Jessica Liu, Senior Analyst

Show Notes:

Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® data shows starkly how wary consumers are of social media:

  • Only 14% of consumers trust what they read on social media.
  • Forty percent use social media less than they previously had.
  • Thirty-seven percent believe social media does more harm than good.

This wariness has been long in the making due to the negative societal effects associated with social media, including online bullying, fake news, and privacy violations.

Many marketers have misread the room, explains Senior Analyst Jessica Liu. In their eagerness to have a broad presence on social media and establish two-way communication with customers, they’ve failed to fully consider their audience’s preferences or build a social strategy based on deep customer understanding. For example, many brands put messaging for all six stages of the buying cycle on their social channels when the majority of their audience may only be receptive to discovery-stage information.

There’s another tough truth for brands: Social users just aren’t that into you. A mere 32% of social users think brands share interesting content on social media, while only 24% think it’s cool to be associated with a brand on social media. Brands have become party crashers, showing up uninvited and then dominating the conversation.

So should you break up with social media? For some brands, that may be the right choice. Companies such as Lush UK have already scaled back their social media presences. But other brands can still derive great value from social media with a strong, customer-centric strategy. Consider whether your business and vertical have a passionate consumer base, and uncover further insights and variables that go into this decision, on this week’s episode of What It Means.