While they are social networking, nearly 40% of consumers want absolutely nothing to do with brands, new research shows. The finding is troubling for Madison Avenue, as consumers spend ever more time
on social platforms.
Making up 37% of the country’s digital population, “social skippers” scorn social interactions with brands, per Forrester. Just 11% of these people
claim to be brand-conscious, while a mere 6% say they are receptive to any form of marketing.
Despite their open disdain for brands, however, this sizable portion of the Web populace still
managed to spend an average of $400 online over the past three months, according to Forrester.
Social has become so central to consumers’ lives that the research firm has decided to
break the social behaviors of U.S. online adults into four distinct categories: social skippers, “social snackers,” “social savvies” and “social stars.”
Although better than skippers, social stars and social savvies -- which make up 19% and 20% of social consumers, respectively -- present their own unique challenges for marketers. Stars
say they “demand” social interaction with brands, while savvies “expect” it. If their high demands are not met, it is fair to assume that today’s stars and savvies could
become tomorrow’s skippers.
Stars -- a group of which 45% claim to be brand-conscious, and 33% say they are receptive to marketing -- spent an average of $897 online over the
past three months. Social savvies -- 23% of whom are brand conscious, but only 13% of whom are receptive to marketing in general -- spent an average of $407 dollars online over the past three
Making up 23% of all online consumers, snackers say they “appreciate” social interactions with a brand. Just 17% are brand-conscious, while just 8% are receptive to
marketing. This rather passive group still spent an average of $507 online over the past three months.
Consumers’ categorization is based on a new “Social Technographics
Score,” which focuses on commercial social behaviors, according to Forrester analyst Nate Elliot.
“Many surveys reveal the social behaviors in which audiences engage but make no
distinction between peoples’ social interactions with friends and their social interactions with companies,” Elliot explained in a blog post on Tuesday. “In contrast, our new Social
Technographics Score is based on how audiences interact with and talk about companies, brands, and products.”
Forrester said it determined its four segments based on a recent survey
of more than 61,000 individuals.