Customers are increasingly engaging with brands on mobile social media—and not necessarily for the reasons you might think, according to a study by mobile video advertising firm Rhythm NewMedia.

While it’s often said that discounts and deals are the driving factors in consumers “liking” or following brands on social media, Rhythm found that loyalty to brands was an even stronger factor in customers’ engagement with companies. The study reports that 51.9% of mobile social media users follow brands on Twitter® and 55.9% like brands on Facebook® just to get deals or discounts. However, 60.7% say they follow companies on Twitter and 57.6% like brands on Facebook simply because they want to show their support for and loyalty to the brands.

Here are a few other interesting stats from the study:
  • Getting exclusive content or updates about a business was cited as a reason to follow brands on Twitter by 51.1% of respondents and a reason to follow brands on Facebook by 39.8%.
  • Customers are using mobile social media to engage with businesses in growing numbers. Nearly three-fourths (74%) use Facebook, and almost two-thirds (63%) use Twitter on mobile devices more than once a day. In addition, 68% have “liked” a brand on Facebook and 56% say they follow brands on Twitter.
  • Although consumers use both smartphones and tablets to access social media, smartphones still predominate, with 62% of Twitter users and 74% of Facebook users saying they usually access the social media platforms on their phones.
  • Companies are responding to the trend by increasing their mobile social media presence. Nearly one-fourth (24%) of marketers have mobile social media campaigns—a whopping 430% increase from the prior year.
What do these survey results mean to your business?

Pay attention to the mobile social marketing trend.

With the growth in this area, your business could get left behind if you don’t at least explore the idea of launching a social mobile campaign (which Rhythm defines as a mobile ad campaign that taps into your social media presence).

Make it easy for users to engage with your brand.

If you do launch a social mobile campaign, consider including social media buttons within the ad itself. Rhythm found this boosted user engagement by 36%, but less than one-third of marketers currently do it.

Don’t rely on discounts and coupons alone to drive customer engagement. A customer’s desire to support your brand simply to show loyalty means that what matters is your whole relationship with the customer. In other words, social media support is just one part of the whole package. Make sure your products and services deliver, your customer service is stellar, and that you’re constantly staying in touch with your customers to learn what they want and how you can improve. By creating a well-rounded customer experience, you’ll build raving fans who want to support your brand on social media—and offline, too.

How are you using social media to engage with your customers? Beyond offering discounts and special deals, how are you planning to increase your social media presence in the year ahead? We’d love to hear about your plans and your results.

 

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship. She has written this guest post for the Networking Exchange Blog.