There are numerous studies available in the public domain that highlight the phenomenon of reducing attention span. Indeed, the older generations are much more patient and have longer attention spans. If you check out the movies of the baby boomer generation and those being produced now, you would realize how our preferences have changed. It is not that movies have evolved out of their own making but they have transformed to address the changing demands of the audience. You may wonder what this attention span has to do with businesses, be it a restaurant or a local roofer, a publisher or an ecommerce site.
Most businesses today are either in the habit of focusing on social media trends or are being told to do so. There are businesses that don’t use social media and those that do tend to overdo it. Is social media the harbinger of revenue, profit or business growth? It has not been proven. Is there a possibility that a business would benefit from social media marketing? Yes but that would happen even if the campaign is not relentless.
Businesses that put too much focus on social media, its trends and following, the interactions and participating in larger discussions, fail to understand that no user is essentially following the business with an inclination to check out what the company is actually selling right now. Hence, the following or interactions don’t necessarily lead to sales. There are publishers that keep tweeting about the books and authors they have published. There are restaurants that keep posting content about foods or recipes and events. None of these become social media trends, none of these actually increase the footfall or hits on the website and there is little proof to indicate there would be an impact of consequence soon.
Social media users don’t have a vested interest in following businesses, posting contents and engaging with the world at large. They don’t have the attention span to follow what a business is doing and then endorsing it for its social media engagement. They simply check out what they like and move on with their lives. Those who spend their lives on social media are anyway unlikely to become a customer of a business in context.
Real customers don’t conduct research on social media. At best, they would ask their friends on social networks. Only a handful of products or services can become social media trends. For the rest, it is just a futile effort and waste of time to be relentlessly active on social media.