As marketers, we all tend to think that our content is always great. We provide value in a fun, memorable way, speaking to our audience in a manner that they enjoy.
While it would be great if that were true, the sad reality is that if we aren’t careful, our content can do more harm than good. And since both paid and organic success on social media hinges on a high-quality content strategy, it's important for brands to understand what their audience does and doesn’t want to see.
Luckily for us, Adobe recently conducted a new study of 1,000 U.S. consumers, which outlines what, specifically, annoys them most about content from brands.
Want to keep your social media audience happy and engaged? Avoid these common mistakes.
39% of consumers are annoyed by content that's too wordy or poorly written
Humans are fallible, and grammatical mistakes are bound to happen when creating a ton of content. Just keep in mind that too wordy, or poorly written content, is a big turnoff for consumers.
Be clear, concise and accurate with your language. Have another team member review your content for quality just to be safe. Perfection is not a feasable goal, but keep in mind consumers want easy to understand and digest content.
28% of consumers are annoyed by content that's poorly designed
Visual content rules the roost on social media, and it's crucially important to ensure that all of your content is visually appealing, where possible.
If creative design isn’t your forte, lean on a team member to help you out, or consider starting with a template from a platform like Canva.
At the end of the day, you're creating content with a view to convert social media consumers into customers, and your efforts simply won’t be as effective if your material is unattractive.
The majority of consumers are annoyed by content that gets too personalized and creepy
Personalization is an amazing thing - however too much of it is just plain creepy.
The key to not turning off consumers is being relevant to their situation, but not so exact that it freaks them out. Facebook has had a lot of bad press about data sharing, so you wouldn’t want your marketing message to get overshadowed by someone feeling like you are spying on them.
Offer a valuable solution to their presumed situation, not a creepy nudge that you know everything about them.
23% of consumers are annoyed by content that has been seen before, or is stale
Brands in every industry are constantly pumping out content trying to achieve the same goal, but with this competition comes the mantra of 'curating' over 'creating' content.
Be careful with this - the more a consumer sees a concept, the less impact it'll have. If your brand is the 3rd or 4th to have shared the same piece of content, it looks lame and of lesser value.
Consider putting your own spin on curated content to freshen things up a bit.
Consumers are often annoyed by content that isn’t personalized to them
As a counterbalance to point three, consumers do actually prefer content that relates to their specific question or personal situation.
It's important to create content with an audience in mind, so that everything you publish will appeal to them in some way. The relevance and relatability of your content will position your brand as a resource for consumers.
21% of consumers are annoyed by content that isn’t optimized for their device
Facebook recommends focusing on mobile-first creative as a best practice for advertising. This is smart, considering most social media content consumption takes place on a mobile device.
Considering that screen size can vary widely across devices, it's in your best interest to customize content to the device it will be consumed on. Make everything robust, easy to read and great to look at on any device.
17% of consumers are annoyed by content without video or images
While people do still enjoy reading, consumers enjoy content with video or fun imagery more than text only.
Every social media platform skews greatly towards using photos and videos, so you should look to make this a standard in your overarching content strategy.
16% of consumers are annoyed by content which promotes something they've already purchased
How frustrating is it to buy something only to see a coupon for said item after the fact?
Save yourself some trouble, and be considerate of what kind of content you serve to both customers and those who haven’t become a customer yet. You have much more control over this through social advertising. From a content strategy perspective, consider it a best practice to avoid publishing redundant promotions to people who've already converted, and can't utilize them.
Avoid the above mistakes and you'll minimize the risk of annoying your social media audience. After all, if they don’t like your content, they'll be far less likely to buy from you.