Australians on social media raise many an eyebrow?

By: Tabitha Lucas, Research Director

I love the fact that people continue to surprise me. This particular instance was prompted by the results of a major study we have just completed about consumers and brands on social media called ‘Always On’.

It’s no surprise to me that brands are trying hard to get a foothold in the social media space and harness it’s potential power. But what did surprise me is how welcoming Australian consumers are to connecting with brands on social media. In casual conversation you hear complaints about ads, and irritation about brands filling up your news feed, etc. But when we dug deeper we found that a whopping 82% had connected with a brand on social media.

And even more surprisingly, nearly a third had connected with more than 10 brands.

Australian consumers are actually seeing real benefits from connecting with brands in the social media space – beyond the ubiquitous competition entry. They see the opportunity to be ‘the first to know’ and most interestingly, to actually support a brand they admire and to have a real ‘voice’ with a brand.

So where does all the anecdotal whinging come from?

It seems that despite consumers’ welcoming attitude towards connecting with brands on social media, brands aren’t always delivering the benefit that consumers had hoped for. In fact despite being willing to connect, nearly half have actually dumped a brand on social media as well. While I wasn’t surprised to hear that this was often because of boring content, what did raise the other eyebrow was that brands can actually get the boot for behaving ‘badly’. Consumers want to have a voice with brands, so sometimes that voice is saying ‘not happy, Jan’.

The good news is clearly there for brands. But so is the need to get it right. Hopefully this will raise the collective eyebrows of brands out there – making it clear that social media is a very different space for brands, with different rules for behaviour. And to succeed in social media they need to do more than just have a competition and then try to sell their product.

With these insights, I can see the potential to help brands do great things!

For access to the Always On whitepaper and infographic, visit our website: www.latitudeinsights.com.au

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