Brafton has reported that nine in 10 consumers check social media sites monthly, and brands that want to stand out among the social clutter need to offer fans compelling reasons to follow them. ExactTarget’s report, The Social Break-Up, explores how consumers engage brands on social media, and marketers should make note that fresh content is a must.

Two of the leading focuses of the study are Facebook and Twitter. ExactTarget points to some compelling data indicating marketers can reach a wide demographic via these social sites. Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73 percent) have a Facebook account, and 65 percent are currently active on the site. Almost half (42 percent) have Liked companies on the site, with brand endorsement and interaction with the company cited as top priorities. Similarly, nearly one in five U.S. online consumers has created a Twitter account, and users who follow brands look for real-time information.

While social sites offer access to valuable audiences, marketers who want to engage these consumers must offer original, frequently updated content. On Facebook, 38 percent of consumers say they have stopped following a brand because the content offered became boring. While fresh content is key, brands will have to find the balance between frequent posts and an info-driven focus. Seventeen percent of users have unliked a brand because posts were too casual and chit-chatty, and 19 percent have felt that the content wasn’t relevant to them.

On Twitter, boring or repetitive content was the No. 1 reason users stopped following a brand. Fifty-two percent of consumers say they have unfollowed a company because the content wasn’t fresh. As with Facebook, informational content is key, as 20 percent say they have stopped following brands because they were too “chit-chatty – not focused on real value.”

Bearing this information in mind, marketers should be sure to offer social users fresh content that is info-driven. Custom news content offers a solution because news developments can be updated multiple times per day, and industry headlines will be relevant to prospects.

While investing in content for social is an investment, marketers may find it pays off. According to Inc. magazine, social networkers are 67 percent more likely to convert than general searchers.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.