As many brands have spent the past several years engaging with customers and prospects on social networking sites, marketers have a good idea of what gets web users to connect. Typically, social networkers say they make “friends” with or follow a brand’s posts to find out about special offers and deals, and current research is consistent with that reasoning.
Research has also been fairly steady on why consumers sometimes choose to un-friend brands. Engagement advertising firm SocialVibe found in October that one-third of US internet users who had ended a social connection with a brand did so because the company simply posted too many updates.
Update overload is subjective; it can be difficult for brands to gauge how often is too often, and each social fan may have a different idea of what an appropriate amount of contact is. Many web users told SocialVibe that they checked for brand updates on social media fairly frequently: 17% said they did so every day, while another 23% did so at least once a week. Marketers can be confident that a steady stream of updates is appreciated by many users, but flooding social timelines with posts remains a danger.
It seems most marketers find a good balance, as SocialVibe’s survey indicated relatively little un-friending among web users. Though around two in five internet users ended their connections with brands at least “sometimes,” slightly more reported doing so only “rarely” and about a quarter said they never did.
Brands that don’t overload users and instead help foster a steady connection can reap many benefits, including potentially higher customer lifetime values. About one in five respondents to the SocialVibe survey said they often made a purchase because of a social media connection with brands, and another 27% did so at least sometimes.
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