A few years ago I coined the term “The Connection Paradox“. It refers to the conundrum whereby the more people you are connected to on social media, the less of their posts you see.
It is simple maths – the more connections you have, the more posts will be sent to you. But given there are still only 24 hours in the day, you have less time in which to see each post, so you miss most of them. Unless of course you have no life.
The truth is, just as most articles and classified ads in newspapers were never read, but they “reached” the audience, the majority of social posts and marketing content never gets seen, let alone read – even though it reaches your newsfeed.
Apparently, the maximum organic posts a FB user gets from their connections is between 3% and 6%, depending upon which expert you ask. So users miss the vast majority of posts unless they invest hours searching and scrolling. And now with Facebook and Instagram only serving posts based on user behaviour with previous posts, well it’s time to cue the banjo music.
Both LinkedIn and Facebook batch updates for users. When you click on the updates button, the updates automatically download so fast you suffer a virtual waterboarding, as you cannot cope with the inundation of posts being digitally jammed down your throat.
Most updates disappear below the fold, never to be seen. Worse still if you are reading them on a mobile device – you have to scroll even further to find what was just downloaded. While you’re doing that, another batch builds ready to waterboard you again at the tap of a button.
This led me to coin another term – Your A.S.S. Time. In case you’re wondering, I can generate the buzzwords as good as any of the cyber-hustlers.
Your A.S.S. Time is your Average Social Screen Time. On Instagram for example, it’s often less than one second. For LinkedIn it’s maybe 15 seconds before you move on. Thanks to scrolling technology on smart devices, people’s A.S.S. Time gets less and less, as more and more content is consciously ignored.
People have no choice – we are becoming time-poor, infobesity-ridden carbon-based life forms hooked by the dopamine effect of the next thing to appear on a screen.
Consequently the majority of content from content marketing, never ever gets seen, let alone read.
So this creates another paradox…
If you believe the content marketers, to practice influencer marketing, you must generate lots of followers and do lots of content marketing.
Following the obvious thread – if you have lots of followers and they are also posting, because they want to be thought leaders and do content marketing too, then by definition – nobody’s being influenced – because none of the content gets consumed, as we’re too busy creating thought leading marketing content for our influencer marketing.
And there’s still only 24 hours in the day to create and consume content.
Maybe “content marketing” should be renamed circumlocutious marketing?
Sadly the way we’re heading digitally, I suspect the whole marketing industry might get renamed the “mediocrity industry” – but that’s another blog…