A new report: ‘Social Media & Digital Advertising – Trends, Rights and Wrongs’, released this week by social trends and consumer insights company, The Korn Group, has revealed consumers’ attitudes towards social media sites.
Facebook is increasingly viewed as a negative channel while Instagram and Pinterest are seen as positive ones.
The increase in trolling, malicious comments, and a growing dissatisfaction with the ways people and brands present reality on Facebook is creating negative associations in consumers’ minds, according to social researcher Neer Korn.
“Facebook has become synonymous with people projecting an idealised version of their life and it is leading users to question their own lives. The negative comments and trolling have created the overwhelming view that the platform, while seeming necessary and even addictive, has become a negative experience for many people,” said Korn.
However, while Facebook is viewed as negative, Instagram and Pinterest are seen as positive and inspiring channels for consumers, where brands are not only accepted but welcomed.
“Both Instagram and Pinterest are huge visual experiences, and we already know that is a huge driver for engagement on social media. These sites rely on strong, beautiful imagery and thrive on positive uplifting images that are both inspiring and aspiring for consumers.
“This is not just a social media trend, but part of a bigger shift in society which has seen our emphasis on the visual and aesthetics sharpen significantly. Instagram and Pinterest perfectly reflect this desire for strong visuals. The images are beautiful and the environment is an overwhelmingly positive one.
“The presence of brands, particularly through postings by celebrities, only adds to this experience and people are happy to follow brands on these channels,” said Korn.
The findings are also reflected in the consumer attitudes towards advertising on the sites, with consumers rating the level of advertising on Instagram and Pinterest as acceptable while advertising on Facebook has reached saturation.
“What this research tells us is that context is incredibly important for brands, the areas where your brand appears need to be in keeping with the brand’s personality and style. However, it also goes deeper than this. Australians, in general, are yearning for positive messages amidst a culture of constant negativity and the trend for Instagram over Facebook is reflecting this.
“Marketers really need to be looking beyond the numbers and the likes and really consider whether the brand offering complements the environment. There is a need to think more about how to enhance the user experience if brands are to be successful in the social media space. Our research identified some clear wins and fails for marketers using social media,” said Korn.
The full report, ‘Social Media & Digital Advertising – Trends, Rights and Wrongs’, will be released this week to subscribers and is available for purchase. The research was compiled using insights from a series of group discussions staged in locations across Sydney and Melbourne. Participants reflected a mix of socio-economic backgrounds and households with men and women aged between 18 to 55 years.