August 30, 2013
Consumers would abandon social media sites if brand advertising reached unacceptable levels, according to a new report by Pitney Bowes.
The international survey polled consumers in the UK, France and Germany. It found that 60% of UK consumers would abandon social media sites like Facebook if mass marketing were to bombard their personal wall.
In France, 80% of consumers said that they would leave Facebook if brands began to dominate their online experience. And over three quarters of Germans reported that they felt the same way.
According to the report, small firms could have an advantage over corporate brands because of their close relationships with customers. Targeted, personalised and responsive brand activity on social media is likely to be seen as less intrusive by consumers than mass advertising.
Colin Forrest, head of marketing for UK and Republic of Ireland at Pitney Bowes, said: "Our research also revealed that 40% of consumers in the UK have doubled their usage of social media over the past two years. This illustrates how social media is an increasingly powerful communication tool, which must be utilised carefully by businesses in order to engage consumers."
However, excessive brand messaging threatens to turn off customers, said Forrest. "It is important that brands are savvy when it comes to social media and that they avoid overstepping the mark. Social media plays a hugely important role in the whole communications mix, so brands must ensure they step up and embrace the multitude of opportunities it offers them."