Majority of consumers ignoring ads on social networking sites – Mintel

Two-thirds (66pc) of UK consumers rarely pay attention to ads on social networking sites and over half (56pc) say they don’t like to buy products that they have seen advertised on such sites, according to research from Mintel.

The Mintel report The Social Network and Social Media Market in the UK – May 2011also finds that number of consumers agreeing that they rarely pay attention to ads on social networking sites increases to 70pc of users aged 25 to 34. And just 11pc of consumers say they actively pay attention to advertising on social networks whilst almost a third (31pc) listen instead to recommendations for products and services from their online social network.

“Our research does not suggest that advertising on social networks is ineffective, but that social network users may not find ads on social networks particularly memorable or relevant, on a conscious level at least,” said Cecilia Liao, senior technology analyst at Mintel.

“This highlights the fact that companies who want to use social media as a promotional tool need to look beyond text ads or interactive banners and invest in actual engagement with the consumers. Static ads are not always the best way forward for consumer interaction, which is why it’s so important for marketers to use social networks to communicate and engage with customers through organic content, status updates and interesting creative campaigns.”