Everywhere I turn, there’s a new social network, another social media utility and another account to set up. Obviously, it’s impossible to be an active member of every site that comes around, but it sure doesn’t stop people (including yours truly) from giving it a “college try.” Before long, I found myself suffering from social media burnout. Been there? Well, there are some steps you can take to prevent yourself from falling in the same trap or cure yourself of social media burnout if you’re already there.
- Focus on the networks that matter. Do you really need profiles on 10 different social networks? Probably not. Find the 2-3 social media sites that are most important to you and focus on those accounts. This doesn’t mean that Facebook and Twitter automatically get the top two spots. Find the networks that really matter to you. It might be a niche site for quilting enthusiasts, expecting parents or baseball fans. This might be a good time to go out and look for a new niche network or two.
- Focus on the people that matter. How many of you receive the same Tweets about how you can make millions as an affiliate day after day? When I first started on Twitter, I followed back anyone that followed me first. Now, I have a hundred or so Twitter users blasting the same repetitive and uninteresting Tweets to which I exclaim aloud, “Who cares?!” Unfortunately, the hourly deluge of affiliate Tweets drowns out the Tweets that I actually care about. The same thing goes for annoying and useless Facebook posts from someone you met at a party five years ago and haven’t seen since. If you’re suffering from these same symptoms of social media burnout, take some time to unfollow/unfriend those who clog up your social media stream and prevent you from being social with the people that matter to you. It’s really therapeutic, and studies show that it reduces social media burnout.
- Pace yourself. Ever spend 4 hours in a day checking your social media profiles and updating statuses? Yeah, me too. Schedule out 15-60 minutes of your day and use that time for social media activities and nothing else. It’s amazing how productive you can be if you concentrate on using social media only during your scheduled time each day. Without the huge time-suck of extended social media use, you’ll actually look forward to your daily social media time.
- Consolidate your feeds. Everyday, new social media applications come out that tout the ability to condense all of your social media feeds into one feed. Finding the right application is often a matter of preference, but I prefer using Tweetdeck to consolidate my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds. From Tweetdeck, I can post a status update to my Twitter accounts, Facebook profiles/Pages and LinkedIn account simultaneously with just a couple of clicks. Find an application that services your social media accounts and use it to save some time. Note: these consolidation applications typically only service the major social media sites, so if you’re a member of a niche community, you may have to log in manually to check your community’s feed.
- Don’t forget about real networking. I’ve been known to rely too heavily on social media to communicate with my friends, family and industry peers. Don’t forget to meet face-to-face with your social graph every once and a while. Seeing a smiling face over a cup of coffee is at risk of becoming severely under-appreciated nowadays.
There you have it. Follow these instructions (as needed) and take on an empty stomach. If there is no improvement in 7-10 days, repeat steps 1-5 and seek professional help.
Have you suffered from social media burnout in the past? How did you cure your burnout and renew your penchant for social media? Or did you just give up? Please share your comments below!
Phil Wocken is the Director of Emerging Media at d.trio marketing group. He rants, reviews and reports on the latest social media and emerging media news, technologies and strategies.