What are you getting out of your digital relationship?

Are you giving your customers what they want online? The new 2009 FEED Report from Razorfish identifies the key to online engagement isn’t deeper dialogue — it’s all about the freebies. According to the report, “Based on our research, it’s not so much about some type of ‘shared passion’ for a brand’s values. Largely, it’s about deals — pure and simple.” 

Of those who follow a brand on Twitter, for example, 44% said access to exclusive deals is the main reason. And on Facebook and MySpace, 37% cited special deals as the main reason they have “friended” a brand. Just look at Starbucks, which has grown to nearly 4 million Facebook fans by offering coupons for free pastries and ice cream. Whole Foods leads brands on Twitter with more than 1.5 million followers by promoting weekly specials and shopping tips. 

The report identifies customer service as the other key driver of consumer interaction in social media, with 33% friending a brand on Facebook and MySpace for that purpose, and 24% on Twitter. Comcast, Zappos and Virgin have all earned high marks for using the latter as a customer relations management (CRM) tool.

Apparently, advertising is adapting and consumers are interacting with brands more than ever before. According to the study, 77% have watched a commercial or video ad on YouTube with some frequency, 69% have read a corporate blog post with regularity; 73% have posted a product or brand review and 24% have downloaded a branded application for their mobile phone. In turn, those brand interactions are creating customers. Consumers that engage brands both online and offline are 97% more likely to purchase a product from the brand and are 96% more likely to recommend the brand to their friends. Get the full study at the Razorfish 2009 FEED Report...it’s free!

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