Why loyalists trump cheerleaders for social brands
An interesting new piece of research came our way late yesterday from Porter Novelli looking at the social networking of European consumers. The research points to a few important distinctions that can be made from the individuals within the online crowd, namely that women predominantly use social networks to make and maintain personal connections while men Tweet, post, update their networks with opinion and to display status updates. There’s also an important distinction to be made around brand loyalty.
The research is entitled Men are from Foursquare, Women are from Facebook and sought to point out how the sexes use social networks. One of the findings that caught our eye is why exactly does a man or a woman choose to friend a brand. Here’s the breakout in the UK, which says yet again that the Number 1 reason for both men and women is the lure of vouchers and discounts that are sometimes offered direct to Facebook fans and Twitter followers. With men, the attraction of entering a brand-run game or contests runs second while interestingly the Number 2 reason for women is that they actually like the brand.
The research further breaks out the psychographic aspect, breaking social networkers into four classifications: the loyalist, the cheerleader, the outsider and the opportunist. The important take-away is that the cheerleader is bullish about social media. They are online more often than any other group for personal reasons during a given day. But it is the loyalist, the research concludes, who is more likely to be the long-term brand advocate, the one who is less likely to unclick from a brand one day.
Here’s the full research: