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Consumers resent brands invading their social networks

Anuradha Shukla | Nov. 11, 2011
TNS report shows half of consumers in AP don’t want to be bothered in social networks.

Consumers resent brands invading their social networks, according to a newly released global study by TNS, part of Kantar, one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups.

Findings from TNS' Digital Life study indicate that businesses should target their efforts more carefully as they are wasted on 51 per cent of those online in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Sixty-six percent of those surveyed in South Korea and 58 percent in Australia do not want to engage with brands via social media.

Forty-three percent of Singaporeans and 42 percent of online users in Hong Kong said they were not interested in brands over social media networks.

"Winning and retaining customers is harder than ever," said Arnaud Frade, regional director digital strategy, TNS Asia Pacific. "While there are obvious and very significant opportunities for brands online, success will only come from a deliberate strategy, considered tactics and careful tailoring, aligned to a market, a channel, a category or even a group of individuals. Getting this wrong and adding to the cacophony of noise in the online world risks alienating potential customers and impacting business growth." 

Digital waste

Businesses not aware of these facts are continuing to invest in digital strategies, which are resulting in mountains of digital waste.

Social networking sites are popular all across the world and about 60 percent of people in Asia Pacific said they find social networks to be a good place to learn about products. However, TNS says that brands must harness digital media more carefully if they are to use it to their advantage.

The research firm suggests that brands must carefully plan and manage online engagement in order to avoid alienating consumers and doing more harm than good.

"Digital waste is the accumulation of thousands of brands rushing online without thinking who they want to talk to - and why. While many brand owners understand the value and relevance of the vast online world, many fail to understand the audience they are connecting with," said Frade.

"Control is firmly in the hands of consumers. The goal should therefore be to understand your target audience intimately, enabling your brand to connect openly and with integrity. This also means that selecting the right online approach and focusing on efficient messaging are critical to be relevant."


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