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?
[Image Credit: Shutterstock.com]