Profile: Jeremy Gilley

The man marketing world peace

Social media “less useful” than thought

Almost half of consumers object to brand advertising on social networks that uses profile information, according to new research by YouGov.

Social media

The research body claims that “social is not always the advertiser’s friend” and has less benefit for brands than many marketers originally thought.

Almost half (47%) of online consumers it surveyed claim said that they object to seeing ads from brands on social platforms based on their profile activities.

Likewise, 44% of the UK population claim they wouldn’t be more likely to buy a brand even if their friends promoted it on social media, and 43% would be unlikely to talk about a brand on social media even if they had something positive to share.

Dan Brilot, YouGov media consulting director, says: “It appears that whilst social media can be a key tool in the brand marketer’s armoury, in particular to maximise commitment amongst those already highly engaged with the brand, it has not quite reached the effectiveness necessary to be considered as a truly mass media marketing tool. With the ability to share, tweet and interact on any kind of site, is almost a given, social media services increasingly need to have an extra raison d’etre beyond merely being ‘social’ to make an impact in today’s crowded market.”

YouGov surveyed a representative sample of 1,275 UK online consumers.

For more insight into the value of social channels, read our recent cover story on benchmarking social media.

Readers' comments (7)

  • Personally, I disagree with this article. I think most businesses are as clueless about how to use social media marketing as they are about email marketing or other avenues for digital marketing. I, for one, built my entire, successful, business using social media marketing. Social media marketing shouldn't be just about buying ads, as this article mentions, and it's not just about "liking" brands or products either. If a company is going to be successful with social media marketing, they need to have a solid value proposition prepared for their customers and be ready to connect DIRECTLY to them on a one on one basis. Most companies don't even have metrics applied to their social media efforts and they have no idea of the cost/benefit relationship. Another recent study I read said that only 5% of businesses feel that social media marketing is an effective tool for lead generation, when in reality, that's one of its strongest uses. Even if people aren't talking about your product, you can be sure there are those who are talking about a problem your product can solve. Social media marketing is about finding those people, connecting with them one on one and helping to improve their lives with your product.

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  • This is Marketing Week, not Advertisers Week. Marketers need to realise that social media is not the place for advertising, it's the place for building engagement with customers and helping them do their job better.

    It's when marketers simply use social media to spam a large number of people that it fails miserably.

    Just because it's very simple to do does not mean it should be done.

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  • Consumers are real people and people like other people being interested in them. So as long as brands are genuinely interested in their wants and needs, social media will have a valuable place in developing the relationship and talkiing to them not at them!

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  • "44% of the UK population claim they wouldn’t be more likely to buy a brand even if their friends promoted it on social media"

    This just seems silly. How many people admit to actually being influenced by ads?

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  • Advertising on social channels can work as long as the right amount of work has gone on upfront.

    If a brand has spent the time to create positive relationships with social media users then there's no reason why an ad served to the right audience at the right time won't work.

    Social media channels are powerful but like traditional channels, if the message isn't right or is delivered poorly, it won't connect.

    What the survey appears to point out is that advertisers that choose to use social channels in the same way as they have traditional broadcast media will only ever enjoy limited success.

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  • "Consumers are real people and people like other people being interested in them. So as long as brands are genuinely interested in their wants and needs, social media will have a valuable place in developing the relationship and talkiing to them not at them!"

    . . . em . . . you mean, like, talking to someone in a SHOP, and not from a bloody PC screen?

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  • Do you think other metrics such as phone calls from social media placement has been neglected as a metric?

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