In my opinion, many brands undervalue the importance of social media communication with customers and the impact it can have on the brand. I think this is evident in the fact that many companies still assign the management of social media to a junior member of staff. They may well be capable of managing it but they are communicating with customers on behalf of the brand and it is a very important role.

Research by Sprout Social into how brands are annoying customers on social media, provides interesting insight into the attitude of consumers to a brand’s communication on social media. For this research, they surveyed more than 1,000 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users to determine what annoys them about brands on social and what causes them to unfollow brands.

The Findings

The Good


The research found that 74% of people follow a brand because they are interested in their product or service, which is a good indicator that social media is a worthwhile channel to pursue and engage with customers/potential customers.

The Bad


What was interesting about the research was that 59% of people said they followed a brand because they are interested in receiving promotions from the company but 58% of people said they found it annoying if a brand posted too many promotions and 46% of followers would unfollow a brand because of it. This is a very interesting finding because it indicates that followers on social media can be fickle, they want offers but they don’t want too many offers so it is a case of striking the right balance.

The research also found that 42% of followers, follow a brand because they are interested in their industry and 42% of followers would unfollow a brand if the content posted on social media by the brand is not relevant or of interest to them.

This indicates that a brand’s communication needs to be consistent and focus on providing followers with interesting and relevant content without over selling their own products and services.

The Ugly



35% will unfollow a brand for Tweeting too much!

52% of people follow a brand because they find the brand interesting but customers want a brand’s communication on social media to reflect the values and personality of the brand with 35% of people finding it annoying when a brand’s social media activity does not have any personality. 32% of followers find it annoying when a brand tries to be funny and it’s not!

38% of followers find it annoying when a brand uses slang or jargon to communicate on social media and 30% of followers would unfollow a brand for it.

Finally, 25% of people follow a brand to communicate with the brand and 24% of people find it annoying when a brand does not reply to a message they sent through social media. 18% of people will unfollow a brand for the offence!



Social Media is an extremely important communication tool for a brand. It needs to be managed on an ongoing basis and more importantly, brands need to develop a social media strategy that will meet customers’ expectations and satisfy their desire for relevant and engaging content that is reflective of the brands true personality.

Download our Social Media Strategy Framework for some more free advice.

Features image by

Cathal Quinn