Exactly why do people follow brands on Facebook? I thought I’d ask that question to a whole bunch of consumers to find out. 

The survey coincides with the launch of Econsultancy’s 90-page best practice guide to creating Facebook Pages, which I co-authored, and which we released today. 

The guide, aimed squarely at brands (and agencies that build pages for clients), contains 50 recommendations and includes 60+ examples of Facebook Pages. It should provide you with lots of insight and ideas to help you brainstorm and execute a brilliant Facebook strategy for your company.

The numbers

We conducted a Toluna-powered survey that almost 2,500 consumers responded to. Of those, the majority (78.6%) didn’t follow any brands on Facebook, leaving 533 respondents (21.3%) who did.

So our sample size is 533, and of this segment 350 were females, and 183 males. Females are more likely to follow brands on Facebook than males (24% vs 18%).

Why do people follow brands on Facebook?

This was a multiple-choice question where more than one answer could be selected, if applicable. The most common reason was to be notified of special offers (70%). Other reasons included shopping (38%), to be follow events (38%) and to leave feedback (29%).

How many different brands do people follow?

Between two and five is the norm, though 35% of people will follow more than five brands. 13% of respondents said they followed more than 10 brands on Facebook.

Other findings

  • F-commerce is in its infancy but one in four people have made a purchase via a brand’s Facebook Page.
  • Less than one in five people have complained via a Facebook Page. I expect this number to grow in future, as the channel matures.
  • People typically discover Facebook Pages via the company website, or having been recommended by a friend. Almost 60% of people have recommended a brand to friends. 
  • People primarily unsubscribe from pages if they are dull, or not updated frequently enough. They’ll also bail out if there are too many updates. It’s important to find the right balance for your audience.

How to create a Facebook Page?

Take a look at our guide to creating brilliant Facebook Pages for the detail on where to begin and what to think about.