Advertisers are not connecting on social networks
Advertisers are not connecting with users on on social network sites.
In a survey of 2,000 UK respondents, market researcher Mintel found two-thirds of people on the sites rarely pay attention to advertising on social networks, and 56% said they don’t like to buy the advertised product. Hardest to reach are the 25-34 year olds.
“Brands have to go beyond paid adverts to influence consumer purchasing decisions,” Mintel said.
But 31% of respondents said they would consider recommendations for products and services from their online social network.
Mintel senior technology analyst Cecilia Liao said, “Companies that want to use social media as a promotional tool need to look beyond text ads or interactive banners and invest in actual engagement with consumers.”
Mintel found the economic climate is making people “more diligent” in finding good deals. This was fuelling the growth of group-buying discount websites and social network deals, it said.
Mintel also found social networks substituting for face to face contact. One in three (32%) said they talk to their friends online more than face to face. This rose to 35% for 16-24 year olds and to 43% of 25-34 year olds.
Some 83% of women used any sites compared with 77% of males, but only 10% of women, compared with 18% of men, liked the idea of shopping on social networks.
Nearly six out of 10 (58%) users were concerned about privacy, and this worry put off 44% from buying things on social networks. Recent data breaches had also increased fears that personal and banking details could be stolen, Liao said.
The most popular reasons for using social networks was to keep in touch with friends (78%), finding old friends (55%), keeping up with the latest news and playing games (both 26%) and making new friends (21%). Some 16% of those aged over 55 used social media to make new friends.
Mintel said 7% of Brits used the site to find new dates, with men (9%) being twice as active as women (4%).
Mintel found users equivocal about loyalty to their social network site. While more (12%) were prepared to pay to use them, almost one in three (31%) would quit their site if their friends migrated to a different site.