Facebook use down 9 percentage points

Report reveals annoyance with social media marketing and concerns over privacy leading some to log off social media sites

Facebook usage is down by nine percentage points from this time last year amongst internet-connected UK consumers, according to a new YouGov Report that examines how people interact with brands and companies through social media.

The proportion of those who have stopped using social media sites due to being fed up with social media marketing promotions has risen by 18 percentage points from April 2012. Additionally, one-fifth (20%) stopped using social media sites during the last year because they don’t like the possibility of their information being used by third parties.

Engagement with brands

The report found that nearly half (45%) of social media users have liked/joined the page of a brand / company, while less than a quarter (22%) have followed a brand on Twitter.

The report results suggest that the followers / likers of companies are most likely to be current customers (33%) whose primary motivation is a desire to get something in return (34%). 47% of all social media users would be encouraged to like/follow brands to get special offers, however 40% would cease to like / follow a company if it were to say or do something with which they disagreed.

Despite modest levels of interaction between social media users and brands, however, the report found that nearly a quarter (23%) of all social media users have researched a product / service as a result of reading something on social media sites – up six percentage points from April 2012. Meanwhile, 13% of all social media users have bought something as a result of reading something on social media sites – up seven percentage points from April 2012.

Facebook ads lagging

The report shows that advertising on Facebook has low uptake amongst consumers, with only one in 20 Facebook users having clicked on an ad in the last year. Less than one in 10 feel that targeted advertising on social media is relevant to them.

Overall, the findings indicate that most social media users feel negatively towards marketing strategies by companies on social media sites, with 35% saying that they often hide companies’ updates if they update too often. However, young men aged 25-39 are significantly more likely than average to state that targeted advertising is relevant to them (21% agree/strongly agree with the statement).

Commenting on the report, YouGov Reports Research Director James McCoy said: “This report shows that reaching potential customers through social media is rather different from doing so through traditional media channels. The proportion of Facebook users who are tuning out brands’ marketing efforts clearly indicates that a savvier approach is needed. While there are significant challenges, this report identifies potential opportunities for marketeers to build on, such as the relatively high proportion of young men who respond positively to targeted ads on social media.”

Learn more about the Report

Learn more about YouGov Reports