Are Canadians Growing Bored of Social Media?

We’re an intensely curious bunch at Well Researched and we’re constantly collecting and analyzing what consumers are discussing online for digital market research. Looking back at some data we’ve collected over the past year and a bit as we were working on another project, we noted a shift with Canadians and their social media habits. So we asked the data…are Canadians bored with social media?

As with any question like this, the answer is yes and no. Maybe even “bored” isn’t the right word. In our recently released Consumer Big Data Omnibus we showed how consumers are changing what they share. Turns out, how they’re engaging is changing as well.

What’s Happening With Canadians and Social Media?
Based on our findings, it appears that Canadians are in part fatigued and in part changing the nature of many of their conversation styles. The chart below shows the five main issues we uncovered about Canadians views on social media. Perhaps not entirely surprising.

 

 

Global News
About 29% of Canadians find global news to be either stressful or depressing. It’s not stopping them from discussing what’s going on, but many indicate they either adjust their filters to dampen it down or avoid social media feeds where they see a lot of the news they don’t like.

US Election - Stressed and Tired
Canadians are largely fascinated and highly opinionated on the U.S. elections underway. It’s also a major reason people are dampening their social feeds for the elections. Most cite fatigue with the constant barrage and some say the thought of Trump as president scares them. 

Advertising Formats
Around 19% claim they’re frustrated with how advertising is being presented to them in major social media channels such as Facebook and news channels and that they often find the ads either irrelevant or increasingly intrusive in their objective to getting to the content. This is especially so with mobile usage. Secondly they cite a lack of creativity in the advertising, especially with regard to YouTube videos. Creatives and advertisers should be aware, it’s driving Canadian consumers to more private channels such as Messenger and SnapChat.

Trolls & Negativity
16% of Canadians say they’re tired of the trolls and so much negativity in social media. Overall, this frustration with ongoing negativity has increased 54% over 2015 and we’re just half-way through 2016. Of the sample size analysed 73% felt that the trolls were winning online. We anticipate this issue to increase, it will be covered in the second edition of our Canadian Consumer Big Data Omnibus in October of this year. If this issue continues to grow, the only worthwhile advertising may be for weapons and things that make angry people happy.

Lack of Interesting Content
This 12% plays somewhat into the advertising formats issue. Canadian consumers find a lot of repetition in content and finding a lot of content to be poorly written and the same across many channels and sites. Lack of creative in YouTube adverts and videos pushed across news and social media channels was also cited. Content marketers…time to step up the game. Creative directors, can you get your clients to stop being boring?

So are Canadians bored with social media? Overall, we’d say no, but they are in what we would call a “Transition Phase” in terms of how they use social media overall. Issues of trolls and negative content beg the question of how responsible should companies like Twitter, Facebook or SnapChat be for people’s behaviour? They certainly can’t change the state of global affairs.

What are your thoughts?