A study released today by Simply Measured found that consumers are “becoming more comfortable” with Big Brands on Twitter.
In fact, those brands saw a huge 105 percent increase in engagement levels in Q4 of 2014. The news that Twitter is working for brands prompts the question: why do people follow and unfollow commercial accounts?
A couple of recent surveys tell the tale.
First, from a University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research project covered by eMarketer:
For Millennials, at least, it’s not really about following friends’ recommendations or doing consumer research: it’s about coupons and discounts. We can tell you from personal experience writing social media copy that the same is true for middle-aged aunts: they want those “$1 off” coupons.
We are slightly surprised to see such high numbers for “support the brand” sentiments; that finding should be encouraging for social media teams, though it’s worth noting that few users actually buy things via Twitter.
OK, but why do users unfollow? Here’s a January post from LKR Social Media designed to answer that question. Some numbers:
- 77 percent of users follow at least one brand
- 67 percent prefer to buy from a brand that they follow
- 56 percent have unfollowed at least one
The explanation given by most of those un-followers is that a brand’s content is too “boring” or “salesy.”
Translation: everything, or almost everything, shared by said brand is directly self-promotional and immediately identifiable as MARKETING.
The next big reason people unfollow is lack of engagement: a whopping 99 percent of all users expect a brand to respond in some way when they use the old @ button.
As Gary Vaynerchuk put it back in January, depth is more important than scale, meaning direct interaction and targeting is more valuable than the act of racking up X number of followers, most of whom only continue to follow your brand because they’re too lazy to click “unfollow.”
In summary: engagement is more important than ever, people LOVE their discounts, and no one really appreciates a hard sell.