What consumers want from brands on social media

Social media has become an integral cog for a brand’s digital communication strategy, allowing it to reach a large and varied audience at minimal cost whilst delivering measurable results. And, considering just how greatly social media has expanded our horizons, the use of social media is no longer a ‘want’ for brands, but an essential need.

Every social media platform serves a different purpose for a brands marketing strategy, and it can be hard to find the balance between showing personality, corporate etiquette or being politically driven by global conversations. Finding the fine line between what is cool and what is annoying is the key to marketing success.

According to Smart Insight, 52% of social media marketers stated social media has helped increase their company’s revenue and sales.

As a result, online marketplace OnBuy.com analysed findings from Sprout Social’s report ‘Consumers aren’t looking to buy from brands that are ‘cool’ on social’ to discover what consumers want from brands and what they find downright irritating.

OnBuy found that, whilst talking politics was the second most detested behaviour shown by a brand (71%), nearly two-thirds of consumers think it’s ‘cool’ for brands to openly talk about world or cultural events, engaging the consumer in an open discussion about current affairs without becoming too political. Yet, just 29% of respondents embrace politics being discussed by brands.

OnBuy.com found that the most popular and ‘cool’ social media practise for brands is the use of video clips and responding to questions (83%), with only a mere 17% stating they found it annoying. Other well-received social media actions by brands for consumers include: joining conversations (68%) and talking about timely events (66%), while just over half of respondents enjoy the use of gifs (58%).

On the other hand, these are some of the most annoying social media practises displayed by a brand: making fun of consumers (88%), talking politics (71%), using slang (69%) and, finally, making fun of competitors (67%).

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And it’s not just the actions taken by brands which are most popular with consumers, but the personality a company portrays, too. Without personality or charisma, your product or service will not resonate to the customers you’re targeting.

As part of the report, OnBuy assessed the behaviours consumers want from brands who are using social media. It came as no surprise that honesty is the most desirable trait as stipulated by 86% of consumers. The next most desired characteristics of behaviour were: friendliness (83%), helpfulness (78%) and humour, with 72% of the vote.

Interestingly, more than half of consumers find brands trying to be trendy on social media annoying (57%).

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