A new study from PageLever shows that when fans are tired of hearing from a brand they’ve Liked on Facebook they’re more likely to simply hide updates from that page than they are to Unlike the page. Here’s what that looks like based on their study:
I’ve talked before about what I call “positive actions.” Those would include anything where an individual takes some sort of deliberate action to receive inputs from a brand online. That could include following them on Twitter, subscribing to an RSS feed or anything else along those lines. But this story uses the term “negative action” for exactly the opposite type of behavior.
What is truly disturbing about the “hide” figures though is that this is a massively under-counted metric. While there are all sorts of studies about the fans who unfollow a brand page on Facebook and what can be done about that there’s very little attention paid to the folks who hide updates from that page.
In essence what these people are saying is that they still are alright with publicly associating themselves with that brand as part of their online identity, the equivalent of putting a patch of the company’s logo on the sleeve of their jacket. But while that continues they also essentially want the brand to be quiet. They’d like to go back to it being a passive relationship, where they can check in occasionally if they want but otherwise they’d like not hear from them unless it’s on their terms.
This is a number that needs to come to the forefront more. I’m sure it’s buried somewhere within Facebook’s Insights tool but it’s certainly not one that’s been the focus of many conversations up until now, something that will need to change as program managers evaluate what impact it – along with the other changes Facebook has made that have impacted the reach of the messages published with the intent of reaching the social network audience.