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BizReport : Loyalty Marketing : November 09, 2010

Cone: Social media users' brand-love limited, wrath unlimited

This year's Cone New Media Study contains some interesting findings around the limit of a consumer's brand loyalty on social media. It appears consumers only have room for so much brand-love but abuse that love and "un-Liking" might be the least of your worries.

by Helen Leggatt

Cone's study found that while millions of brands are accessible on social platforms, just five brands can command the loyalty and trust of social media users at any one time.

"With the world's most loved brands a click of the mouse away, new media users still choose to demonstrate affinity (e.g., "like" on Facebook, "follow" on Twitter or subscribe to an RSS feed) for an average of only 4.6 companies online, making this club one of the most exclusive to which a company can hope to gain access," says Cone.

Consumers are a flighty lot and, while tempting them to Like or Follow a brand may be as easy as offering discounts and promotions, unless they have good reason to hang around they will move on. To this end, social media marketing must incorporate compelling content and an ongoing, transparent, dialogue.

And, be aware that the flow of information on social media sites isn't always positive. The wrath of a dissatisfied social media user can travel far and wide. Cone found that over half of dissatisfied consumers (58%) remove their support on Facebook and Twitter.

Worse still, some unhappy social media users will use every social outlet possible to make sure the world and his wife know about a brand's faux pas. This is amply demonstrated by recent shenanigans involving blogger Monica Gaudio and Cooks Source magazine.

Having "stolen" content from Monica's blog, and published it in their magazine almost word-for-word, Cooks Source's Facebook Page has been taken over by thousands of Monica's supporters.

However, it appears editor Judith Griggs not only doesn't "get" online copyright or plagiarism, she also doesn't understand why Cooks Source's "friend" count has risen.

Her current Page status reads, "Well, here I am with egg on my face! I did apologize to Monica via email, but apparently it wasn't enough for her. To all of you, thank you for your interest in Cooks Source and Again, to Monica, I am sorry -- my bad!

You did find a way to get your "pound of flesh..." we used to have 110 "friends", we now have 1,870... wow!"

Wow, indeed, because she now has nearly 6,000 "friends". Unfortunately, 99.9% of them are not there to applaud her publication or editorial skills.

Tags: brand awareness, consumer loyalty, social media, social network

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  • Helen Leggatt

    Thanks for pointing that out - duly amended.

  • Raven

    Trivia point: the magazine doesn't use an apostrophe in its title, "Cooks Source". Otherwise, good summary.

    The editor's disrespect of copyright turns out not to have been a one-time anomaly, however: commenters are tabulating items the magazine had taken off the Web; currently the count's at 160.



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