Although analysts have predicted that social media will continue to have a significantly positive effect on brand awareness and purchase decisions, a new report by Gartner has revealed a growing social media “fatigue” among users of sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
In a survey of some 6296 people in 11 developed countries, Gartner found that almost 25 per cent of respondents use their favourite social media website less than they did when they originally signed up. It seems that they’re concerned about online privacy issues. In the UK, this is especially pertinent since the Press Complaints Commission ruled (BusinessMan 3 March) that postings on social media sites cannot be considered private.
Although certain groups have decreased their participation, social media should continue to be a primary marketing tool in retailers’ arsenals, according to Blau. “Retailers should maintain a strong interest in social networking and look for ways to exploit these services to better reach their customers,” he said. “While today’s social networking services are mainly confined to web and mobile apps, those social experiences can be extended to include retail locations, lifestyle services, and related industries such as travel and entertainment services.”