Annoyance at social media marketing is killing Facebook’s buzz

10 Jun 2013

Evidence of growing consumer dissatisfaction with social media marketing and concerns over privacy is leading to users walking away from social networking sites, with Facebook usage down 9pc in the UK, according to research by YouGov.

YouGov said that the proportion of users who have stopped using social media sites due to being fed up with social media marketing promotions has risen by 18pc since April last year.

In addition, 20pc have stopped using social media sites during the last year because they don’t like the possibility of their information being used by third parties.

According to YouGov almost half of social media users have liked/joind the page of a brand or company while less than 22pc have followed a brand on Twitter.

Those who like or follow a company or brand are most likely to be current customers (33pc) whose motivation would be to get something in return (34pc).

Forty seven percent of social media users would follow a brand just to get special offers.

Forty percent of social network users would stop following a brand or company if it said something they disagreed with.

Up to 23pc of social media users have researched a product or service as a result of reading about it on a social media site – up 6pc on last year – while 13pc of all social media users have bought something as a result of reading about it on a social site.

Low click-rate for Facebook ads

The YouGov report claims that advertising on Facebook has a slow uptake among consumers with only one in 20 Facebook users having clicked on an ad in the last year.

Less than one in 10 feel that targeted advertising on social media is relevant to them.

Social media users look negatively towards marketing strategies by companies on social media sites with 35pc saying they often hid companies’ updates if they update too often.

Men between 25 and 39 are significantly more likely than average to state targeted advertising is relevant to them (21pc).

So has the social media marketing fad run its course?

“This report shows that reaching potential customers through social media is rather different from doing so through traditional media channels,” YouGov SixthSense research director James McCoy says rather diplomatically.

“The proportion of Facebook users who are tuning out brands’ marketing efforts clearly indicates that a savvier approach is needed. While there are significant challenges, this report identifies potential opportunities for marketeers to build on, such as the relatively high proportion of young men who respond positively to targeted ads on social media.” 

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years