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What Makes Consumers Follow and Engage with Brands on Social Media?

Within the last two decades, the vast majority of businesses have come to the conclusion that they simply can’t remain competitive without an online presence, primarily a website, that facilitates online interactions with consumers.  Without a website, many potential customers will never know a business exists.

Over the last several years, however, social media presence has emerged as the latest must-have for brands looking to compete for patronage and sales.  Of course, simply creating social media accounts isn’t enough – you need to engage with consumers and encourage them to follow you on social media if you want to reap the relationship-building benefits of the medium.

This begins with understanding why consumers follow and engage with brands on social media.  As it turns out, a Yes Marketing survey of 1,000 consumers from June of 2018 has the answers.

Tracking Sales

According to the survey, 63% of respondents cited learning about upcoming sales as the main reason they follow brands on social media.  While you’re probably used to advertising this information through traditional routes (mailers, your website, etc.), it seems that modern consumers prefer to get immediate alerts via their mobile devices, probably for convenience and timeliness.  Social media delivers on this score.

Learning about New Products

Almost as popular as finding out about sales was learning about new products, which 60% of respondents cited as a reason they follow brands on social media.  The truth is that busy, modern consumers want to get their information in bite-size chunks, which social media is adept at.  If they want to learn more about a product, they can always click-through to your website.

Supporting Beloved Brands

In a move that many brands will find heartening, it turns out 29% of consumers follow brands simply because they want to show support.  If this is the case, it means you’ve done a great job of engaging with your audience, building lasting relationships, and endearing consumers to your brand.


Sharable content infers social currency on those who share it first.  As a result, you should not be surprised to learn that 23% of people will follow a brand on social media for the sole reason that the content provided is interesting and funny.  In other words, it’s time to up your content game.

Good Rep

You’ve worked long and hard to develop a good reputation in the real world and the virtual one, and apparently, it’s going to pay off.  23% of consumers reported that they’ll follow a brand based on a positive reputation.

Similar Social and Political Beliefs

Last but not least, 16% of consumers follow a brand because it espouses social or political stances that they agree with or find appealing.  Many businesses shy away from taking a stand on such issues because it could serve to alienate customers who don’t agree.  However, you’ll find that if you’re on the right side of an issue, it can really pay off.

Just look at Tom’s Shoes, which donates a pair to those in need for every pair sold.  This social rallying cry turned the company into a household name and helped the brand to hit over 4 million followers on Facebook, nearly 2 million on Twitter, and almost a million on Instagram.

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