Brand followers’ motivations on social media: a comparative analysis across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

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Altundal, Sedcan
Issue Date
MSc in Digital Marketing
Dublin Business School
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2.5 billion people use Social Media (SM) worldwide (Meshi et al. 2019); 4 in 10 internet users say they follow their favourite brands on Social Media Platforms (SMPs) (Smith, 2020). This research investigates SM users’ primary motivations for following brand-pages on three of top 3 SMPs today: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Through reviewing recent literature, 10 key motivations for brand-following on SM were identified. By surveying 18-44-year-old SM users, these motivations’ relevance and weightings are investigated for brand-following on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Whether the weighting of these motivations change across these platforms is also examined. Different SMPs ‘own’ different motivations in their communications. The extent to which these owned motivations aligns with users’ motivations for brand-following on that platform, is explored. ‘Relationship Maintenance, ‘Information’, ‘Brand Affiliation’, ‘Opportunity Seeking’, ‘Convenience’, ‘Inspiration’, ‘Conversation’, and ‘Entertainment’ were relevant across the 3 platforms. Significant differences in motivations’ prominence, between at least 2 of the 3 SMPs, were found for 7 of these motivations. The study’s findings are discussed, providing insights for marketers and advertisers to enhance brands’ communication’s relevancy and efficiency on SMPs.