Millennials prefer to interact with brands on Facebook by a wide margin over Twitter and Pinterest, according to a new study by UMD Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts.
This new study is at odds with a recently-released study by Princeton University that received widespread press coverage. The academic study states that Facebook will lose 80% of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017. Researchers analyzed the adoption and abandonment dynamics of online social networks, citing the rise and fall of MySpace. They claim the dynamic that torpedoed MySpace is Facebook’s destiny, too. That’s the future (or maybe not). For now, Facebook is still king.
The UMass research may surprise people with the finding that Millennials are very brand loyal and this loyalty translates into sales. While Facebook is the network of choice for interacting with brands, the study found that Pinterest has the highest sales conversion rate.
Millennials spend more money online than any other demographic group. Among study highlights:
- Facebook is the most popular platform among Millennials when looking to interact with companies/brands online. 62% of respondents currently like at least one brand on Facebook. Twitter has 23% of respondents following a brand and Pinterest has 11% of Millennials pinning a brand (Nike is the most liked/followed brand).
- Across all platforms, the top reason why Millennials ‘like/follow/pin’ is to support a brand. Being unlike any other generation, Millennials pick and choose not only which information they will be exposed to, but also how the information is delivered. By liking/following/pinning a particular brand they support, Millennials are customizing their exposure to advertising based on their preferences.
- Of those who reported they had never purchased something after liking, following or pinning it online, offering a coupon or discount was the most frequently cited lead conversion tactic for Millennials. Respondents indicated this is the top motivator leading to a sale. Similarly, Millennials indicated that companies giving exclusive offers or appealing to their interests were more likely to see an increase in sales as a result of online interaction.
- Relative to users of larger platforms, Pinterest has the highest sales conversion rate. The user-friendly highly visual design of the website facilitates information search and evaluation of alternatives. Pinterest makes the transaction process flow with optimal ease for consumers.
- Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest contribute to both online and in-store purchasing. Seventy-seven percent of Facebook users, 66% of Twitter users and 63% of Pinterest users are multi-channel shoppers.
This infographic gives additional nuggets about the study findings.