This week, Australian research agency Truth Serum published results of a poll detailing the most hated social media marketing practices for users. The results read like a best practice list from any other site.
What is illustrative about this study is that it reinforces that users don’t use social media to see marketing content, anymore than people watch TV to see commercials. In a perpetually contentious relationship like that, insights like “social media turnoffs” aren’t necessarily informative of what businesses should be doing, but they must be understood nonetheless.
People hate it when social media marketers do ______________.
Here is the list that Truth Serum complied:
Notice that people don’t like recruiting their friends for brands. They don’t want to Like your business for an enticement. They don’t like overposting. They don’t like sales. And if any businesses were to follow these user recommendations they would effectively be neutered in the social space.
(Also of note: that the insight about content in poor taste is actually pretty sound, substantiated by the research of MIT professor Thales Texiera.)
What people prefer on social networks
Now contrast those insights with the preferences that Truth Serum found from the same group:
Understanding how averse users are to social media marketing content is good.
Marketing Week just ran a piece singling out the video marketing of British retailer John Lewis for driving engagement. Their campaign is an example of content that accomplishes their marketing goals while trying to appeal to users platform-specific preferences.
Marketing Week and Truth Serum offer an important perspective. Social media marketers have to perpetuate some action be it following, clicking or buying. People enjoy consuming content that is appropriate for the context of the social platform that they’re using. So, the goal appears to be to make content so appealing that users will perform a less-than-ideal action to consume it.
What do you think about the disconnect between the content that people want to consume and the actions that social media marketers want to instigate? And if content quality isn’t measured, are aggregated case studies about social platform effectiveness less valuable?