LONDON: Discounts and special offers are among the main reasons consumers in the UK choose to follow brands on social networks.

According to analysis by Dynamic Logic, which is part of WPP Group, 14% of the online audience in the country currently follows at least one company or brand on services like Facebook and Twitter.

More broadly, 89% of respondents to a survey by the research firm said the main reason they used these platforms was to keep up with friends, a total that stood at 71% for staying in touch with family.

Some 41% did so to connect with their work colleagues, while 29% were "fans" of bands and artists, 20% tracked the comments made by celebrities and 17% liked to view film- and TV-related content.

In identifying why they followed specific brands on social networks, almost half of the participants stated they simply chose to sign up as supporters of the products and firms which they liked.

Three-quarters of the contributors that had linked to a corporate profile received updates from a retailer, with FMCG products on a more modest 45%, and technology brands on just 30%.

Overall, 80% of people who were fans of goods in the FMCG and technology sectors said their primary motivation for doing so was the desire to receive offers and discounts, a figure that fell to 76% for retailers.

Learning about new products generated a score of 80% for technology offerings, and stood at 76% for retailers, and 73% for FMCG manufacturers.

Contests and giveaways reached a peak of 60% in the technology category, compared with 53% for FMCG and 48% for retail, ratings that read 60%, 47% and 40% respectively for "reading others' responses".

Christina Goodman, director of global marketing and business development at Dynamic Logic, said advertisers should try and engage this audience in a conversation, but must take a nuanced approach.

"People follow brands largely for what they can get out of it, be that information, discounts or giveaways," argued Goodman.

"Brands should focus on providing new and relevant information, ideas and competitions that will improve their customer's experiences without undermining the brand's value."

Data sourced from New Media Age; additional content by Warc staff