Social Media is starting to lose appeal for people – businesses should take notice

Like all things new and shiny “Social Media” is starting to lose its appeal with people.

This article is one of many that are starting to report a growing loss of interest in social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

The rise and fall of social media use follows a pattern that has repeated itself since the very first shiny tool we humans invented.

First you have the innovators and early adopters who grab anything that is new and exciting and starting playing. This is the time when media “discovers” this new object of desire and start writing about it.

Then come the early majority who wonder what all the fuss is about after reading about it in the local newspaper or online. This is also the time when some businesses make the fatal mistake of spending huge amounts of time and resources creating a copy of the new shiny object to offer to the world.

Remember when there were hundreds of social networks on offer?

Well, they were created by businesses thinking that the market can never reach saturation and not understanding that there really can only be 2 top performers in a category – Coke and Pepsi, Mc Donalds and Burger King. Most of the forgotten networks were started after Facebook and Twitter become number 1 and number 2 in the market. Without creating your own sub category or niche you will fail to make decent profit.

Then come the “experts” who talk up this new shiny object – preaching from the rooftops that all must join in the and praise this new shiny object.

Here comes the herd worried that they will miss out.

The bulk of the herd at some stage get bored of this new shiny object that they invest their time and energy into and start dedicating less time to it.

This is where we presently are with social networks.

The herd arrived, got excited and now are leaving the party.

The “experts” that spawn by the hundreds with every new shiny object start to disappear now that the party is over and in their last dying breaths still try and convince us all that businesses need to be in this 110% to win.

I am not implying that businesses give up on social media – what I am saying is that now that the gloss is wearing off and people are starting to wonder what really is the benefit of spending 1-2 hours on Facebook every day, businesses should not invest so much time and resources thinking that social networks are the saving grace of their business without proper research.

Social networks will stay but they will fall back into the place that they were initially created to be in and become a commodity – in this case as a social communication channel for some people – not all people. So as a business you need to look at social networks and see if your prospects are there and if they are receptive to commercial contact.

Some businesses have found that social networks means another support channel that must be supported, some businesses have found that social networks are an effective sales channel and some, after spending thousands, suffer the hangover of supporting social network profiles that give no value but are bloody expensive to maintain.

Its time now to ignore the dying rasps of the “experts” and think clearly about where social networks provide value for your business and what really is the ROI.