Are we over-sharing on social media?

There have been countless articles and videos about people who annoyingly over-share on social media. The ‘selfie’, the buzzword of 2013, has now become one of the most ‘uncool’ things you can post on your feed. How many times have you quickly unsubscribed from a friend’s feed because they posted too many ‘gym bunny’ pics?

According to a new report by McCann, The Truth About Privacy, there are Four Bs that constitute over-sharing:





Boring includes “posting routine activities as status updates on Facebook” while Boasting includes “chronicling your daily outfits”. Begging involves adding people that you don’t actually know to your network on LinkedIn or Facebook, while Bullying includes online abuse such as trolls.

While this covers off over-sharing on social from a personal perspective, just as we are unsubscribing from our friends, are we starting to disengage from brands that are guilty of the Four Bs?

In the study, 66 per cent of participants said they would disengage from a brand if it sent them an automated personalised message or asked them to share a personal story for fun.

Laura Simpson, global director at McCann, said: “Our findings point to new rules for navigating a world where privacy and publicity collide. The challenge lies in maintaining a delicate balance between making yourself seem interesting without looking vain.”

In another global online study, 65 per cent of consumers said they would disengage with a brand if they found its activity irritating. Fifty-four per cent cited spam and pop-up ads as the most irritating, while 68 per cent said they’d prefer to interact with a brand that had been recommended by a friend.

Sofie De Beule, from Social Media Today, says: “There’s no secret formula to successfully engaging with your audience on social media … It simply comes down to this: Use just 20 per cent of your content to promote your brand and dedicate 80 per cent to content that really interests your audience and engages them in conversations.”

The 20 per cent includes persuasive calls to action, such as discounts or special offers. The other 80 per cent should be shareable, interesting content such as open questions, retweets, interesting quotes or news links that support your brand’s thinking.

How ‘cool’ are you?

The McCann infographic below ranks the behaviours of consumers and brands on social media as ‘cool’ or ‘uncool’:


Is it time to rethink your brand’s social strategy?