It was only a matter of time.
A new social media marketing survey making headlines indicates that the non-stop onslaught of messages from companies and professional firms large and small is causing the general public to “break up” with them — unsubscribe, unfriend, unfollow.
Citing unsettling findings in the new “Social Break-Up” research from ExactTarget and CoTweet, Jay Baer observed that “Regardless of platform, receiving too many messages from too many marketers is a very likely cause of subsequent break-ups, throwing dead weight over the side of the social and email ship until it floats again.”
A Social Media Today post split the blame between extensive messaging and little relevancy as the major reasons why consumers leave Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, or unsubscribe to email lists.
The survey authors asked 1,561 U.S. online users ages 15 and older why they’ve stopped engaging with companies through e-mail and social media:
– 54% messages sent too frequently
– 49% content repetitive and boring
– 47% too many emails sent by brand
– 25% messages were irrelevant from start
– 22% subscribed for a one-time offer
– 44% company authored too many posts
– 43% wall became glutted with marketing
– 38% messages repetitive and boring
– 24% posts were overly promotional
– 19% content was irrelevant from start
– 52% messages repetitive and boring
– 41% stream became inundated with marketing
– 39% company tweeted too frequently
– 21% tweets were overly promotional
– 15% content was irrelevant from start
This survey reminded me of a recent post of Adrian Dayton’s that addressed the same phenomenon in an overused and therefore frequently ignored form of social messaging specific to legal marketing: the client alert.
So the phenomenon is real, big and pervasive. Yet there’s not much we can do about it. All direct response marketing is a matter of optimizing the probability that an item will be 1) opened/read and 2) acted upon.
The effectiveness of content marketing campaigns is a function of interactions among many factors, including:
* Frequency of distribution
* Form factor (i.e. design, formatting, length)
* Content quality & relevance
* Competing messages
* List quality
Until bigger and better minds than mine come up with a brilliant cap-and-trade solution, our best remedy is to focus on 1) useful content that grabs attention and 2) campaign design, planning and rigor.
The error is not in “spraying and praying” — because you don’t know what works until you try — but rather in not tracking, measuring and refining your content marketing strategy and tactics.