07 Jul 2014
By Wright Communications
A newly released Colmar Brunton survey on the social media habits of New Zealanders reveals the number of Kiwis who follow brands on social media has plummeted from 41% in 2013 to 27% this year.
Colmar Brunton CEO Jacqueline Ireland says while the number of Kiwi social media users continues to increase (68% of New Zealanders access at least one social media site per day, up from 63% last year) they are predominantly using it to stay in touch with friends and family rather than brands.
"The outtake from this is that brands have not yet learned the rules of engagement on social media and they need to work harder and smarter to be noticed," Ms Ireland says.
She cites the proliferation of advertisements as an example of how some brands and companies are getting it wrong on social media.
"It is seen as spamming or gate-crashing and is a big turn off. In consumers' minds brands need to earn the right to engage and be engaged with on social media."
Ms Ireland says the biggest drop off in those engaging with brands on social media comes in the 18-29 age group, down from 59% in 2013 to 33% this year, a concerning drop given the importance of Gen Y consumers as a target market.
The main reasons Kiwis give for following a brand or company on social media are for sales and discounts (67%), contests and giveaways (65%) and useful information (63%).
"Consumers need to see what's in it for them. But companies need to be careful. While discounts have great appeal, they tend to make the relationship with a brand more transactional and do not deliver the level of engagement and loyalty brands are seeking through social media."
Other significant findings from the Colmar Brunton social media survey saw newcomer Snapchat top the net momentum chart (i.e. of social media users 60% used Snapchat more often now than six months ago while 17% use it less often, resulting in a net momentum of 43).
Visual social media channels such as Instagram (net momentum 22) and Pinterest (net momentum 21) were next in line, continuing their rapid rise, which appears to reflect a trend of images being more engaging for social media users than text.
The biggest increase in social media use is by 30-39 year olds (up to 78% from 67% last year), while 18-29 year olds continue to have the highest social media usage with 91% using social media at least once a day.
The results come from a survey of 1015 New Zealanders with a margin of error of + or - 3%.
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