December 7, 2010, 1:30 PM

Consumers eye discounts when they follow brands on social media

40% of consumers say they are looking for coupons or deals via social media.

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When consumers click that they Like a brand on Facebook or follow a brand on Twitter, many of them have clear motives—they want discounts or coupons, according to the new survey conducted by customer experience management company Empathica Inc.

The survey of more than 15,000 U.S. and Canadian consumers found that 60% of respondents follow at least one brand via a social network. 40% of those consumers who do so say they are looking for coupons or promotions from the brand. Another 30% say they’re looking for additional information about the brand or its products.

 “The challenge for companies is to identify the triggers that make consumers want to follow their brand, further engage with them and keep them top-of-mind,” says Gary Edwards, Empathica executive vice president of client services.

The survey also found that consumers react strongly to recommendations made via their friends on social networks. 33% of consumers said they followed through with a friend’s recommendation received through Facebook or Twitter.

However, in order to do so they first have to receive a recommendation. And U.S. consumers are 47% more likely than Canadians to offer their opinions on a product or service on a social network, the survey found. 25% of U.S. and 17% of Canadian shoppers said they had recommended a brand, product or service to a friend via a social media within the last three months.

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