Brands face ‘death by unlike’ on Facebook

Brands are experiencing ‘death by unlike’ on Facebook, with one in five (17%) users having withdrawn their like of a brand page according to a new survey.

Findings from the ‘Crossman Insights’ survey show that companies can do real damage to their brand on Facebook, with a lack of relevance, boring updates and an inappropriate number of updates the main reasons fans click ‘unlike’.

The most common reason given for ceasing to follow brand pages was irrelevant content, with 69% clicking unlike for this reason, followed by a desire to unclutter news feeds among 67%, too frequent updates from the brands experienced by 63% and content that was boring for 62% of those who clicked unlike.

Managing director at Crossman Communications, Jackie Crossman, says it’s time for brands to develop a more 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 higher levels of affiliation, trust and recommendation,” Crossman says.

The survey also found that the use of most Facebook features was highest among younger age groups. Overall, 73% of online Australians use Facebook, highest among 18-34 year olds (85%), than 35-49 year olds (74%) and 50-64 year olds (55%). Via mobile device 53% of online 18-34 year olds use a smartphone to access Facebook, compared to 22% of 35-49 year olds and just 11% of 50-64 year olds. And younger generations were also more likely to like a brand page – overall 55% of Facebook users have liked a brand page, a figure significantly lower among the older demographic (50-64 year olds) at 45%.

Crossman comments that, “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.”

Reasons for liking a brand page continue to revolve around incentives, with 69% of fans liking a page to enter a competition and three in five (58%) liking to get discounted products or free samples.

But there is also a genuine interest by consumers to interact with their favourite organisations and discover more about them, according to the study, with 55% liking a page to learn about products and services.

 

The Crossman Insights survey was conducted on the Newspoll Online Omnibus among 1223 respondents aged 18 to 64 years over the period of 16-19 February. Results were post-weighted to Australian Bureau of Statistics data on age, highest level of schooling completed, gender and location.