Nearly half of Brits ignore brands on social media

Facebook is now one of the biggest corporations in the world, with over 1.71 billion monthly active users, and Twitter, well, that’s a bit smaller, but it’s still a cornerstone of most online marketing campaigns.

But is it time that SMEs and local businesses started pushing past the goliaths of social media in favour of alternative and up and coming platforms?

If not, it’s exactly the type of question that they should be asking, as it has just been revealed by a study that over half of Brits “actively ignore” social posts or advertisements by brands.

The study, by Kantar TNS, which polled 70,000 people, including 3,200 from the UK, found that on a global basis, over a quarter (26 per cent) of social media users ignore content that is branded, while 34 per cent said that they feel “constantly” followed by online advertising.

Are people getting fed up of social media?

It’s an interesting question, but it depends entirely on which platforms you look at, and in which countries.

For instance, there are high levels of scepticism for social media in Sweden and Denmark, while Saudi Arabia and Brazil seemed relatively unfazed by social advertising.

While the number of active users of Twitter and Facebook have slowed over the past year, platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat (the former owned by Facebook) have enjoyed massive growth.

Snapchat has nearly one quarter of internet users, with 23 per cent now owning accounts (up from 12 per cent two years ago), and Instagram now has a global usage of 42 per cent (up from 24 per cent in 2014).

Age was also found to be no barrier as one in five internet users aged 55 to 65 now use Instagram and nine per cent now use Snapchat.

So how can brands bring back people’s attention?

The study stated that two out of five 16 to 24 year olds say that they trust what people say about brands more than official sources such as newspapers, brands and their own adverts or websites.

A key element to gaining back trust is to involve influencers and celebrities according to Michael Nicholas, global director at Kantar TNS, “Younger people are more influencer-oriented than ever before, trusting bloggers and peers rather than information from brands.”

Even US President hopeful Donald Trump has begun using Snapchat to bring in young voters, unveiling a ‘crooked Hillary’ filter for last month’s debate.

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