Study: Consumers wary of corporate participation in social media

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Barcelona, Spain—Consumers are wary of corporations participating in social media, and corporations are uncertain how to use social media, according to qualitative research by market research company Firefly Millward Brown.

The research showed that “consumers’ biggest fear is that marketers will turn social media from a community into a marketplace,” Rob Hernandez, global brand director at Firefly Millward Brown, said in a statement.

At the same time, corporations are confused by social media. “Our research highlights that many companies do not fully understand the rules of engagement in social media,” Hernandez said. “This is further complicated by confusion about who in the organization should be responsible for social media, a reluctance to relinquish control and a perception that they lack relevant content to share with consumers.”

Firefly Millward Brown said that the this qualitative social media study included interviews with corporate executives and hundreds of people ages 18 to 50 in nine countries: the U.S., Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, India, South Africa and the U.K.

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