A global research project, incorporating more than 6,200 people, claims that up to 30% of people in some of the world’s most developed countries have reduced their daily use of social media*.
Approximately twenty five percent of those surveyed as part of the research said the time spent using their favourite social networks had decreased in the last year. The decline in the popularity of social networks was most noticeable in Brazil and Russia, where between 30 and 40 per cent of those studied is now less enthusiastic about socialising online. Social networks are still used more frequently by people in the UK, US and Japan with only 20 per cent of respondents cutting back on their use of social media.
Worryingly for brands and marketers who have invested heavily in new strategies specifically targeting social media is the conclusion that 31% of young, mobile and brand-conscious people, known as ‘aspirers’ state they are fed up with social networks. This will concern businesses eager to tap into the lucrative opportunities of social media brought about by the growing smartphone and tablet market.
The early adopters of online networking represent the biggest opportunity for advertising revenue and commercial success and therefore companies will now have to re-think the ways in which they engage with their audience.
It is not just enough for social media websites and platforms to connect people anymore – they need to actively engage with users, piquing interests and keeping users coming back. With the digital generation constantly needing stimulation, brands need to think hard about how they will keep their audience enthused.
“Social media providers will need to innovate and diversify to keep consumer attention,” said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner, “Branded content needs to be kept fresh and must be able to capture people’s attention instantly.”
It is worth considering what could have caused this downturn in the popularity of social networks, have people run out of things to say to each other, do they have less to share or are they simply just bored? Are there too many different social networks to choose from or are people being attracted to alternative entertainment online?