A recent global study of consumer behaviour online has revealed some interesting trends and statistics. The findings should be of interest to those organisations working hard to increase the number of followers of their brands’ social media pages.The study has revealed that overall 57% of consumers have no interest in engaging with brands on social media channels. By country, this number rises to 61% in the U.K. and 60% in the U.S. however 67% of Mexican consumers don’t mind if brands kindly keep ”updating” them with their news and offerings.Despite this, 54% of respondents found social networks to be a useful place to learn more about certain products or services. This will vary by market and product/service however certain methods and ‘rules of thumb’ have proven to be effective across social media: be relevant, interesting and useful! Sharing and discussing information exclusively on social media gives your audience a reason to follow and gives a point of difference.The surveyed consumers revealed that over-excessive interaction with a brand on social networks in most cases concludes with a negative perception for that brand, which prevents the majority of them from a further digital involvement, and, more importantly, may carry that negative perception into the real word.Unexpectedly enough, most U.K. consumers are more annoyed by poor language (42,5%) than with updates that are “too salesy” (24.9%). While 12.8% of people surveyed are aggravated by too frequent updates, 7.2% dislike when companies or brands post updates too rarely. Getting the balance right isn’t easy.Should brands be informal or not on social media? 12.5% consider it inappropriate when brands try too hard to be funny (a common mistake we see all to often). These findings remain consistent across all age groups, except 18-24 year olds. This demographic are less concerned about “salesy” updates (19.8%), and choose “not frequent enough” postings (22.1%) as the top thing that annoys them most. Younger respondents also pay less attention to spelling or grammar the brands use on social media networks.There are slight deviations in how men and women perceive negative engagement with brands: men tend to unfollow brands or companies due to use of poor English (39.6%) more than women (38.9%), while ladies are less receptive to “too salesy” updates.Thorough research of your target audience and your current followers is essential to judge and set your company/brands’ tone of voice and social media strategy: What would our followers and potential audience find useful? How can we add value and capture attention? Be relevant and position ourselves as an authority on our area of expertise?A cohesive plan is essential to avoid wasting time and money on Social Media. Something that is all to easy to do.