, and what common problems they use social media to solve.

In short, you need to be on the same page as your customers if you want social media to work for your brand.

If you're having trouble getting and keeping followers, you should start by trying to figure out where the marketer and the customer aren't on the same page.

When consumers and marketers were asked what makes a brand's social presence the best in class, Sprout found that they had some different ideas.

What makes a brand's social best in class chart
What makes a brand's social best in class chart

Many of the things in the graph above are the same, like having a clear personality and interacting with the brand's audience. However, there are also some things that are different.

For example, 35% of brands said that being open on social media made them stand out, but only 45% of consumers agreed.

In the same way, 26% of brands think pop culture references are important on social media, while only 18% of consumers agree.

Also, brands said that being unique and interactive are two things that make their social presence stand out, but consumers were more interested in whether or not the brand was entertaining (but also unique).

Nine percent of the people Sprout asked said that Nike was one of the best brands to follow on social media.

Nike is really good at making campaigns that have an impact, are relevant to society, and are creative.

Sprout writes, The key to Nike’s success—which any brand can emulate—is intimately knowing their target audience. Sneakerheads are always on the lookout for the big releases and use social media to stay informed of when and where the next “drop” will take place.

The numbers in this article came from the most recent Index report from Sprout Social.

Brands Need To Be Online In 2022 - Here Is Why

In this new digital age, more and more people are using e-commerce and other digital platforms to find out about new things, learn new things, and connect with other people.

Businesses need to keep their strategies up to date if they want to stay relevant and meet the needs of this type of customer.

Why Social Media Is Important For Your Brand In 2022

Social media has given brands a direct line of communication with their customers. It also helps businesses in many ways, but building a community is one of the most important.

Increase Brand Awareness

If your brand is on a lot of social media sites, more people will be able to find you online, which will boost your brand's overall exposure.

Social media is a great way to reach your target audience and build a group of people who share your interests.

Users are looking for brands that they can relate to and, of course, that they might want to buy a product or service from one day.

Social media is a great way to get your name out there and get noticed. From there, you can grow and drive brand awareness.

Partnership Opportunities

Influencers on social media are a great way for brands to show how friendly and interesting they are.

By starting and carrying out these partnerships, brands can create and/or keep an image that is similar to that of the public figures they choose to work with.

This strategy also lets the brand reach a lot of different kinds of people, whether it's through small communities with micro-influencers or big communities with mega-influencers.

The goal is to work with these influencers, get noticed by their community, and raise more awareness of your own brand.

Learn The Buying Patterns Of Your Ideal Customer

Social media platforms are open to everyone, so businesses can see what their customers are posting and how they are interacting with it.

By being able to see and collect this information, business owners can change how they market or sell their products to reach their ideal customers.

So, businesses can make their content, personality, and appearance more in line with each other.

With social media marketing, you can learn a lot, especially if you have access to analytics and can see how your users are actually responding to your platform.

Increasing ROI

When compared to traditional advertising methods like commercials and billboards, the cost of advertising on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, etc. can be much lower.

Also, because you can reach more people with social media ads, it's safe to say that you're getting the most for your money.

If the ads are set up strategically and with the help of a professional, your business will get a better return on investment (ROI).

Identify And Analyze Your Competition

When your brand is active and present on social media platforms, it can see what its competitors are doing and figure out how to beat them.

Who are the influencers they work with?

What kinds of things do they post?

Which posts get the most attention from their clients?

You can answer these kinds of questions and find out more about them by going to their social media platforms.

By learning about your competitor's social strategy, you can not only improve your own, but also think of ways to make your brand stand out.

Create Unique Content That Resonates With Your Audience

When you use one of the many social media platforms, you can use the many different features that come with it.

You don't have to just show pictures and videos of your products; you have to change with the times.

You can use things like Instagram reels, TikTok videos, Twitter audio spaces, Pinterest carousel stories, and a lot more that are popular right now.

These different ways to post content can help you stand out in terms of your approach, style, and brand image as a whole. This will increase brand awareness and help a community grow.

Ways Your Brands Can Increase Followers

Learn As Much As Possible About Your Target Audience

If you know more about your target audience, it will be easier to come up with a good Instagram marketing plan.

Interview real Instagram users to find out what their personal and professional interests are.

Instagram recently said that users will be able to follow certain hashtags.

In response to this change, brands should try to come up with a trending hashtag to get people to use it.

If the hashtag is part of a brand, it can also help spread the word about the brand.

Experiment With Content Formats

When posting, social media marketers can choose from many different types of content, such as photos, videos, and carousels.

Each one should be tried out by marketers.

Different formats may help to keep existing followers more interested, which is important for people who want to reach new followers naturally by putting content in prominent places.

Solicit Profile Feedback From Your Target Audience

Consider asking people who already follow you on Instagram for feedback on how you can improve your Instagram marketing strategy.

Sending a direct message to highly engaged followers may be a good way to get quick and useful feedback that will help you improve your strategy going forward.

Regularly Shout Out To Engaged Followers To Encourage Further Participation

As was already said, content that gets a lot of engagement tends to bring in new followers because it gets more organic reach.

Mention your followers often in your Instagram posts to keep them happy and interested.

Thanking Instagram users is a great way for brands to keep them interested.

People Also Ask

Why Do People Follow Businesses On Social Media?

Recent research from Sprout Social found that the main reasons people follow brands on social media are to learn about products and services and to have fun.

The report was based on information from a survey of 1,011 people that was done in February 2019.

Why Is It Important For Businesses To Be Online?

When a business has a digital presence, it's much easier for customers to find you.

Most of the time, a customer will look for a company or a product on the internet.

Even if you have a storefront, you still need a digital presence to connect with your customers.

You can connect with your customers and find out what people are saying about your business by using social media.

You can also use social media to advertise, give away free stuff, and make mobile apps.

Social media can help your business find new customers, hear what they have to say, and keep them coming back.

Conclusion

There are a number of tried and true ways for people who want to grow their followers to do so.

Remember that the best marketers use a variety of carefully made and carefully measured pieces of content to tell a consistent story about their brand.

About The Authors

Keith Peterson

Keith Peterson - I'm an expert IT marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in various Digital Marketing channels such as SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), SMO (social media optimization), ORM (online reputation management), PPC (Google Adwords, Bing Adwords), Lead Generation, Adwords campaign management, Blogging (Corporate and Personal), and so on. Web development and design are unquestionably another of my passions. In fast-paced, high-pressure environments, I excel as an SEO Executive, SEO Analyst, SR SEO Analyst, team leader, and digital marketing strategist, efficiently managing multiple projects, prioritizing and meeting tight deadlines, analyzing and solving problems.

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