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Follow fatigue refers to the decline in social media engagement that occurs through functionalities such as Facebook “Like”, Google +1 and Twitter follows and Retweets that occurs as a result of increased competition among those who are seeking to be followed. This results in overstimulation and lack of response from potential followers.
Having a social media presence has become an increasingly common part of companies’ marketing strategy. However, the growing number of companies that are requesting that consumers “connect” with them has created a sense of fatigue among consumers which, in 2011, contributed to a decline in the growth of interactivity on most social media channels.
Follow fatigue may occur as a result of a rush to social media marketing, in which companies fail to define their social media objectives. For example, if a company is looking to connect with its customers, its social media might involve answering customer questions and complaints. If however, that company’s social media efforts only involve marketing messages, rather than an effort to connect with consumers, these efforts are likely to be less effective. Social media experts also argue that social media marketing needs to provide value to consumers. In other words, customers need a reason to “Like” a company’s Facebook page or follow the company on Twitter. This reason might include special content, deals, contests or some other added value.