3 in 10 Americans Say Social Media Ads Useless

December 6, 2011

epsilon-usefullness-of-advertising-on-social-media-sites-dec11.gif31% of Americans say they find advertising on social media sites to be either not very or not at all useful, according to a study released in December 2011 by Epsilon Targeting. Data from the “2011 Channel Preference Study” indicates that just 13% find social media advertising to be somewhat or very useful. These patterns hold for Canadian consumers too: they are more than twice as likely to find social media advertising useless (33%) than useful (16%).

The percentages are based on respondents who chose the top and bottom 2 boxes on a 10-point scale.

Facebook Grows as Information Source

Although social media sites are not perceived to be highly useful for advertising, a growing number of Americans say they use Facebook to research and review consumer product information: this year, the proportion reached 10%, up from 6% in 2010.

Overall, the internet remains an important resource when searching for new products and ideas, with 53% of US consumers using the internet weekly to do so, and 28% claiming to use it daily for those purposes. By contrast, 37% of US consumers report using the TV daily to get consumer product information, down 14% from 43% of respondents in 2010.

Most Get Group Deal Emails Daily

39% of US respondents to the survey claim awareness of a group deal site such as Groupon or Living Social, while of those, roughly one-third receive a deal every day by email. 1 in 10 say they check group deal websites daily, while the most frequent rate of purchase is every few weeks (8%), ahead of weekly (3%) and daily (1%). Group deal site users are not great sharers though: just 6% report sending information on a group deal to family and friends every few weeks.

Mobile Coupon Use Limited

Among US respondents who use their cell phone daily, just 2% say that they get coupons on a daily basis, while 3% receive group deals on that frequency. Although mobile coupon use is almost surely higher among smartphone/tablet users, according to data released in October 2011 by Prosper Mobile Insights, almost one in five smartphone/tablet users do not want to receive any coupons on their device. Email (51%, more than one response allowed) is by far the most popular method of receiving mobile coupons among these users.

About the Data: The Epsilon study is based on completed responses of 2,226 U.S. consumers and 2,574 Canadian consumers to an online survey conducted in August 2011. A 15-minute questionnaire was presented to respondents aged 18 and older.

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