Consumers Punish Brands Which Annoy Them On Social Media

Summary execution: that’s basically the punishment meted out by consumers for brands which annoy them on social media, according to a new study performed for Pitney Bowes Software by Vanson Bourne, a U.K.-based marketing and research outfit, titled “Social media: contrasting the marketing and consumer perspectives.”

Vanson Bourne’s survey of consumer attitudes in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, and Germany found 65% of respondents said they would stop using a brand if it annoyed them on a social media site. Forty percent of consumers said they would be annoyed by receiving messages from a brand they haven’t followed . And, even when they’ve followed the brand, only 48% said they felt positive about receiving marketing messages. This all suggests a fairly significant disconnect between the expectations of consumers and marketers about the meaning of social media fandom.

On the bright side, social media is a popular source of word-of-mouth recommendations, with 68%  of consumers saying they had investigated a product recommended by friend online, and 15% actually making a purchase based on an online recommendation.

Vanson Bourne also surveyed 300 marketing directors and managers around the world, and (unsurprisingly) found greater adoption of social media, with 69% of marketing directors and managers saying they are placing greater emphasis on social media than previously. But measurement remains a major obstacle, with just 33% saying they are confident they can establish a link between social media spending and profitability.

In terms of favorite channels, 84% of marketing directors and managers said they use Facebook, compared with 57% using Twitter and 51% using Google+.

The results revealed another disconnect between consumers and marketers. Consumers placed YouTube second (53%) over Twitter (31%) and Google+ (22%), but the video-sharing platform came fifth in terms of marketer preferences (41%).

3 comments about "Consumers Punish Brands Which Annoy Them On Social Media".
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  1. Grant Crowell from, November 21, 2012 at 3:22 p.m.

    Seriously, I'm annoyed by social media sites that refuse to include backlinks to the very thing they're talking about! How about at least including the link in a comment, Erik?

  2. Steve Kavetsky from AgooBiz, Inc., November 22, 2012 at 11:40 a.m.

    Another informative post Erik! The main takeaway for me from this article is:

    "This all suggests a fairly significant disconnect between the expectations of consumers and marketers about the meaning of social media fandom."

    Many traditional marketers have ventured into social media without fully understanding the etiquette, rules, habits, and trends. Simply knowing your consumer in the traditional sense [i.e. through demographics, behavioral research, etc.] is not enough to apply to social media engagement. The marketers must understand WHY their audience or potential consumer is on a specific network, what they're doing there, and what the consumer expects to get out of their social media presence. Only then can the marketer formulate a strategy or entry plan into their potential consumers' SM world. If they don't, they will be punished for being annoying. Furthermore, this punishment can multiply very quickly and turn into a PR nightmare.

    Steve Kavetsky
    AgooBiz // The Social Commerce Network
    "WE work greater than me"

  3. Grant Crowell from, November 23, 2012 at 1:24 p.m.

    Actually, I filled out the form and the report never downloaded. It doesn't seem to be available yet?

    Steve & anyone else, I would be particularly interested to learn of any research or published opinions on the connection between social media in customer care, and social media in constituent care -- particularly with how political candidates should be using social media for engagement and service with their constituents similar to how commercial brands should be doing. Any thoughts?

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