Six out of ten Britons (61%) do not want to engage with brands through social media, leading to companies creating “mountains of digital waste”, according to a global study.

WPP-owned research group TNS said that “misguided digital strategies” had led to brands setting up Facebook and blogs that failed to attract visitors.

Matthew Froggatt, chief development officer at TNS, said that brands need to justify why they’re on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

He said: “Digital waste is the accumulation of thousands of brands rushing online without thinking who they want to talk to, and why. Many brands have recognised the vast potential audiences available to them on social networks; however they are failing to understand that these spaces belong to the consumer and their presence needs to be proportionate and justified.”

However, despite many Britons not wishing to converse with brands online, the TNS Digital Life study found that 33% of Britons have commented about brands online. The majority (61%) said they engaged with brands online when there was a promotion or special offer involved. For example, Domino’s has often run exclusive Facebook offers for new pizza flavours (pictured) ( 4 April 2011).

Other findings from the study, which surveyed more than 72,000 consumers across 60 countries, showed that 22% view social networks as a place to buy products while 20% of mobile internet users use their mobiles to buy products.

For more on social media and brands see last week’s post by resident new media age columnist Nigel Walley who asked: “Do toilet-cleaning brands really need to be on Facebook?” ( 1 November 2011).


Published 10 November, 2011 by NMA Staff

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