Digital specialist dotJWT has undertaken a proactive research project focusing on South African consumer views on Facebook following the social networking site’s controversial rollout of a new Timeline format.
The dotJWT funded study saw the local agency working with an overseas research company that conducted research across a range of socio economic groupings.
Executive Digital Director Yoav Tchelet says; “In light of the big changes at Facebook we’ve obviously seen a fall off in terms of consumer engagement across a range of brands so the study has focused on how it has affected the Facebook environment at a broader level.
“Through the research we wanted to know what do South African’s aged between 18 and 40 think of the new Timeline format. How it’s affecting brands’ presence on Facebook and how they should be attracting new fans and engaging with existing ones within the new timeline framework.
“This research represents a good balance between major metropolitan areas in South Africa and there is an even split between the greater Gauteng area, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, the Northern Province, The Free State and the North West Province.”
Interestingly, 52% of those polled said they preferred the old format while 48% said they have adapted to the new format. The study also found that 52% of men and 45% of women polled are comfortable with the changes. In addition, 77% of those polled said brands need to actively reward and recognise their fans more on Facebook.
Other interesting insights showed reasons why users become brand fans and the percentage of those that follow more than ten brands, as opposed to those following less than ten brands on the social network.
“Sixty one per cent of brand fans demand special offers and regular fan-only content, while 20% say they follow brands based on brand loyalty and 19% state they follow brands to either praise or complain since they view Facebook as a customer service outlet.