According to a recent study of online consumer behavior, people that follow brands on Twitter are more likely to buy and recommend those brands’ products and services.

The study – performed by Constant Contact, a marketing education service, and research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey – analyzed the behavior of 1,491 consumers 18 and older throughout the U.S.

Results show that 60% of brand followers are likely to recommend a brand to a friend after following it on Twitter. Additionally 50% of brand followers are likely to buy from that brand.

Getting your customers to follow your brand on Twitter could be challenging. The study revealed that only 21% of Twitter users follow brands and of those, 79% follow 10 brands or less. Your chances of increasing customer loyalty get better as 75% of those surveyed claimed they have never unfollowed a brand.

When asked what motivated a consumer to follow a brand on Twitter, 64% of respondents were already a customer of the company, 61% wanted to be the first to know information about a brand, 49% wished to receive discounts and promotions, and 36% wanted to gain access to exclusive content.

An interesting result is that 67% of brand followers expect to see unique content from the brands being followed. This definitely puts a bit of pressure on your marketing team as only 23% of followers claim to tweet about the brands they follow.

The results of this study are similar to another study performed by Constant Contact among Facebook users. The company found that 56% of people surveyed were more likely to recommend a brand and 51% more likely to buy a product after Liking it on Facebook.

While gaining new followers is an important goal, maintaining your current followers and increasing customer loyalty should be made a priority. Be careful not to overwhelm your followers with marketing messages and try to increase personal interaction.

[Via: Mashable, Image credit: Polycart]