Posting on Facebook might not be the best way to attract business, according to a sweeping new study by a London-based consultancy.
The TNS Digital Life report – which it said was based on in-depth interviews with 72,000 consumers in 60 countries – found more than half did not want “big brands” invading their social networks.
TNS is part of Kantar, a consultancy with more than 28,500 employees in 100 countries that is itself part of WPP and said its services are now used by more than half of the Fortune 500 companies.
Globally, 57% of people in developed markets don’t want to engage with brands via social media, the company found, a figure that rises to 60% in the United States and 61% in the United Kingdom.
“The result is huge volumes of noise, which is polluting the digital world and making it harder for brands to be heard – presenting a major challenge for businesses trying to enter into dialogue with consumers online,” its statement said.
The company’s chief development officer, Matthew Froggatt said the Digital Life study asked consumers around the world whether they actually want to engage with brands on social networking websites – either to find out more or to make a purchase.
“Many brands have recognized 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,” Froggatt said.
“The key is to understand your target audience and what they want from your brand – social networks aren’t always the right approach,” he said. “If consumers in one market don’t want to be talked to, can you use an alternative online method – creating owned digital media platforms, targeted sponsorship or search campaigns – to engage in an appropriate way that will achieve business results, without adding to the digital waste pile?”