Brands Face Stream Fatigue as Consumers Look Beyond Gimmicks in Social Networks

The mystique of Twitter, Facebook and Google+ causes a momentary lapse of reason where businesses are surprisingly acting first and addressing “the why” at a later point in time, if at all. Without careful consideration and strategy, a great wave of stream fatigue, social blindness or far worse, customer unlikes and unfollows in will befall unsuspecting businesses en masse in social media. It will come down to a vital, but fixable disconnect. Businesses are interacting with consumers to socialize rather than learn about customer expectations to in turn, deliver tangible value, improve product experiences, and invest in long-term relationships.

While many brands are designing editorial and engagement programs to encourage consumers to “Like” and follow profiles, view videos, submit user generated content, consumers are simultaneously struggling to find signal against the noise, grappling with stream fatigue and sometimes an overwhelming sense of over connectedness.

The more discerning consumers are learning that tuning out is merely temporary relief for misdiagnosed symptoms and not a fix to their bigger problems. Once they realize that streams are programmable, that social content and relationships require thoughtful curation, and more importantly, recognize when inbound streams no longer offer usefulness, they’ll find that the only cure rests in unLikes and unFollows.

Consumers, like businesses, are learning how to navigate social streams as they go. As experience matures however, building relationships within social networks will become a quiet, but important art of curation. People will select and fine-tune the relationships they deem worthy to improve the content that flows through their streams. People, brands, products, and apps will come and go. This constant modification sets the stage for an important shift in the balance of power between brands and consumers. In social media, it’s less about caveat emptor and now about caveat venditor, let the seller beware. – Brands Face Stream Fatigue as Consumers Look Beyond Gimmicks in Social Networks by Brian Solis

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