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How To Successfully Navigate The Social Media Landscape New Consumer Report Sheds Light On What Users Really Want From Brands


How To Successfully Navigate The Social Media Landscape: New Consumer Report Sheds Light On What Users Really Want From Brands

A report released by the social media management platform Hootsuite provides data-driven insights into consumer behaviors and preferences regarding brand presence on social media. The report, titled “The Social Media Consumer Report”, surveyed 6,026 social media users aged 18-64 across the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia in December 2023.

The study finds that 70% of those who follow brands on social media have plans to purchase from those brands, either soon or in the future. Furthermore, 59% have already bought products from the brands they follow. The data indicates a clear correlation between a brand’s number of social media followers and customer acquisition potential.

“Today’s followers are tomorrow’s buyers. And now we’ve got the data to prove it,” the report states, noting that Gen Z consumers who follow a brand are twice as likely to signal intent to purchase soon compared to baby boomers.

The analysis identifies factors that lead consumers to unfollow or hide brands on social media. Posting clickbait, repetitive content, inauthentic posts, provoking reactions for engagement metrics, and excessive self-promotion top the list of consumers’ grievances against brands.

In terms of content preferences, 56% of respondents enjoy social media posts from brands when they convey new information, 55% appreciate humorous posts, and 47% engage with visually appealing content. However, divergent views emerge across demographics – Gen Z values creativity, aesthetics, and “vibes” from brands more than older generations.

When deciding to follow a brand initially, consumers prioritize authentic, inspiring content that demonstrates the brand’s expertise in its domain. Consistent posting, entertaining creative efforts, and taking a stance beyond just product promotion also resonate.

The study explores different avenues of brand exposure – paid ads, organic posts, and content shared by friends and/or family. It finds paid ads excel at driving initial brand discovery (61% have discovered new brands via paid posts), while organic posts and shared content more effectively drive purchase consideration and conversion.

Shared brand posts from friends and family have proven particularly impactful, spurring consideration behaviors in 82% of consumers at least once in the past year. The leading motivations for consumers to share brand posts include agreeing with the content (44%), finding it informative (29%), or entertaining (27%).

“Having your content shared on a regular basis is a strong sign that you’ve built significance in your relationships with consumers,” the report asserts. It describes this as a “virtuous cycle” where sharing equates to consumer engagement and trust.

The report advises brands to align their social strategies with evolving consumer preferences, abandoning counterproductive tactics like chasing vanity metrics. It emphasizes creating content that educates, entertains, and authentically resonates with audiences to build meaningful consumer relationships.

While acknowledging the nuances of cross-demographic preferences, the study reinforces social media’s undeniable influence on purchasing decisions across age groups. As such, it provides data-backed guidance for brands and marketers to optimize their social presence and content strategies effectively.

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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