Diminishing Marginal Returns Of Social Media

At the head of most social media marketing strategies is “get more fans, friends and followers.” If left unchecked, that metric for more fans, friends and followers can be a runaway train that leads to methods that are detrimental to the channel. When quantity of fans is more important than quality, it creates a path to diminishing marginal returns. Content gets impersonal and spammy and people stop caring. Diminishing marginal returns means that in a production process, adding more of one factor of production, while holding all others constant, will at some point yield lower per-unit returns. Each additional tweet, post, and update produces less attention, less action and less return.
Good social marketing starts with a cause, bad social marketing starts with a goal. Focusing on a goal rather than a cause means:

  • A constant flow of bleeding-edge content instead of thoughtful analysis of what has already been said. This is risky because there is always the threat of someone else being just a little more bleeding-edge.
  • A veneer of community but not really enough time to make connections – you need more followers! There comes a point when followers don’t feel like they are a part of anything special.
  • Increasing deals, offers and fan-only sales that drive transactions but not loyalty.

Diminishing Marginal Returns Of Social Media

Social marketing that values quantity over quality feels manipulative rather than inspiring and the the number of those you offend, or turn off forever, keep increasing as a result – which in turn, speeds up the need for more spam-like methods to juice the numbers. The center of your social media strategy should be your purpose. When it feels like the content is speaking at you, rather than for you, it’s time to rethink what the point of social media is.

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