The noise around social media in Australia appears to be increasingly amplified by marketers and clearly continues to be a hot topic.

There are also snippets of data emerging that explore this large and complex digital arena, but one of the questions that seems to be asked is why consumers choose to engage or associate themselves with brands in the social space. 

So, in association with Toluna, Econsultancy surveyed more than a thousand Australian consumers, in an effort to explore what attracts users to a specific brand or company on social media platforms.

Of the 1,108 consumers who responded to the multiple choice question, more than half (55%) cited that direct discounts or offers from brands were the primary motivations behind this, which echoes findings from other similar pieces of research, such as the Yellow Social Media Report by Sensis.

In general, around a third of respondents want direct product or service information (33%), content from the company (32%), want to demonstrate loyalty (31%), or want to affiliate themselves with the brand (30%).

What attracts you to a brand or company on social media?

Within this, the demographic data can be broken down, but some of the most interesting findings can be seen within the gender and age differences. 

For example, female respondents were 7% more likely to be attracted to a brand on a social media platform due to the ability to receive discounts and offers directly. In contrast, males were 7% more motivated to do so for reasons of customer service. 

What attracts you to a brand or company on social media? (Gender breakdown)

Equally, the breakdown of age also shows some disparities. Although more than half of all age groups cited discounts to be the primary factor, but (somewhat expectedly) the 18-34 age range clearly outdoes other age ranges in terms of motivation, content (39%), brand affiliation (37%) and a demonstration of brand support to peers (30%). 

What attracts you to a brand or company on social media? (Age breakdown)

There’s evidently an enthusiasm among consumers to receive direct information – be it discounts, offers or product information – from brands via social media. This is underpinned by other content forms and a slight sense of ego, with around a third of respondents openly citing that they seek to affiliate themselves with organisations in the social space for reasons either personal or peer-related. 

Overall though, discounts appear to remain the most appealing element for social media users and this is something that marketers should arguably keep in mind when formulating any social strategy.