Social Media Moves From Ubiquitous Usage To Relevant Rationalization
Have we hit a social media plateau? In recent client conversations on usage of social media, the trendsetters appear to be “socialed out”. Most early adopters seem to be overwhelmed with their personal (Facebook, Google+), corporate (Yammer, Jive, Chatter, SharePoint), and professional (LinkedIn) social networks. In fact, respondents feel that adding any additional network for anything social is quite overwhelming. While early adopters are moving from ubiquitous usage to relevant rationalization, the majority remains in ubiquitous usage (see Figure 1). Recent data on number of users at the Big 4 of social media show that we are in the middle of ubiquitous usage:
- Facebook (901M users as of Feb 2012)
- Twitter (500M users as of March 2012)
- LinkedIn (161M users as of March 2012)
- Google+ (100M users as of Feb 2012)
Early Adopters Facing Social Media Fatigue
As early adopters start rationalizing their networks, some are even pulling out. From loss of interest in Google+, Empire Avenue, to even FaceBook, people have started to selectively choose networks to combat overload and social media fatigue. The common theme – relevant rationalization by self-interest. These trends parallel those for mail, phone, email, web and other disruptive technologies. Going forward, users will move towards desensitization when the advertisers and companies abuse the channel by spamming users with an unwanted deluge of irrelevant offers.
The Bottom Line: Engage Users To Combat Fatal Fatigue In The Disruptive Tech Adoption Life Cycle
Every new medium or technology goes through this life cycle. To combat Phase 4, Fatal Fatigue and cross over to Revival and Rejuvenation, organizations must engage their users during relevant rationalization in order to keep customers through Fatal Fatigue and Revival and Rejuvenation. Here’s the five phases of the disruptive technology life cycle:
- Phase 1: Eager early adopters. Users eagerly experimented in the newness of the medium. Early adopters attempt to apply the medium to everything.
- Phase 2: Ubiquitous usage. Rapid adoption put the medium in the hands of the masses. Adoption exceeds 50 million users.
- Phase 3: Relevant rationalization. Brands and enterprises apply the medium to the right business use cases and processes.
- Phase 4: Fatal fatigue. Inundated with marketing, bombarded with irrelevant content, and tired of the newness of the medium, customers begin tuning out.
- Phase 5: Revival and Rejuvenation. Maturation of the medium ushers an improved era of engagement apply the Six C’s of Engagement.
Success will require organizations to engage their customers and employees. Find out more in the Harvard Business Review blog post here.
Figure 1. Disruptive technologies follow an adoption life cycle that must overcome fatigue to succeed
Ready to avoid Fatal Fatigue? Have a story on how you’ve achieved engagement? Add your comments to the blog or send us a comment at R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org or R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com
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