According to Kantar TNS, Over a Quarter of Social Users Ignore Brands

  • Consumers are turning their back on branded content as 39% ‘actively ignore’ social posts or advertisements from brands
  • Snapchat and Instagram usage soars as one third of U.S internet-users are on Snapchat whilst two in five use Instagram as photos and memories dominate online content
  • Young people lead the way on social with nearly half of Snapchat’s monthly users sharing ‘in-the-moment’ content aged between 16 and 24
  • Rise of the ‘Insta-Gran’ continues with 15% of U.S internet users aged 55 – 65 now embracing Instagram

NEW YORK – Consumers are turning their back on brands as 39% of U.S. respondents ‘actively ignore’ social posts or content, despite soaring usage of popular social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram.

Over a quarter of social users ignore brands #ConnectedLife

The popularity of Instagram and Snapchat has soared in the last two years as people seek out real, personal and ‘in-the-moment’ content, according to a new study of over 70,000 consumers from global research consultancy Kantar TNS.

One in three U.S internet-users (34%) is now on Snapchat, a huge jump from just 19% two years ago. Instagram has also seen a surge in popularity, with U.S usage jumping to 43%, up from 29% in 2014.

The new research from Kantar TNS reveals that brands will struggle to get people to engage with them as many consumers feel bombarded by presence of brands on social platforms, with 33% saying they feel ‘constantly followed’ by online advertising.

Kris Hull, Head of Client Solutions and North American Digital Lead at Kantar TNS, said:

“The rise of Instagram and Snapchat taps into people’s desire for instant, entertaining content from friends, peers and influencers, often enhanced by fun filters and editing. There is a real opportunity for brands to tap into this trend by creating “personable” and shareable content, such as videos and stories. The challenge is how to focus the right content to the right people, on the right platforms and at the right moments.

“Some brands are getting it spot on – in the past year we’ve seen the likes of Disney, Starbucks and McDonald’s use Snapchat’s filters to engage consumers in a way that doesn’t feel intrusive. This is key to overcoming many people’s fundamental negative perceptions of brand activity online.”

Kantar TNS’s study found that influencers and celebrities hold the key to swaying people’s views of brands. Thirty-two percent (32%) of 16 – 24 year olds say they trust what people say online about brands more than ‘official’ sources, such as newspapers, brands’ own websites or TV ads.

While young people are the biggest social media users across all platforms, the rise of the ‘Insta-Gran’ is also gaining momentum; fifteen percent of internet users aged 55 – 65 now use Instagram, a 47% jump since this time last year. The appeal of in-the-moment photo-sharing is also growing in this group with 9% of those aged 55 – 65 on Snapchat, up from 3% in 2015.

The rise in users of all ages spells opportunity for brands that can create engaging and shareable content. However, with 43% of respondents objecting to the idea of their online behavior being tracked by ads, they need to tread carefully.

Hull continued: “Younger people are more influencer-oriented than ever before, trusting bloggers and peers rather than information from brands. The older generation’s ‘influencer network’ is still primarily friends and family, but considering this group’s adoption of other trends, we may very soon see them going online for inspiration and information.

“Brands need to focus on three simple measures:

1. Get better at creating engaging content which can be used across multiple channels.

2. Work hand-in-hand with influencers as trusted sources of information and advice. Influencer partnerships are a great way to create that raw, authentic content that people want.

3. Get under the skin of what motivates and excites each of their customers. The reality is everyone is using multiple channels and they’re eager to engage with brands when the message and timing are right.”

About Connected Life

Connected Life is a leading global study of the digital attitudes and behaviours of 70,000 internet users across 57 countries. It uses comprehensive analysis of how connectivity changes people’s behavior to address the big challenges for marketers. It does so by looking in detail at consumers, connections, content and commerce, providing the strategic guidance needed to keep, engage and influence the people that matter.

The fieldwork was undertaken in all markets between June and September 2016. Instagram and Snapchat usage measured by those who identified as using platform at all (daily, weekly, monthly or less often).

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About Kantar TNS

Kantar TNS is one of the world’s largest research agencies with experts in over 80 countries. We provide actionable insights to help companies make impactful decisions and drive growth.

With expertise in innovation, brand and communication, shopper activation and customer relationships we help our clients identify, optimise and activate the moments that matter to drive growth for their business. We are part of Kantar, one of the world’s leading data, insight and consultancy companies.

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About Kantar

Kantar is one of the world’s leading data, insight and consultancy companies. Working together across the whole spectrum of research and consulting disciplines, its specialist brands, employing 30,000 people, provide inspirational insights and business strategies for clients in 100 countries. Kantar is part of WPP and its services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies.