Brands are finding out that if you want to be successful in the social market, discounts are key.  A new study by Razorfish, “Digitally Connected,” found that 43% of those following a brand on Twitter do so because of exclusive deals or offers.  MySpace & Facebook’s stories are the same, with 37% of fans following the brand because of potential deals.

For example, Starbucks, rose to be the most popular brand on Facebook because of a free ice cream giveaway.  Domino’s also helped their brand’s following by awarding $100 gift cards to get Domino’s to 7,000 followers.  Hotels and travel sites like Travelocity and Orbitz are also big proponents of the social network discounts.  Personally I follow my favorite Vegas hotels as well as the airlines I use the most because there are always deals for their online social network.

The survey also found that tech savvy consumers are the new mainstream.  For example:

• 57% customize their home page
• 76% watch online video
• 62% use online music services
• 56% own a smartphone

The challenges for brands and their marketing arms is to reach this new tech savvy mainstream.  Creating consumer experiences, both on and offline will be a major part in getting people to interact and have positive experiences with brands.  Branding yourself online is a great start, especially with giveaways or discounts because that is how you are going to build your “fan” base, but using your social network as a starting point and building consumer experiences from those leads is key in connecting with and retaining your consumers.

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