Friday, April 6

Breaking Up: Customers Dump Brands On Networks

"There isn't any question that social media has become an increasingly important part of organizational communication. And although some people still call it a bandwagon, the general conversation about social media has transformed from convincing companies to consider it to teaching them how to implement tips and tactics.

But are tips and tactics really enough? Maybe not. Sometimes trying too hard to "woo" customers can alienate them more than win them over.

Social media can engage or irritate. It's all about communication.

At least that might be the takeaway from a study conducted by Relevation Research. It found that 52 percent of consumers have subscribed to a company or brand via a social network. But of those, one-third of them will dump the organization or brand after a few short weeks or months.

But that's not the worst of it. After those customers dump the brand, they are more likely to distance themselves from the brand online. Many report that they develop a negative impression of the brand. And, as a result, may shop less, spend less, or even turn to competitors.

"At present, marketers are too cavalier, and even abusive, with their approach to social media relationships because it's a powerful tool which can pay off but only if used thoughtfully," said Nan Martin, managing director at Relevation Research. "It's that very thin line between courting and annoying. Right now some brands are effectively drawing people in, but then undermining their equity by what happens next with their social media activity."

So what's the number one reason that fans or friends decide to ditch the brand? According to the research company, most leave because the brand comes on too strong — acting excessively clingy or posting, tweeting, and joking around too often.

The second most common reason is that the brand fails to engage, offer any additional value, or otherwise ignore the people who have taken the time to like them. One of the funniest lines pulled out from the research sums how people who break up with brands really feel.

"It's not you, it's me," they say. Or, in other words, they signed up because a friend did, lost interest, or simply decided that they liked too many other brands and somebody had to go.
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