Interactive group Razorfish has a new report out saying it is more important than ever before for brands to start engaging consumers inside social media. Trouble is, a lot of the data inside the Razorfish study shows consumers may not care:
– In 5 of 7 industry categories (auto, finance, home and garden, retail and travel), only 10% or less of 1,000 consumers surveyed said they were very likely to interact with a brand on social media.
– Only 33% of consumers said they trust their online friends’ recommendations vs. 73% who trust their offline friends.
– Social network advertising scored half as low in authenticity vs. television advertising and about 40% lower than print advertising.
Add it up and consumers don’t want to interact with many brands, they don’t trust online friends, and they find marketing incursions in social media inauthentic. The idea that building a marketing arm inside Facebook or Twitter is urgent seems a little silly, given those findings.
Consumers don’t care?
The Razorfish study does have good points, such as it is important for brands to “do” things worth consumers talking about and to learn how to measure conversations inside social media. Their discussion of a “Social Influence Marketing” or SIM score is noteworthy. But the real finding is consumers chatting among themselves usually do not want marketers to be part of that conversation at all.
We’ll explore this “consumers don’t care” concept and its implications for all forms of advertising in an upcoming column. Stay tuned. For the Razorfish counterpoint, we recommend this Adweek interview with Shiv Singh, Razorfish’s social media chief, and also his insightful blog.