Consumers Consider Social Media to be Personal Space

Despite the buzz about social media’s power to transform and motivate consumers to identify with specific brands, some research indicates that businesses could end up taking their efforts a step too far. But there are  industries that consumers definitely seek out when they connect with social media. In these cases, consumers say social media should be a complement to, not a replacement for traditional interaction.

According to Strativity Group’s recent study on social media, consumers (73%) want this space to be personal. The first reason many use this tool is to connect with friends.  And the following reasons are key to consumer inability to further engage with social media:

  • No time 70%
  • Privacy concerns 59%
  • Want to avoid ‘junk and advertising’ 58%

At the same time, Strativity Group analysts say their study revealed that consumers are open to seeing marketers on social media. Overall, consumers are more likely to engage with banks, employers, grocery stores and cell phone companies than with other kinds of companies in the social media universe. The consumers in this study reported that they don’t want companies to push traditional marketing, sales and customer services through social media. Instead, consumers are looking for discounts and fun activities.

Lior Arussy, Strativity President, says “Akin to being a guest in someone's house, companies need to adapt their behaviors and approach to social media by demonstrating respect for consumers.” Based on this study, marketers should tread carefully when deploying their social media platforms and adjust their strategies as they come up against the boundaries of personal space.

[Source: Respect our Private Space in Social Media. Strativity Group. 21 Sept. 2010. Web. 27 Sept. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.