For Brands, Is There a Danger in Being Too Social?

In our last post, we talked about how Reebok has decided to reduce its social media footprint to focus on its most important brands and products.

At a time when being social has become table stakes in the corporate world, it seems strange to do less by pruning services that aren’t important or performing.

But there is growing evidence that brands may have to take a more measured, focused approach to social media. Rather than trying to be everywhere and support all of their marketing efforts, brands may have to pick their spots and focus on quality rather than quantity.

A survey done by SocialVibe in October found that one-third of U.S. Internet users decided to disconnect from a brand because there were too many updates.

emarketer social media

As much as social media has become a place to publishing and share content, engage and have conversations, maybe there is a limit to how much consumers want to hear from a brand.

It could be like driving down the highway and seeing billboard after billboard advertising the same product. After while, consumers start to tune out due to over-kill.

For brands, this should prompt them to look at the following:

1. An audit of their social media activity across the board to get a better idea about how much of it is resonating and/or getting a reaction.

2. A hard look at whether the amount of tweets, retweets, updates, shares, etc. is too much. Perhaps this could mean experimenting with doing less to see if there is a change in consumer behaviour.

3. A look at whether every product or service needs a Twitter and Facebook account. For many brands, there are easy boxes to tick when putting together a strategic and tactical plan, but are we simply being lazy rather than meeting the needs of consumers?

4. Pruning their social media portfolios to eliminate under-performing services or those not getting much of a following or interest. The upside is the services that remain in the portfolio will receive move attention and resources, thereby creating the opportunity to improve their performance.

5. Conducting a big-picture look at the role that social media is playing and whether the investment is generating the required ROI, compared with other marketing and sales programs that are happening or could be embraced.

Admittedly, being less can be a difficult decision amid the current fascination with all things social.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to figuring the right amount based on a balance between what a brand wants to achieve and what consumers want to accept.