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UK Insights

The top ten most hated posts on social media

Kirsty Cooke

UK Editor

Social 28.06.2018 / 07:00

u ok hun

Lightspeed found out which types of posts would have people reaching for the hypothetical ‘dislike’ button… are you guilty?

There Are 10 Things You Should Never Do On Social Media. Number 5 Made Me Cry Into My Cereal… And You Won’t Believe What Happened Next.

We could all find friends, relatives and indeed brands that we follow on social channels who sometimes post or share content we find, frankly, reprehensible. In fact, we’ve likely unfollowed someone based on an unforgiveable blunder (or many). And we’ve probably made some ourselves, either personally or for our brands.

Lightspeed conducted a survey to uncover the types of social media post MOST likely to rile up your followers.

1. Fake news stories – 56%

2. Ads you have to click past – 46%

3. Chain posts forcing you to share – 42%

4. Ads where the sound comes on without warning – 41%

5. Public displays of affection (I love you soooooo oooooooh much, you’re the best husband in the world, etc.) – 40%

6. Repetitive posts – 38%

7. Duck face selfies – 34%

8. Airing dirty laundry – 34%

9. Fake outrage – 34%

10. Clickbait – 33%

So how can brands and human beings alike can avoid these pitfalls to stay relevant, engaging and loved?

The number one result was #FakeNews – whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, it’s becoming harder to distinguish truth from fact, and the UK public’s trust in social media has plummeted – our Trust in News study from the end of last year showed that just 28.9% of people trusted social media as news source (compared to 74.8% for 24-hour news channels, for example).

Hearteningly, more than three quarters of news consumers in that study claim to have independently fact-checked a story to verify it, while 70% have reconsidered sharing an article – worried that it might be fake. On the flip side, 15.3% of UK news consumers admit to sharing a story after reading only the headline.  

Facebook recently announced changes to its newsfeed that would help combat the rise of fake news, saying it will show fewer posts from publishers, and those it does show will be ranked according to how trustworthy they are perceived to be by users. Users, in turn, get to rate stories they see to help Facebook make these tricky assessments.

But will real news suppliers be negatively impacted? Genuine publishers are relying on the platform to bring traffic to their sites, and unless a friend or family member actively shares a story, users are unlikely to see it. As a brand, you will need to be very careful not only in what you write, but in what you share on social channels, and where you advertise – one fake story (or association with one) can be very damaging to your reputation.

Annoying adverts

It *is* frustrating when you are forced to watch an advert before you can get on with scrolling through your feeds, or when a brand's theme tune blasts announced from your speakers. But that’s not because people hate ads altogether – it’s just about control. Gen Z (Centennials) in particular have been found to crave more control when it comes to things like advertising, data privacy, and protecting personal data on social media. According to Kantar Media TGI data, those between 18 and 24 years old are 22% more likely than the average UK adult to use ad blockers.

The Kantar Millward Brown report AdReaction found that younger consumers (especially Gen Z) like control over online advertising, whether it’s having the ability to skip, vote, interact, or choosing whether to enable sound. They don’t like formats which offer no control over the experience.

Jane Ostler, Kantar Millward Brown: ‘People watch online video without sound up to 85% of the time, according to various publisher sources. This raises some creative challenges for advertisers who use online video on PCs or mobile devices as part of a campaign. With the sound off, all the audio cues that we know are generally effective in TV – such as voiceovers, music, and brand mnemonics (like the Intel one), are not able to be utilised as vehicles to aid brand communication. This has significant impact for creative development.’

Subtitles become a vital part of the communication. A 2016 Kantar Millward Brown study for AdColony (the online video distribution network) comparing two versions of a sound-off video – one with subtitles, one without – proved that brand impact and comprehension was better with subtitles.

Ostler notes that keeping these videos simple is crucial. ‘Without sound, communication is even more of a challenge, which means that all the other visual stimuli need to be simple and clear, with visible and recognisable brand elements. And the smaller the screen, the simpler it needs to be.’

The oversharer and overposter

The public seem to be rather unforgiving when it comes to oversharing, with both public displays of affection and public displays of anger making it into the top ten. Repetitive posts also feature in the list, thankfully just the once, so maybe we are just reaching content overload?

It’s annoying enough when Uncle Geoffrey decides to do a daily poll about his sandwiches, or you get a daily update on the wedding countdown (yup, it’s one day closer… again) but when brands get repetitive, it can be really bad news not only for their engagement rates but also brand image.

On the flip side, it’s worth posting frequently enough that people still see your content – those pesky algorithms eschew chronology, so don’t expect that a monthly update to your fans will be enough.

As much as we promote the merits of ‘authenticity’ (and a recent Kantar Millward Brown study revealed that the brands using the most ‘human’ language on their own Instagram/Facebook sites perform best when it comes to brand-building through social advertising), there is clearly a limit: we don't need to see the dirty laundry.

And, as indicated by the inclusion of ‘fake outrage’ in our top ten, brands would be wise not to confuse being ‘authentic’ with simply sharing cause-based content or Tweeting their sympathies about global events. If it doesn't link to your brand purpose, it might be wiser to stick with clickbait. 

Source : Lightspeed, Kantar Millward Brown, Kantar Media

Editor's Notes

Lightspeed asked 1435 respondents in the UK and Australia: ‘We recently asked a group of people to tell us the most annoying things they have seen on social media. Below is a list of the some of the things that were mentioned. Which of these annoy you too?’

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