We are in the middle of a social media bubble. Every company is wildly chasing after the promised rewards of social media with very few actually investing and scaling in a sustainable way. Most companies seem to be throwing a grenade of attention, time and money at social media instead of developing an objective, rational battle plan.
The early successes of first-movers in the social space has triggered a mass crusade of companies who have unreasonable targets and bloated expectations.The benefits of simply “doing” social media are showing quickly decreasing returns as the first-mover premium wears off. Innovation in social media marketing and presences is pacing well behind the rate of market saturation, which will lead to a social media space that is too crowded to provide the expected returns of these companies now making significant investments.
The social media bubble will burst when consumers get tired of companies’ inauthentic and unoriginal presences and promotions. Consumers don’t want to “like” 1000 brands on Facebook, and they don’t want read the blog of their local dry cleaners. The market will crash when consumers start ignoring bland, blatant attempts by late-comer companies who are now overloading our social networks and attention streams.
When (not if) the bubble does burst, the market will correct itself and refocus it’s potential on the companies that understand the fundamental systems and mechanisms of social media. The companies that were just attracted by the buzz of shiny success stories will bear the brunt of the crash, as they should. And those that spend the time and money in the short-term to invest in a stable, sustainable and value-adding social media presence will emerge to reap the long-term returns.
This showed up in my Twitterstream today, and upon reading it, I realized the social media frenzy really *does* feel like the dot come bubble of the early 80s (yes, I’m that old).