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Social Media For The Affluent

05/11/2011

Research presented in March 2010 stated that more than one-half of Facebook fans said they are more likely to make a purchase from at least a few brands, and 67 percent of Twitter followers reported the same. The top reason to friend a brand on Facebook was to receive discounts, followed by simply being a customer of the company and a desire to show others that they support the brand. On Twitter, discounts, up-to-the-minute information and exclusive content were the main draws; only 2 percent of respondents followed brands on Twitter to show their support.

For value-added or luxury brands this was disconcerting. Coupons and gimicky promos are not consistent with most high-end, added-value or luxury brands. Now there’s good new for brands not looking to use coupons or deals to grow their online/social media business.

According to a February 2011 Affluence Collaborative survey, wealthy internet users connect with brands on social networks for significantly different reasons than the general population. The social networks they use to do so are different, too.

The Affluence Collaborative research found deals and coupons to be a much lower priority for the wealthy. Their top reasons for following brands were due to a preexisting affinity for and a desire to be kept informed about the brand. The least-cited reason mentioned by all groups surveyed was to be entertained, suggesting that social media marketers still need to provide fans with value, even if it isn’t directly in the form of a coupon or sale.

The Affluence Collaborative study also reveals that the affluent aren’t using the same social networks as the general population. Facebook was the No. 1 social network used by all groups surveyed, but LinkedIn and Twitter attracted affluent internet users at nearly double the rate of the general population.

Any marketer targeting affluent consumers needs to know not only where to reach that audience, but what appeals to them. For wealthy internet users, connecting with a brand is largely about the brand itself, not gimmicks and offers. This is really good news! Affluents need to see a consistent message that makes following a brand meaningful for self-expression, just like when buying a brand in real life. Watering down the brand in order to gain a large social following may drive away the very people trying to be reached.

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