Study Finds More Than One Third of Consumers Turn to Facebook, Twitter to Engage Brands Online

A new study released by ExactTarget finds that nearly 40 percent of consumers are turning to Facebook and Twitter to supplement the news, information or deals they receive via e-mail marketing.

Featured in ExactTarget's Social Profile report, the survey of more than 1,500 consumers identified 12 distinct personas for how consumers interact with brands online by studying the levels of social media creation and consumption across all ages and income levels.

"Consumers don't silo their engagement with brands to a single channel, instead they tend to 'layer' marketing channels on top of one another to meet their different objectives," says Morgan Stewart, principal, ExactTarget's research and education group. "The things that motivate consumers to go online initially dictate where and how they choose to engage with brands -- whether that be e-mail, Facebook or Twitter."

Key findings of the research include:

  • More than 90 percent of consumers that are a fan of, or "like," at least one brand on Facebook also receive at least one permission-based marketing email per day.
  • More than 75 percent of consumers that follow at least one brand on Twitter subscribe to at least one brand's e-mail marketing.
  • Nearly half of consumers who engage with brands via Twitter do so silently, regularly reading tweets even though they do not have their own Twitter account.
  • 45 percent of mothers with children living in the home identify themselves as 'Deal Seekers' and on average are a fan of 10 brands on Facebook, follow 10 companies on Twitter and receive 14 permission-based marketing emails daily.
  • 33 percent of consumers identify themselves as Info Seekers, influenced most heavily by product reviews and other forms of user-generated content.
  • While 28 percent of consumers under the age of 25 identify themselves as "social butterflies" and fan the most brands on Facebook, they are more likely to buy from companies that send them permission-based e-mail.

"Simply understanding demographics of a customer group is no longer enough," said Tim Kopp, ExactTarget's chief marketing officer. "By bridging the gap between demographics and consumer motivations, the Social Profile research identifies unique personas that give marketers an entirely new level of understanding of consumer behavior."

ExactTarget's Social Profile study is the third research brief in ExactTarget's six-part Subscribers, Fans & Followers research series set for release through September. The series provides marketers exclusive insight into how U.S. consumers' interact with brands online based on a series of focus groups, interviews and surveys conducted in March and April.

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