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Over 80% of Australian online users have connected with at least one brand on social media, with 29% even connecting with 10 or more brands.

But 44% have also dumped a brand on social media because they were spammed or bored with content, according to a new white paper.

The Always On report from Latitude Insights looks at how Australians are using social media in an attempt to better understand how brands connect and influence consumers online. 

Why consumers connect

According to the report, 33% of consumers connect with a brand on social media because they want to be the first to know about new products and trends.

Just over a quarter connect to have a voice with a particular brand, 22% want to support a brand they admire and 20% are interested in shopping for products and services.

Social media is definitely one of the preferred channels for Australians who want to connect with brands, with 33% choosing social media as a way to give general feedback. This figure is higher than the 25% who choose to do this via the web and the 13% who choose email.

Despite this, social media doesn’t always win out in consumer preference.

When it comes to receiving offers and discounts, more people choose to have specials sent to their email (31%) than read about them on social media (30%), and if consumers need help or assistance, more turn to the web (28%) for answers than social media (24%).

Australian consumers also prefer to complain on the web (27%) rather than on social media (23%). 

Why brands are getting dumped

Of the 44% of Australians surveyed that had a ditched a brand on social media, 55% did so because they got too many posts, 36% felt the content was boring and 37% were no longer interested in the product or service.

Reputation also played a role with 19% of users feeling that a brand had behaved badly and 12% worrying what their friends would think of them being associated with a particular brand. 

Tabitha Lucas, research director at Latitude Insights, said one of the main problems is that brands fail to deliver the benefits that consumers had hoped for. 

The report supports this view and says that brands may not even realise they have been shown the door because social media users can simply block or remove posts from their news feed without having to actually unlike or unfollow a brand. 

As in any relationship there are behaviours that can cause the relationship to break down. The same is true in the social media space. 

Attention spans are overwhelmed, leaving little time for long term memory transfer. Social media users repeatedly indicated a sense of being overwhelmed with information. To cope, users flick through posts, speed read, etc. to deal with the volume of data. 

Brands need to ensure that social media users feel like the content is specific to them. In this space, a brand’s product, service, content and tone all need to make consumers feel like it has been developed with just for them.

[Image credit: Rosaura Ochoa]

Claire Brinkley

Published 27 March, 2013 by Claire Brinkley

Claire Brinkley is Econsultancy Australia's news and insight reporter. Follow her on Twitter, Google+ or connect with her on LinkedIn

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Stephanie Waley

Social media marketing is one of the most effective strategies used in online marketing. =)

over 3 years ago

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