March 13, 2012, 5:00 PM

Retailers on Facebook should offer deals, not news

A survey finds that consumers are more likely to share content about special offers.

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U.S. consumers tend to interact with brands on Facebook because those shoppers are regular customers of those companies, while European consumers are more likely to interact only if they have a customer service problem, suggests a new report from e-Dialog Inc.

The company, which sells e-mail, mobile and social marketing services, based its findings on a survey conducted in August of 9,000 consumers located around the world.

The results show that 42% of U.S. consumers would interact with a brand on Facebook because they are already customers, or “feel strongly” about the brand, compared with 35% of Asia-Pacific consumers and 25% of Europeans surveyed.

But 40% of European consumers say they would interact with a brand on Facebook only to resolve customer service problems, compared with about 22% of U.S. consumers and 20% of those in the Asia-Pacific region. Asian-Pacific consumers are more likely (40%) to interact with a brand on Facebook if the company provides offers, sales or discounts on the social network, compared with 35% of U.S. and 21% of European consumers.

But less than 30% of consumers from around the world should share with friends exclusive news announcements made by Facebook. By contrast, 60% of U.S. consumers would inform friends sales or special offers via Facebook, roughly the same as consumers in Asia-Pacific but higher than the 45% for consumers from Europe.

“The ‘hot off the press’ angle of social does not play a part here,” the report notes. “Using Facebook as a way of releasing information before other media channels is generally not popular with consumers.”

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