May 18th, 2017 by Sam Del Rowe

Although brands may be tempted to inject attitude into their social media posts, customers prefer that they stick to more conventional customer engagement efforts, according to a study from Sprout Social. Only a third of customers found snarky brand personas appealing, while 88 percent and 67 percent respectively reported being annoyed when brands make fun of followers or competitors. Furthermore, seven in 10 consumers found it annoying when brands took part in political conversations, and just 36 percent said that being humorous would make them more likely to buy from a brand.

The report also identified a number of social media behaviors that attract consumers. Overall, consumers like to see a variety of formats for social content, with 83 percent saying that videos are appealing and 60 percent saying the same for GIFs. Additionally, brands with younger audiences have more leeway when it comes to showing personality on Instagram: the study found that millennials want to see brand personality on Instagram 75 percent in comparison to other age groups.

“With all the praise and media attention given to daring social brands, it can be tempting to jump on the bandwagon,” Scott Brandt, CMO of Sprout Social, said in a statement. “However, developing a brand personality needs to be a thoughtful and tailored process that starts with truly understanding who your audience is and what they’re looking for. When a majority of your consumers would rather see you be helpful than funny, craft your content accordingly. ”

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