What users truly want from brands on social media

Understanding and catering to the diverse preferences of social media users is paramount for brands looking to thrive in the digital age. Here are my top takeout’s from Hootsuite’s latest Social Media Report.

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March 12, 2024

Mai Gonzalez

In the world of social media, where brands are constantly competing for attention, understanding what really clicks with users is akin to success. Recent findings from the Hootsuite 2024 Social Trends survey shed light on the elusive desires of consumers, offering a roadmap for brands looking  to navigate the landscape of digital engagement.

With “70% of individuals following brands on social media expressing explicit intentions to purchase from them soon or in the future, and 59% already having made purchases from these brands” according to the survey, getting it right has never been more important.


Top 7 things that brands do that turn customers off:

Key takeaways.

1. Entertainment reigns supreme.

The resounding message from the survey is clear: consumers crave entertainment. But what specific types of content do they find most captivating when it comes to brand offerings?

  1. Something new. 56% said they want content that tells or teaches them something new.
  2. Something funny. 55% said they want content that makes them laugh.
  3. Something inspiring. 47% said they want content that inspires them.


2. Real-time cultural relevance.

While users may not necessarily want brands wading into contentious societal debates, they do appreciate brands participating in real-time cultural moments. Whether it’s major sports events, pop culture phenomena, or unfolding news events, consumers welcome brands joining the social media conversation, provided it’s done tastefully and authentically.

3. Consistency.

Consistency also emerges as a key factor when deciding to follow a brand. Users place greater importance on brands maintaining a consistent presence through regular posting and engagement, along with offering compelling insights into broader societal topics (which we saw reflected above).


4. Shareable content is everything.

The biggest nugget of all. While many perceive shareable content as a means to amplify reach and visibility, its true potency lies in its capacity to stimulate consideration behaviours. According to the study, “shared posts have prompted consideration behaviours in a remarkable 82% of individuals within the past year, surpassing organic and paid content”.

Shared content by friends, family, people you follow and people you TRUST, is an incredibly powerful form of social proof that’s extremely persuasive in moving people through the messy middle and towards building relevance and connection with your brand. Understanding what makes good “shareable content” is absolutely key. If there’s one thing worth delving into further, it’s this.


More golden insights can be found in Hootsuite’s brand new Social Media Consumer Report, I’d highly recommend brands and marketers to dive into these asap!