04 February 2017

DIGITAL - How to Avoid Annoying People on Social Media

According to Sprout Social Q3 2016 Social Index, many brands can be annoying their customers on social media.

Sprout surveyed more than 1,000 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users to determine what annoys them about brands on social, what drives them to unfollow and which industries are on the right side of the line.

86% of social media users want to and do follow brands on social. But when they do, they’re looking for relevant content.

According to Sprout, one of the biggest mistakes companies make is not providing the content their followers want.

Too many promotions tops the list of annoying social media actions.

This is followed by using slang or jargon, not having personality in the account, trying to be funny when they’re not, and not responding to messages.

Sprout’s suggestions to avoid these mistakes:
“Identify your brand values, collect data, identify audiences and target your content accordingly. Additionally, pull together guidelines that steer clear of over-played phrases and stay true to your brand’s personality.”

Not surprisingly, many of the factors that annoy customers also cause them to unfollow a brand. 

With 57% of people who follow a brand likely to make a purchase from that brand, it’s important to figure out well-balanced social media messaging.

Promotional posts are valid to followers, but not too many. Add to that most people have to see a product or service 2-4 times on social before they purchase it and social marketers’ heads may begin to spin in confusion.

Sprout’s suggestions:
“...you don’t want to bombard your audience with the exact same messaging over and over again. Minimally edit and revise your social post in order to keep your followers attentive and engaged. Change the headline or photo for a blog article you’re posting on Facebook. Link to your website by including a different quote or data point in your Tweet. Try posting the same product photo on Instagram in different settings and environments and make sure to include an updated caption.”

Some of the most annoying industries on social media according to the survey include government, banking/finance, marketing/advertising and real estate.

A few of the most liked industries on social media are retail, media/entertainment, consumer goods and technology.

Some interesting findings in the report are around perception versus reality.

Sprout looked at how brands’ responsiveness was perceived and cross-referenced that with data on how each industry actually responds.

People perceive media and entertainment as the third most responsive industry - but in reality they are the least responsive.

While people perceive utilities as an unresponsive industry, in reality they are the most responsive of all industries.

Sprout’s conclusions:
“Your followers aren’t interested in overtly promotional social content or poorly received puns. They want to be informed through content that’s adjacent to your industry and relevant to their interests. They want to be engaged with, talked to and recognized.”

Read the full report.

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