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Study: Why Millennials will and won’t follow your brand online

Millennials are drawn to brands on different social networks, expecting a different outcome based on which social media outlet they’ve connected on.

millennials and social media

millennials and social media

What Millennials expect from you online

Many people think that all mediums of social media are used for the same purpose. While the general idea of connectedness and communication are the glue, the execution of use is what sets Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest apart from one another.

The use of these three websites is primarily seen through the eyes of Millennials, especially since they make up most of the overall social media usage. And it may surprise some to learn that the way us Millennials support brands differ from medium to medium.

Research conducted at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center determined the numbers of how Millennials show brand support on social media. The major takeaway from the research is that they use Facebook to show general support for the brand, Twitter to receive special offers and coupons, and Pinterest to gain ideas and inspiration.

Reasons Millennials follow brands

The breakdown, titled “Reasons That US Millennial Internet Users Follow a Brand/Company on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, Fall 2014”, found percentages in ten categories.

  • “For support of the brand” was 84 percent Facebook, 78 percent Twitter, and 70 percent Pinterest.
  • “To receive regular updates from brands” was 83 percent Facebook, 47 percent Twitter, and no data was posted for Pinterest.
  • “To get a coupon or a discount” was 66 percent Facebook, 85 percent Twitter, and 41 percent Pinterest.
  • “To research brands when I was looking for specific products/services” was 40 percent Facebook, 34 percent Twitter, and 67 percent Pinterest.
  • “To share my interest/lifestyle with others” was 40 percent Facebook, 35 percent Twitter, and 76 percent Pinterest.
  • “To participate in contents” was 37 percent for both Facebook and Twitter, and 27 percent for Pinterest.
  • “Seeing my friends are already a fan, follower or have a board” was 36 percent Facebook, 28 percent Twitter, and 36 percent Pinterest.
  • “Someone recommended me to “like,” follow or pin the brand” was 31 percent Facebook, 21 percent Twitter, and 29 percent Pinterest.
  • “A brand ad on TV, online or in print led me to “like” the brand” was 28 percent Facebook, 25 percent Twitter, and 21 percent Pinterest.
  • “To share my personal good experiences” was 26 percent Facebook, 23 percent Twitter, and 38 percent Pinterest.
  • Lastly, the “other” category for non-listed reasons for following a brand was three percent Facebook, nine percent Twitter, and 11 percent Pinterest.

The study also looked at the differences in spending within the three mediums. It was found that purchases made due to seeing something on Twitter was less than the other two sites, which correlates with idea of following a brand on Twitter for coupons.

As a younger Millennial, here are my thoughts:

As a Millennial, I can attest to the fact that Facebook is generally used for support, Twitter follows of brands are in search of a deal, and Pinterest is for ideas.

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Also, following brands on Facebook and Pinterest does not relate to your friends or followers, whereas following too many brands on Twitter will throw off your following-to-follower ratio, which is of great concern to some people. The study above is right on with how I’ve witnessed people my age using social media.

Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.



  1. Pingback: Improve engagement levels online by tweaking post length - AGBeat

  2. Pingback: What really happens When Millennials Take Over? - AGBeat

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