Report: Social Media Platforms Are Becoming Too Complicated

By Kimberlee Morrison Comment

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There is power in simplicity — at least that’s the premise behind the Siegel+Gale simplicity index.

The study uses survey data from more than 12,000 consumers in eight countries about the perceived simplicity or complexity of their interactions with more than 500 brands, and why simplicity pays off.

In this sixth annual report, Siegel+Gale included a social media specific portion.

Overall, social media ranked among the most complex with Instagram coming in at 48 as the most simple network, while LinkedIn ranked most complex at 108.

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According to the report, most people use social media to connect with friends and family, with older users finding social platforms more complex than younger generations. The survey results also indicated that Facebook and Pinterest were platforms use most by consumers as a discovery tool; however, Pinterest makes the process of discovery simple.

The report also indicates that marketers have a hard time developing social media ads that get noticed. This especially true for Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram. Perhaps this is just a trade off for native advertising, which is by its nature, meant to integrate seamlessly into the social networking experience. When it came to YouTube and Facebook though, users were more likely to say ads disrupted their experience.

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Despite reports that the majority requests online go unanswered, only 12 percent of the survey respondents said they used social for customer service, and 86 percent said their requests were resolved successfully.

The report offered a few key takeaways for brands using social media:

  • Entertain before you sell. Besides connecting with friends and family, the majority of social media users are looking for new sources of entertainment.
  • Get noticed but don’t be disruptive. Consumers are frustrated with ads that disrupt their experience. Understanding the medium is the best way to create ads that get noticed without impacting the user experience negatively.
  • Use social for customer service. As noted previously, only a small percentage of survey respondents use social for customer service, but most are happy with the results.

Download the report for more insights from Siegel+Gale’s 2015 Simplicity Index.

Readers: Which social network is the simplest? Which is the most confusing?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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