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Ads on social networks unpopular and ineffective, says study

Advertising via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ is both unpopular and largely ineffective, according to a study of French consumers’ attitudes by Ifop for Generix Group.

According to the study of 1,006 people, 68% of interviewees thought advertising on social networks was unacceptable because they didn’t go on such networks to make purchases, while 62% said that advertising on social networks was less interesting than the views of other consumers about a brand. About 59% of respondents said adverts were useless because they did not target their shopping habits.

The study did find that 19% of French consumers had made a purchasing decision after exposure to an advert on a social network, of which 9% had made a decision a number of times.

However, this compares with 60% who had made a decision after receiving an advert by mail, 56% who made a decision after viewing recommendations and comments about the relevant product or service on the internet, and 51% after receiving an ad by email. About 45% had made a decision to purchase on line after seeing an advert on TV. Only advertising via SMS was rated less effective than ads on social networks, with 15% making a purchasing decision after receiving an ad via SMS.

French consumers are also reluctant to share shopping habits with their social network communities. Only 10% of interviewees share their shopping experiences, rising to 22% of 18-24 year-olds, of which only 1% does so systematically. Seventy-five per cent never share their purchasing decisions with their social networks.

However, the study found that 40% of respondents that made a purchase after viewing an ad on a social network went on to share their experience with their community.