Top 12 Reasons Consumers “Follow” Companies on Social Media

Consumer insights on what they want online from businesses

. . . and how businesses misunderstand consumers’ reasons for doing so.

There’s an interesting chart in a recent article entitled, “To Keep Your Customers, Keep It Simple,” in the Harvard Business Review.

The gist of this great article is that due to information overload, what makes customers most likely to buy from you, buy from you again and recommend you to their friends, is how easy (a.k.a., “simple”) you make it to do business with them.

Simplicity is defined as “the ease with which consumers can gather trustworthy information about a product (or service) and confidently and efficiently weigh their purchase options.

What jumped out a me was the chart, “What Consumers Really Want,” that showed how much businesses misjudge what consumers want from them online.

Here’s the list of 12 things, the percentage of consumers that rated the reasons contrasted with how businesses perceived consumers’ reasons:

  1. Discount = 61% for consumers; 60% for retailers; 1 percentage point (pp) difference, very close
  2. Purchase = 55% vs. 60%; -5 pp
  3. Reviews and product rankings = 53% vs. 67%; -14 pp
  4. General information = 53% vs. 71%; -18 pp
  5. Exclusive information = 52% vs. 68%; -16 pp
  6. Learn about new products = 51% vs. 73%; -22 pp
  7. Submit opinion on current products/services = 49% vs. 69%; -20 pp
  8. Customer service = 37% vs. 63%; -26 pp
  9. Event participation = 34% vs. 61%; -27 pp
  10. Feel connected = 33% vs. 64%; -31 pp
  11. Submit ideas for new products/services = 30% vs. 63%; -33 pp
  12. Be part of a community = 22% vs. 61%; 39 pp

Businesses have much higher perceptions of why consumers follow them on social media than why consumers actually do.  Perhaps the consumers are not as “engaged” by the businesses as they could be?  Or perhaps the inwardly focused businesses just think more of their social media efforts?

Remember, the top three reasons consumers connect with your business online are to 1) get a discount; 2) make a purchase; and, 3) review what others say about you.

Are your social media channels delivering these three things?

Have you asked your customers what they want from you online?


About Insights From Analytics

Integrated marketing professional who generates insights from analytics to increase revenue. Daily blog now resides at
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