Are You Spending Too Much Time In Social Media (and not on your blog)?


What was once a welcomed connection during a break in the day or a mobile moment alone is starting to feel like an obligation.

~Coco Rocha in “Social Media Overload

Sure, people have been saying this for years, but reading that quote from fashion's biggest social media advocate made me wonder, have we gone too far?  Ironically, I just blew 30 minutes of my morning on Facebook and Twitter before writing this post. Did it improve my blog? Did it improve this post? I'll let you be the judge of that.

Social Media Can Take ALL Your Time…

You get back what you put into it, is the philosophy of social media. Between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, FourSquare, Google+, LinkedIn updating all your accounts and engaging on them can literally take as much time as your blog post took to write. You could spend so much time on them, your actual blogging is but a fraction of that time. At one time, IFB had a full time social media person (two even at one point) and they worked very hard, spending all day in social media engaging, and they always seemed to need more time. And that's without writing posts.

Be Careful of How Much Time You Invest in Other Websites

I like to use the analogy of renting versus owning a home when it comes to social media and your blog. You own your blog. You “rent” your presence on social media. When you invest in your blog, you invest in the value (and hopefully increase your blog's value). When you invest in your social media followings, you're investing in someone else's website, and are at the mercy of them losing popularity (MySpace!), their ever-changing terms of service (remember the Instagram kerfuffle?) and aside from complain, there is nothing you can do about it. Is it wise to spend more time in social media than on your own content? I'm not so sure.

How to Decide How Much Time to Spend

There are some bloggers who can get away with minimal engagement, Business of Fashion has over 700k followers on Twitter, but never engages with anyone. Bryan Boy, replies back even with his hefty 400k+ followers as he spends seemingly all day on Twitter.

If you can't identify the benefit from the social media platform, drop it like a hot potato. Yeah, I said it. There are some networks that are continuous time sucks, and as a blogger, you should be spending more time researching new content, crafting your posts, developing amazing editorial calendars, improving your site design… you get the drift, you already have so much to do. What kinds of benefits should you be looking for from a social media platform?

  • Does the site send you traffic?
  • Are you making money from your presence?
  • Are you discovering new content for your blog on this platform?
  • Are you having fun with the platform?

If you can't think of a good reason to stay on. Get the hell off. You have better things to do!

Time Saving Strategies for the Social Media Addicted

I've learned a lot over the past few months about limiting my time on social media. I've made mistakes (scheduling too much and not engaging at all to engaging too much and neglecting my blog). The truth is social media audiences adapt quicker than the Borg, so you really have to stay in it, but you don't have to let it consume your life or your blog.

  • Schedule as much as you can: You can promote your posts through scheduled Tweets, Facebook posts etc. Just make sure you customize them.
  • Limit your engagement times: Tina Craig of Bag Snob said at the IFB Conference that she only Tweets in the morning and at night, else she'd get nothing done. It's great advice.
  • Only follow who you truly like: “Follow for follow” is a strategy from 2008. It doesn't work in 2013. Don't be afraid to be a bit of a snob, you don't owe anyone anything. The fastest way to clutter up your accounts with crap is to follow everyone and anyone and you'll burn out faster than an old Christmas tree doused in gasoline.
  • Don't spend time on sites you get nothing from. Don't be afraid to skip over networks even though “everyone” else is on them. I never got into FourSquare, and I'm still alive. 😉

Are you spending too much time on social media?

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19 Responses

  1. Lexi

    I’ve been trying to log how much time I spend on each website I visit a day. I’m on Summer vacation and have almost zero obligations but somehow I feel like I never get anything productive done!

  2. Tweety Elitou

    This was spot on! I know that Twitter is not exactly for me just retweet what i like and respond to those that are talking to me directly. I seldom spend time trying to speak with celebrities. I am also looking into what is most beneficial as well and facebook is my SPOT!!!

  3. Patranila

    I seem to spend an amazing amount of time on SM and it sometimes makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something. Maybe I am but it’s not the depth of accomplishment I’m looking for. If I switched my blogging platform from blogger to wordpress and could automate more stuff, I’d spend less time on Twitter for sure. I recently decided to take weekends off and I think it’s helping my sanity.

    I have a blogger friend who’s on a SM brownout for August. She’s having severe withdrawal pains.

  4. Emotera

    This is definitely what Im struggling for. Thanks to this article I can add more reasons not to spend more time on social media sites specifically Facebook.

  5. David Venter

    I definitely spend way too much time on social media, none of which truly benefits my blog since most of my traffic seem to come from other blogs or search engines, not social media. I find it difficult to pull away though. This article has been somewhat of a wake-up call. Perhaps it’s time I take a step back, spend less time on Facebook and more time on improving my blog. Thanks for this! xoxo

  6. Paige

    This post makes a great point. I try most of the newer sites to see if I like them, if not I don’t stick with it. My main social media sites are facebook and Twitter. Even though I don’t get much interaction, they bring traffic to my blog. Things like pinterest aren’t making much of a difference to my blog, so I’ll probably stop that next.

  7. Rebecca Merrill

    I completely agree with Tina Craig! Tweeting in the morning and nights are a great way to both engage with your followers and to get some traffic to your site. Both these times are when there is heavy tweeting with a lot of twitters online…And I like how you define blogs v/s social media- rent v/s own. Great post!

  8. Ashe

    “The truth is social media audiences adapt quicker than the Borg, so you really have to stay in it, but you don’t have to let it consume your life or your blog.”

    OMFG. I love that you wrote that. SO.HARD.

    I can only agree and empathize, so much, with what you’ve said. It’s easy how much of a time sink those sites can be, and how little return they may actually provide many of us. Twitter does nothing for growing my site, but I love how quickly I can engage with others — I don’t drop it, but I definitely recognize how I need to limit it….

  9. Barbara

    I love the part about being a snob, lol.
    I have way more followers than those I follow on almost all my platforms except facebook (as it doesn’t work like that) and it does keep me sane. On FB, i take off those I am not interested in from my newsfeed and only see those I want to.

    I spend more time on my FB page than any other platform. it is the only other place I get traffic from after google and referrals. I did see some traffic from twitter a long time ago but i recall that it was minimal.

    I do have a daily schedule for all of them and so far it does seem to be working.
    Thanks for the post Jennine.

    Lagos, Nigeria

  10. Miss Daja

    I absolutely LOVE this post and agree 100%. I’ll be book marking this to read over and over as a reminder. When I take Social Media breaks, I feel so good not being consumed with everyone’s li(f)e because it truly can waste a lot of time.

  11. Alexis Crawford

    I work in social media, so I know for a fact I’m spending too much time on it!

  12. Luz

    You guys are almost like going to my yoga class! No matter what question is on my mind, you always have a sincere answer to it! 😀

  13. Isabel Campanioni

    This is very helpful! I find myself spending so much time on social media that even my kids tell me to get off the phone. Although I do spend an equal amount of time putting my posts for the blog together, I find that it’s rather difficult to get yourself out there if it weren’t through social media. Does anyone have any advice as to other ways for exposure??

  14. johngates

    There are thousands of eBooks released every single week by indie authors and sometimes they feel a need to stand out in the crowd. Most turn to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or participate in the Goodreads community. Some people think that authors are spending too much time on social self-promotion at the expense of honing their craft.
    In a recent BBC interview, author Jonathan Franzen lamented, “What I find particularly alarming, again, from the point of view I care about, American fiction, is that it’s a coercive development. Agents will now tell young writers: ‘I won’t even look at your manuscript if you don’t have followers on Twitter’. I see people who ought to be spending their time developing their craft and people who used to be able to make their living as freelance writers. I see them making nothing, and I see them feeling absolutely coerced into this constant self-promotion.”

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  15. johngates

    this ia a very good article . I feel so good not being consumed with everyone’s li(f)e because it truly can waste a lot of time.