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STUDY: 68% of Social Media Users Ignore the Brands They Follow

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“Connect” is the key word here

Stack another study on the pile questioning Facebook’s promotional value. This one, from content management provider Kentico, reveals that even though users like and continue to follow their favorite brands on the ‘book and other social networks, they generally ignore these brands’ messages.

These findings aren’t particularly surprising—they’re more like the latest in a string of confirmations about measuring success on social as our strategies evolve.

More numbers from the survey of 300 random Americans 18 and older after the jump…

The big one is that 68% who say they “mostly” or “always” ignore brand posts on every social network.

On why they follow those brands they ignore:

  • 40% say they’re “already interested” and “want to be kept informed”
  • 39% want deals and discounts
  • 12% follow a friend’s recommendation
  • Only 8% follow a brand they don’t know to learn more

Some more important ones:

  • 72% “never” or “hardly ever” purchase a product after hearing about it on a social network

This isn’t due to a lack of consistency in messaging:

  • 73% say social content “rarely” or “never” changes their opinions of the brands in question

They’re more receptive to targeted marketing based on browsing and/or purchasing history. Yet despite all these facts, very few people unfollow brands once they start.

The conclusion is one we’ve heard before, too: real success on social doesn’t come from likes or shares but from engagement and personalization. Even the loudest marketing messages get tuned out in the noise.

This study is less about revelations than confirmation that marketers’ interests are very different than those of news organizations: they should focus on community over virality.

What do we think?

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