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BizReport : Social Marketing : May 29, 2013

Ad fatigue affects UK Facebook users

Hot on the heels of research by Pew that U.S. teens are becoming tired of the drama and social obligations of Facebook, new data has been presented by British market research outfit YouGov that shows a drop in the use of the social network across the pond in the U.K.

by Helen Leggatt

yougov logo.pngAccording to Pew's recent research, the frequency of teen social media usage in the U.S. may have plateaued. The number of teen social media users who check in several times each day hasn't changed significantly since 2011. However, during the same period, teens' use of Twitter is up significantly - from 16% of 12-17 year olds in the U.S. in 2011 to nearly a quarter (24%) today.

American teens quoted snooping parents and too much 'drama' and inane ramblings as their main reasons for changing attitudes towards Facebook.

The situation in the U.K. is different. There it is annoyance with social media advertising and privacy concerns that has caused a 9% year-on-year drop in Facebook use.

YouGov's study of 1,995 British adults in March, 2013, found an 18% year-on-year rise in the number of Facebook users citing marketing messages as their reason for abandoning social media sites. Just one in 20 Facebook users said they had clicked on an ad in the past 12 months, and less than one in 10 said they felt targeted ads on social media had any relevance to them.

Facebook users aren't entirely dismissive of marketing and brands on the social network. Almost half (45%) had Liked or joined the Page of a brand or company on Facebook, twice as many as those Following a brand on Twitter. Furthermore, young men between the ages of 25 and 39 are far more likely than average to say that targeted ads are relevant to them, with 21% agreeing ad content is relevant, according to the survey.

However, 35% of users hid updates from brands and businesses if updates were too frequent. Commenting on the report, YouGov SixthSense research director James McCoy said it "shows that reaching potential customers through social media is rather different from doing so through traditional media channels. The proportion of Facebook users who are tuning out brands' marketing efforts clearly indicates that a savvier approach is needed".

Tags: brand marketing, Facebook, social ads, social marketing, social media, targeted advertising, U.K., U.S.

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