22.3.12 Online Aussies Content-Driven and Cut-Throat on Facebook

22.3.12 Online Aussies Content-Driven and Cut-Throat on Facebook

Companies risk death by ‘Unlike’ if they fail to find inventive ways to engage and excite their Facebook fans, and if they do not strike the optimum balance of communication that is relevant, interesting, and not too frequent a new survey has revealed.

The nationwide poll on Facebook usage found an overwhelming three in four (73%) online Australians aged 18 to 64 actively use the networking giant and more than half (55%) of these users have clicked ‘Like’ on a company and/or brand page in the last three months. However, almost one in five (17%) clicked ‘Unlike’ on an organisation’s page with lack of relevance being the number one reason cited, followed by too many updates causing a cluttered news feed, and boring content.

The results from the latest round of survey series Crossman Insights, initiated by Sydney-based public relations consultancy Crossman Communications using the Newspoll Online Omnibus, showed that 69% of Facebook users were compelled to ‘Like’ a company or brand page to be in the running to win something, and three in five (58%) said they did it to get discounted products or free samples.

Crossman Communications Managing Director, Jackie Crossman, said that with recent evidence suggesting social media is beginning to mature, there has never been a more opportune time for businesses to develop a multi-faceted, creative and sophisticated Facebook strategy that spans outside of ordinary competitions and discounts to keep fans engaged and informed.

“Online Aussies are displaying a high level of curiosity and sincerity when loving up company and brand pages on Facebook, but they also have exacting standards. To avoid being killed off by the dreaded ‘Unlike’ button, businesses need to come up with innovative and clever ways to converse with their fan base – especially once a competition has ended – to drive online casino bonus offer higher levels of affiliation, trust and recommendation,” Ms Crossman said.

The survey findings highlighted a genuine interest by consumers to interact with their favourite organisations and discover more about them. More than half (55%) said they were fans of company Facebook pages because they wanted to learn about products and services, 53% wanted to gain access to exclusive content, 53% wanted to follow the company’s news, and 51% wanted to share contents of the page with their friends.

Leading the charge in Facebook usage is the 18-34 year olds – almost nine in 10 (85%) are active users of the site and more than half (53%) access it through their smartphone – a staggering 22% higher than the total benchmark (31%). This group are also significantly more likely to interact with a company/brand page and click ‘Like’ on a on a friend’s link, photo, or status update.

Ms Crossman said, “The younger demographic are the biggest and most frequent Facebook users accessing it through various mediums, but they are also the most fickle. They will hit the ‘Unlike’ button if a company or friend’s page is dull, or cluttering their news feed with too many posts.”

“Marketers are now learning about the key benefits and pitfalls of social media through experience. Many companies have moved from interacting with customers on networking sites with a nervous, trial-and-error approach, to recognising that outlets like Facebook are a vital part of the marketing mix,” she said.

Crossman Insights is a survey series designed to capture the thoughts and mood of heartland Australia in relation to a range of national issues. Previous polls have looked at what Aussies were doing for the summer holidays, whether consumers care what country their food comes from, and Australians’ views on advertising and sponsorship by sports betting agencies.