Social Media Marketing Increasingly Influencing – and Annoying – UK Users

May 30, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Brand Metrics | Data-driven | Digital | Europe & Middle East | Men | Personalization | Privacy & Security | Social Media | Youth & Gen X

YouGov-Influence-Social-Media-Marketing-on-UK-Users-May201323% of social media users in the UK have researched a product or service as a result of reading something on social media sites, according to a recent report from YouGov, representing a 6% point increase from a year earlier. Additionally, 13% have bought something as a result of reading something on a social media sites, up 7% points from the April 2012 survey. While that suggests that brands are more effectively engaging with social media users, their efforts are also proving to be a turn-off to some.

Details from the study indicate that social media users’ acceptance of ads on the site is fairly low. Only 5% claim to have clicked on an ad on the site in the past year, and less than 1 in 10 feel that targeted advertising is relevant to them. (Recent survey results from Ipsos indicate that 52% of UK adults prefer targeted social networking ads to general ones, below the 56% global average.) Younger men (aged 25-39) are far more likely to believe that targeted advertising is relevant to them, though, with 21% agreeing or strongly agreeing that this is the case.

Still, there has been a large increase in the percentage of respondents who have stopped using social media because they’ve had enough of social media marketing promotions, according to the researchers. Overall, a majority of users displayed negative attitudes towards social media marketing – a result that supports earlier findings from Forrester Research, in which just 10% of Europeans professed to trust social media marketing.

In this recent survey, 35% of respondents said they regularly hide companies’ updates if they update too often and 1 in 5 also claim to have stopped using social media sites because they fear their information being used by 3rd parties.

Other Findings:

  • 45% of social media users in the UK report having liked or joined the page of a brand or company. Roughly half as many (22%) have followed a brand on Twitter.
  • Those who follow companies on social media are most likely to be existing customers (33%) whose primary driver is a desire to get something in return (34%).
  • 47% of social media users would be influenced to like or follow brands in return for special offers.
  • 40% would stop following or liking a company if it said or did something they disagreed with.
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