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Brands Struggle In Social Media, Data Shows Sobering Stats

6 in 10 users don’t follow or like any brands on any social networks.
– Insites Consulting

78.6% don’t like any brands on Facebook.
– Econsultancy

75% don’t follow any brands on Twitter. Of those users who do follow brands, 64% only follow between one and four.
– Constant Contact

53% of active adult social network users follow a brand. 78% of consumers who “Like” brands on Facebook said they “Like” fewer than ten brands.
– Constant Contact

57.8% of US Facebook users had not mentioned a single brand in their status updates as of October 2011. 61.3% of Twitter users saying they have not tweeted about a brand.
— eMarketer

Only 16% expect companies to use social media to interact with them. 46% of kids, ages 12 to 17, told Forrester in a recent survey that they don’t expect companies to have a presence using social tools.
– Forrester

25% disagree that Likes mean that they are fans or advocates of the brand. Only 42% of consumers agreed that marketers could interpret a Like as such.
— Exact Target

1% of fans of the biggest brands on Facebook engage with the brands on the site.
— Ehrenberg-Bass Institute

71% of consumers report being more selective about “liking” a company on Facebook than they were last year.
–Exact Target

64% said they hate when they are targeted via their social network profiles.
– Insight Strategy Group

58% find marketing via social media to be invasive.
— Insight Strategy Group

60% find it annoying when brands communicate with them via Facebook or Twitter.
— Insight Strategy Group

39% of Facebook users do not interpret their own “likes” of a company to equate to permission for that company to deliver marketing messages to the news feed.
— Exact Target

81% of consumers have either “unliked” or removed a company’s posts from their Facebook news feed.
— Exact Target

58% of respondents indicated that they liked or followed brands in order to receive special news and deals.
— Insight Strategy Group

Over 50% of people feel overwhelmed by brand messages on social media. 75% of people think one or two Facebook messages a day is too much to receive from a brand.
— Content & Motion

39% of Facebook users do not interpret their own “likes” of a company to equate to permission for that company to deliver marketing messages to the news feed.
— Exact Target

57.8% of US Facebook users had not mentioned a single brand in their status updates as of October 2011. 61.3% of Twitter users saying they have not tweeted about a brand.
— eMarketer

58% of consumers have never had any conversation ever with a brand via a social network.
— InSites Consulting

Only 5% of consumers see social media as an appropriate channel for financial conversations, and some 60% said they wouldn’t use Twitter, Facebook or similar sites to resolve customer service issues in banking.
– BT and Avaya

Only 18% this social networking sites are a good source of word-of-mouth information on brand experiences.
– Jack Morton Worldwide

One in five think pushing “Like” buttons for brands is silly.
— Jack Morton Worldwide

40% of people feel that brand promos are too complex to enter. 20% feel that incentives are not worth the effort.
— Content & Motion

Not following any brands in social media:
46% Ages 15-17
26% Ages 18-24
24% Ages 25-34
26% Ages 35-44
38% Ages 45-54
55% Ages 55-64
69% Ages 65+
— Brian Solis

59% of consumers do not connect with their favorite brands through any social media channel.
– Exact Target

71% of consumers report being more selective about “liking” a company on Facebook than they were last year.
— Exact Target

Only 42% of Facebook users agree that marketers should interpret “Like” to mean they are a fan or advocate of the company.
– Exact Target

78% of consumers who “Like” brands on Facebook said they “Like” fewer than ten brands.
– Constant Contact


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Comments

  1. TheFinancialMarketer says:

    Interesting stats. Reinforces the fact that people don’t really like to be marketed too. Gaining consumer attention and getting action is just as tough of a battle on facebook as any other advertising channel.

    “Only 1% of ‘fans’ engage with facebook brand pages”

    You might assume these are damning numbers. But this isn’t necessarily the case.

    “I don’t think it’s a bad thing,” said Karen Nelson-Field, senior research associate for Ehrenberg-Bass Institute who describes herself as a “Facebook advocate.” “People need to understand what it can do for a brand and what it can’t do. Facebook doesn’t really differ from mass media. It’s great to get decent reach, but to change the way people interact with a brand overnight is just unrealistic.”

  2. This information above reinforces that social media is a channel, not its own strategy. Brand mentions don’t happen online as we see here – but we do know that many happen offline. If you have a strong brand, message story and use social media to spread that message, you can influence messages during offline conversation. That’s what needs to happen.

  3. Kacie has it right, social media is not its own strategy, but one piece of the overall plan. Understanding your audience and creating interesting content is the most important part. Also, don’t “sell” anything. Create fun, interesting, and original content; and rarely, if ever, ask people to buy/donate/like you. Do this and followers will follow.

  4. Indeed, consumers are not waiting for Banks and Credit Unions to market to them via facebook or any other channel including online ads, direct mail, statement inserts, mobile advertising, in branch advertising or any other method. It is up to the Financial Institution to make itself relevant.

    Therein lies the trouble… many Community Banks and Credit Unions simply have nothing to say when asked why consumers should bank with them vs the Community Bank down the street, vs the Credit Union across the street, vs the mega-bank or non-bank competitor (such as PerkStreet, Simple, MovenBank, SmartBank, etc.) in town and online.

    Setting up a facebook page does not make a social media strategy. Postings about branch hours, a teller’s birthday, recount of philanthropic activities, running a version of the cutest cat contest does nothing to engage with consumers. These topics – which by my unscientific study represent 90%+ of posts for a typical Community Bank and Credit Union – do nothing to help consumers improve their financial lives.

    Marketing requires effort; yet too many Community Banks and Credit Unions expect results with little or no effort. Zero strategy and zero differentiation will always result in failure, especially in an ultra-competitive and highly commoditized industry.

    Blaming social media or those suggesting that social media provides for a unique opportunity to connect with consumers is not very productive.

    PS: nice demonstration of quantipulation when suggesting that that only half of a Bank’s customers can be reached on facebook simply because half of the US population is on Facebook.

  5. While I agree with the overall observations, my only counter-point if you will is that it’s been a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation. Most financial services marketers are waiting to see numbers before taking the plunge, and hence there isn’t enough risk taking, innovation and creativity happening out there to really make social media work, and THEN to know what works and what doesn’t. It will take sometime for marketers to gt it right, but they will have to try, and not wait for others all the time.

    One of India’s largest banks, ICICI Bank has actually launched an app that allows users to check their accounts on FB. Good idea? We’ll find out, but at least they’re trying something new.

  6. Hi Vikas,

    There are actually quite a few banks and credit unions involved in social media. A study conducted by The Financial Brand put Facebook utilization at 75%. One half are using Twitter and YouTube. Everyone is still waiting to see the numbers… even the thousands of financial institutions who have already “taken the plunge.”

    As far as growing pains go, I’d expect marketers would have a better handle on social media by now. Marketers have been wrestling with this for over 6-7 years. Compare that to marketers’ experience with the internet. The internet popped onto financial institutions’ radar screens in the mid 90s. By the turn of the millennium, nearly all had adopted it into their business models in meaningful ways.

    ICICI Bank’s solution that you mention brings up an excellent point. ICICI Bank is using social media as a delivery channel for actual banking services. It’s a transactional tool, not just a communications or marketing tool.

    Those constantly pushing the financial industry to be more innovative need to also remind banks/CUs that innovations are only worthwhile if they help consumers solve problems. ICICI Bank’s approach may actually do that. But what problems do most other “social media innovations” from the financial industry solve?

  7. A Social MEdia strategy should incorporate SoMed into existing customer touchpoints. Treating SoMed as a “bolt-on” or silo will never work. Unfortunately this is the way most companies treat it. In my mind SoMed will complement the overall Customer Experience, if it is integrated into the business strategy of the company.

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