A January 2017 survey of US Facebook users by media research firm Bridge Ratings found that 44% of respondents “unliked” a brand on the social media platform when the company posted too frequently.
Likewise, 43% of those polled said they “unliked” brands because their Facebook walls became too crowded with marketing posts, forcing them to cut down on the number of brands that they follow.
These results aren’t particularly surprising, but the findings do demonstrate that Facebook users are not just passively scrolling through branded posts. Instead, they are actively choosing to “unlike” companies that post excessively.
“Brands need to remember that they are competing for attention with a lot of other types of posts on Facebook,” eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson said. “Simply posting more often won’t help them cut through the clutter. Branded posts need to be relevant and informative. Otherwise, Facebook users will be quick to unlike them.”
Content was less important than frequency and volume of posts, but it still drove some consumers away.
Roughly one in four respondents said they “unliked” a brand because its posts were too promotional, and roughly one in five “unliked” a brand for sharing content that wasn’t relevant.
“Fresh content is key to avoid being perceived as too repetitive or boring,” Williamson said.
Bridge Ratings also found that users are generally becoming somewhat less satisfied with Facebook. Between 2012 and 2017, the number of Facebook users across multiple demographics who said they are not using the platform as much as they used to has climbed.
The biggest change was among 35- to 44-year-olds: In 2012, 25% said they weren’t using Facebook as much as they used to, but that number grew to 41% in 2017.
Among millennials, Facebook use declined at a much slower rate. According to Bridge Ratings, 31% of millennials said they used Facebook less in 2012, compared with 35% who said the same thing this year.
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