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Study shows Kiwis resent brands invading their social media

Businesses are wasting time and money trying to reach people online without realising many resent brands invading their social space. This is according to findings from TNS’s Digital Life study, the most comprehensive view of online consumer behaviour available today, surveying more than 72,000 consumers in 60 countries, including over a thousand New Zealanders.

The race to engage with customers online has seen businesses across the world develop profiles on social networks – but TNS’s research reveals that if these efforts are not carefully targeted and well executed, they are wasted on over half of their target audience.

54 percent of New Zealanders said they do not want to engage with brands via social media. But it seems we want to have our cake and eat it too, with 67 percent admitting to joining brand communities for a promotion or special offer.

TNS managing director Jason Shoebridge says it’s no surprise that the push for all brands to engage with customers on social media has created a huge volume of noise or ‘digital waste’, which is making it increasingly difficult for anyone to be heard, and risks alienating potential customers.

“Whether it’s their email inbox or Facebook news feed, consumers are sick of being constantly bombarded with brand messages. The way for businesses to stand out is to use insight like the Digital Life study to carefully identify and understand their online audience, and target their efforts accordingly. Now more than ever, firms need to deploy precisely tailored strategies to realise the massive opportunity that the online world presents.”

Surprisingly, the study has also revealed that people are more likely to compliment rather than criticise companies online, with 15 percent and 11 percent of Kiwis saying they have posted positive and negative comments online respectively. New Zealanders also tend to value the opinion of other consumers, with 40 percent saying they have asked for advice online, while a third said they had posted product reviews themselves.

When it comes to group buying sites like GrabOne or shopping on mobile devices, Kiwis are still treading cautiously compared to global trends.

“Kiwi businesses should take the lessons learned from the online space to the emerging mobile space. Brands shouldn’t be building smartphone apps just for the sake of it – they need to deliver real value to users, otherwise it will just become another piece of digital waste,” added Mr Shoebridge.

An interactive version of the key findings can be found at www.tnsdigitallife.com.

Key NZ findings:

  •  33 percent have written about products online (47 percent globally)
  • 40 percent have asked for advice on social networks (global 46 percent)
  • 15 percent have praised brands on social networks (global 13 percent)
  • 11 percent have complained about brands on social networks (global 10 percent)
  • 39 percent think social networks are a good place to learn about brands (global 54 percent)
  • 23 percent think social networks are a good place to buy products (global 40 percent)
  • 67 percent have joined a brand community for a promotion or special offer (global 61 percent)
  • 54 percent don’t want to be bothered by brands on social network (global 53 percent)
  • 15 percent use group buying sites like GrabOne (global 24 percent)
  • 33 percent would use the internet more if it was cheaper (global 38 percent)
  • 10 percent of mobile internet users have purchased products using their phone (global 22 percent)

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