Marketers to Cut Back on Social Media Discounts

Marketers face some tough challenges in trying to get their social media strategy properly balanced. They want to engage current thumbsupand prospective customers. They need to manage their reputations. And, they have to be careful not to invest too much in any one marketing channel. The researchers behind the new Syncapse brand fan study caution that marketers may be overdoing it when rewarding their social media fans.

Several studies have shown that one of the key reasons consumers become social media fans is to obtain coupons or discounts. The Syncapse study is no exception. About 42% of their surveyed consumers become fan brands on Facebook to get coupons and discounts. This reason is second only to the 49% who say they want to support brands they like.

Brands have good reason to court Facebook fans because each one can be worth up to $174, a number that has been rising in the past few years.  But, not all fans are alike. At least 78% of these fans already use the brand they like. These are also the higher-​quality fans who want to support their favorite brands and who will attract consumers with a similar mindset. Researchers say marketers should be courting these fans instead of the other 22% of consumers. Shoppers who friend brands without being true fans only erode value. These consumers are often in the  'friending' game to get discounts and spending heavily to win them over will not result in an optimal ROI.

This research also  points to a maturation of the social media channel. It’s no longer all about how many social media fans a brand can win. Today’s marketing challenge should be about maximizing the profit potential from each fan.

Do you agree? Or do you feel it's important to win as many fans as possible?

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.