​Facebook use in UK down by nine percent since last year

Posted: May 21, 2013

The Drum
By Angela Haggerty

Privacy concerns and irritation with social media marketing has led Facebook use in the UK to drop by nine per cent year-on-year, according to a YouGov SixthSense report.

The number of UK internet users who have quit social media sites because of social media marketing promotions is up 28 per cent points from April last year, while one fifth stopped using sites because of fears their information could be given to third parties.

The report revealed 45 per cent of social media users liked or joined the page of a brand or company compared to half that number (22 per cent) following a brand on Twitter. However, overall findings showed 35 per cent of users hid companies' updates if they updated to often and users responded negatively towards marketing strategies.

Only one in 20 Facebook users said they had clicked on an ad in the last year and less than one in 10 felt it had any relevance to them, indicating the increase in Facebook advertising and marketing is putting people off the network.

Moving slightly against the overall flow were men aged between 25 and 39, who were found to be significantly more likely than average to agree that targeted advertising was relevant to them, at 21 per cent.

YouGov SixthSense research director James McCoy said: "This report shows that reaching potential customers through social media is rather different from doing so through traditional media channels.

"The proportion of Facebook users who are tuning out brands' marketing efforts clearly indicates that a savvier approach is needed.

"While there are significant challenges, this report identifies potential opportunities for marketers to build on, such as the relatively high proportion of young men who respond positively to targeted ads on social media."

The report also indicated that followers/likers of companies or brands were more likely to be current customers hunting for a deal and 47 per cent of all social media users would be encouraged to like or follow a company for special offers.