This summer, I directed research on consumers' attitudes toward marketing. We surveyed more than 2,300 consumers and interviewed nearly 100 people on the street.
Among our findings was that 70% of consumers who visit Facebook at least once a month and are a "fan" of at least one company or brand don't believe they have given those companies permission to market to them. Moreover, 40% of those "fans" don't believe marketers are welcome in social networks at all.
Getting people to identify themselves as fans is obviously a good thing, but what is the value if consumers don't believe they are kindling a relationship with marketers when doing so?
The following insights from the study* will help you understand how companies can capitalize on this demonstration of enthusiasm without turning fans off.
Consider the environment
People visit social networks to communicate with current friends, catch up with old friends, and otherwise express themselves.
A full 44% of people who are fans of at least one company or brand on Facebook also say social networks should be used strictly for interpersonal communication.
They don't believe marketers are welcome. To them, self-identification as a fan is not an invitation; it is an expression of personal taste or style intended to be shared primarily with friends.