Fearless Millennials are continuing to shape the rules of social media engagement with a high proportion of
trust for posts by brands and an affinity for liking brands online tempered by an aversion to clicking on
social media advertising.
The latest in the Crossman Insights research series*, an online Newspoll survey of more than 1200 Aussies
aged 18-64 showed that among those who have used social media, six in ten claim to follow or ‘like’
brands, with the 18-34 year olds (at 70%) considerably more amenable to ongoing engagement than the
35-49 (57%) and 50-64 (41%) age brackets.
The younger generation is also far more likely to believe and trust in branded social media content. The poll
revealed that 70% of 18-34 year olds believe posts by brands on social media are trustworthy, compared
with 55% of 35-49 year olds and 49% of those aged 50-64.
Jackie Crossman, Managing Director of Crossman Communications, the Sydney-based public relations
consultancy which commissioned the poll, said the results reveal an opportunity for brands in Australia.
“We tend to think of the younger generation as being apathetic and increasingly discerning when it comes
to attempts to market to them, but this shows that when they are on board, they are clearly open to
branded messaging,” Ms Crossman said.
“The rate of engagement is strong and that reflects brands shifting towards truly integrated digital
strategies where social channels are treated as key messaging platforms.”
The wake-up call from the poll was the need for marketers to develop the right strategy and content to
encourage more engagement with social media advertising.
Just 12% of respondents said they regularly click on social media ads, with a quarter claiming to
occasionally engage and a third rarely. A sizeable three in ten people claim to have never clicked on
advertising, despite the increasingly targeted nature of online marketing.
Only 7% of the 18 to 24 year olds click on social advertising regularly and that’s way below the 15% of the
25-49 age range and on a par with the 50-64 year olds, of whom just 6% regularly click on ads.
“This shows that despite increasing investment in online advertising, deeper engagement isnât necessarily
occurring, especially when you consider that recent ComScore research showed more than half of the
advertising banners being clicked were by accident,” she said.
“Marketers using social media seem to be building trust over time with editorial-style content, but the poll
would suggest that overcoming consumer reticence to advertising may continue to be a tough sell.”
*Crossman Insights is a survey series designed to capture the thoughts and mood of heartland Australia.