Brands May Think Being Snarky Is Cool, But Consumers Don’t (Report)

Sprout Social found that brands should avoid politics, but pop culture is fair game

What is it about the internet that compels people and brands toward snark? Indeed, some brands like Wendy’s and Denny’s have jumped on the snarky bandwagon, and they seem to be reaping the benefits in the form of heightened social media popularity. However, a new Sprout Social report indicates that consumers aren’t that into it.

Sprout surveyed 1,000 consumers about brand behavior on social and what brand personality traits prompt them to take action. Overall, consumers agreed that authenticity is most important. And while 75 percent of survey respondents like when brands are humorous on social, only one-third want full frontal snark. Mostly, consumers want brands to be honest, friendly and helpful.

There also appears to be more freedom on some platforms than on others. According to the Sprout report, more users seem open to seeing brands’ personalities on display on Facebook than on YouTube. Interestingly, the report indicates that people don’t want to see too much personality from brands on Snapchat.

The report notes, however:

When millennials are segmented out, the percentages for both Twitter and Instagram jump to nearly 50 percent—a key indication that the younger generation is looking for more personality from brands on the social platforms that resonate with the demographic.

The one thing more than 70 percent of survey respondents could agree that they didn’t want from brands on social was political commentary. This doesn’t mean that brands have to shy away from current events altogether; 70 percent of respondents said they like when brands talk about global or pop-culture events. Consumers also don’t like when brands use slang, and they aren’t impressed when brands make fun of their customers or competitors.

Download the full report to find out how consumers respond to annoying brand behaviors and what behaviors move consumers to make purchases.

Image courtesy of VladSt/iStock.