The title of my post is a paraphrasing of a quote said by Roger Warner, Managing Director of Content & Motion, a Social PR firm in the UK, which would probably account for the use of the word “royally.”

Mr. Warner was referring to a study recently done by his firm on the use of social media by brands. This is his full quote:

“Brands are royally screwing up on social media. People use Facebook to talk to people, not to talk to brands. Those brands who continually fail to get this are tomorrow’s spam and will be screened out… forever.”

Now, he was referring to only Facebook at the time but rest assured his quote and sentiment can be applied to ALL of social media, as witnessed by the findings in the aforementioned study, which by the way are accompanied by some very creative graphics…

For example…


If you can’t make out all the percentages, allow me…

  • 70% of people don’t attach any meaningful value to a brand’s persona
  • 60% care more for message quality and creativity than delivery channel or technology used
  • 75% of people think one or two Facebook messages a day is too much to receive from a brand
  • 80% of people interact with brands less than once a day on Facebook while 20% do so more than once a day or more

Translation:  People don’t care about your brand when it comes to Facebook. Sure you can post once, maybe twice a day but no more. And when you do post Mr. & Mrs. Brand make it worth your customers and prospective customer’s while. In other words, save the “Look at me” crap for your website and press releases. Make it fun, creative… you know the stuff people actually want to read.

Isn’t that image/graphic very cool? Told you…

Here’s another one…


I want you to pay close attention to the bottom right corner of the above image. See the line that reads “55% of people that follow brands get involved in competitions and brand promos?

Back in December I told you of the The Major Disconnect Between Brands and Consumers When It Comes to Social Media then just a few weeks later of the Even More Proof of the Major Disconnect Between Brands and Consumers When It Comes to Social Media.

The two aforementioned posts dealt directly with Grand Canyon-esque divide between what brands think the reason consumers follow/engage them via social media vs. why consumers actually do it.

People like and want to be rewarded… they want the promos, the contests, the games. So give it to them!

BUT… make the promos, the contests and the games worth it. In other words don’t make the grand prize something lame, give them something of value… real value.

Note the “20% feel that incentives are not worth the effort” in the upper right corner in the image below.

And make them easy to enter and to understand. This isn’t NASA, not that there’s anything wrong with NASA.

Note the “40% of people feel that brand promos are too complex to enter” in the same section.


However this image above contains a message that should make all brand managers, social media managers and so on sit up and take notice… big time.

Over 50% of people feel overwhelmed by brand messages on social media.

Yeah there’s some other juicy tidbits in the image above such as the fact that only 20% actively post to brand pages.

But to me the fact that over half of the respondents said they felt overwhelmed by the messages being spewed by brands via social media is downright alarming.

To me this is a clear and present message that you as brand managers and social media managers need to A) carefully decide what it is your going to share, especially via Facebook and B) keep the messages to a minimum.

Everyone is completely inundated with messages these days be they advertising or social media or something else.

It is very easy for someone to feel overwhelmed and then ultimately remove the root cause of their anxiety, if you will and in the context of social media that translates into their unliking and unfollowing you. And even worse telling all their friends all about how you made them feel overwhelmed.

One last image from the study is what I will leave you with and it absolutely, positively says it all.


Your thoughts please… and yes you can overwhelm me with your comments, you have my permission.

Are Brands Royally Screwing Up On Social Media?

Source: Content & Motion

Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review, Steve Olenski is a freelance writer/blogger currently looking for full-time work. He has worked on some of the biggest brands in the world and has over 20 years experience in advertising and marketing. He lives in Philly and can be reached via emailTwitterLinkedIn or his website.