6 Tips To Avoid Social Media Burn Out

Got to Tweet, be witty in Facebook, comment every friend’s blog, rule Pinterest, post all my read books to Goodreads (not to mention read those books), figure out Triberr and then there’s G+ and LinkedIn…

Argh.

Feeling overwhelmed already?

Me too. There are so many things we “need” to do to connect with people.

You have to accept that you can’t do everything. The first step to overcoming anxiety is to set some boundaries.

Here are six tips to tame social media and make it a less stressful tool.

 

1. Focus on Just Few Social Media and Ace Them

You don’t have to be everywhere. In fact, if you try, you will put only half-assed effort in them all.

Go where your audience is and what you enjoy using. For example, I feel uncomfortable at cocktail parties and hence on Twitter but go gaga over Pinterest.

Choose one, two or three social media and stick with them.

Your chosen social medias could be blog commenting, a forum for your writing genre and Goodreads. Or Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Pick the social medias that suit you and your goals.

 

2. Acing Doesn’t Mean 24/7 Presence

Acing means providing extraordinary content. Be honest, if you Tweet or post to Facebook ten times a day, how many of those messages rock the readers’ world?

Less is more when it’s good stuff.

Social media guru Kristen Lamb recommends the following formula:

  • 1/3 of your messages should be conversation
  • 1/3 promote someone else
  • 1/3 share information or entertain (this can be links to your blog posts, books and so on).

If you’re doing things right, your friends do the promoting for you by sharing and ReTweeting your posts.

Another guru, Chris Brogan, says in his book Trust Agents that the self-promotion ratio should be very low. For every self-promotion message, you should promote 12 others.

All in all, 3 messages a day can be all you need to put out when you provide great content (like fun stuff or new knowledge) to your followers.

 

3. Put Relationships First

Which is more valuable, ten casual acquaintances or one friend?

Quality beats quantity and reduces social media stress. Chatting with friends is much more fun than trying to forge new connections all the time.

You should get to know new people too but do it slowly and in a natural way.

For example, choose a friend of a friend, or someone whose blog you are following, or who is interested in same things than you.

 

4. 15 Minutes a Day Is Enough…

… when you know what you are doing. Focus your efforts on just few social media.

If you want, you can break that 15 minutes total into three 5 minutes phases. 5 minutes is enough to put one or two messages to your chosen social media. Or you can use your whole social media time in one lump.

What ever your allocated time, use an egg timer to make sure you don’t dally.

Your social media minutes are used effectively when you know beforehand what you will post. Like: “Jenny Hansen’s Underwear posts always crack me up. I will check out her blog and link to her newest.”

Don’t automate these posts. Be present and see if there’s an opportunity for conversation.

 

5. Have a Cunning Plan

Dedicate at least an hour a week to planning out what messages you put out next week. You can go crazy detailed with Excel or write it down to a piece of paper.

Your plan could look like this:

Monday: Share someone else’s funny picture in Facebook – Chat in Twitter for 5 minutes – ReTweet one good link you come across in Twitter – Tweet a link to your new blog post – Post blog link to WANA group in Facebook and to your Facebook stream

Tuesday: Follow back a few people on Twitter who followed you if they seem like your target audience and start a conversation with them (or follow one new Tweep and start convo) – Comment one or two blogs – Post a funny picture to Twitter from funpictures.com (not a real site) – Post a new update to Facebook and quickly comment few friends’ updates

Wednesday: Share someone else’s funny picture in Facebook – Chat in Twitter for 5 minutes – Choose one person to pimp for #WW (Writer Wednesday) – Tweet a link to your new blog post – Post blog link to WANA group in Facebook and to your Facebook stream

Thursday: Follow back a few people on Twitter who followed you if they seem like your target audience and start a conversation with them (or follow one new Tweep and start convo) – Update books you have read during the past week to Goodreads – Comment one or two blogs – Post a new update to Facebook and quickly comment few friends’ updates

Friday: Share someone else’s funny picture in Facebook – Chat in Twitter for 5 minutes – ReTweet one good link you come across – Tweet a link to your new blog post – Post blog link to WANA group in Facebook and to your Facebook stream

Saturday: Fun day. You can do what ever strikes your fancy.

Sunday: Planning day. No hanging out at social media unless you have extra time besides the 15 mins.

And don’t forget goofing around and just plain having fun. Screw the plan if things get stale. Plans can be changed if they don’t work.

 

6. Track Your Social Media Results

You know what results you want to achieve in the social media, right?

It can be creating close bonds with your followers, directing readers to your blog post, or listening and learning to understand your audience better. Or all of those and something else.

If you don’t know why you use social media, it will be a stressful experience. You’re stumbling in the dark and are at the mercy of the tactic of the week. Without a direction you can’t work toward any real goals.

Find a way to measure your results that works for you. Measuring helps you to tweak and adjust your plans.

Example of metrics: For promoting your blog, the best measurement is how many people visit your blog by clicking a link in a social media. Google Analytics is one of the best tools for this. It’s simple and free. (Click the link to learn more)

 

So, those were the six tips.

To recap, the most important things are: be social in your own way, and plan ahead.

 

I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever felt overwhelmed by social media? Do you have tricks or advice that has helped you to cope better with it?

22 Comments

  1. Author Kristen Lamb
    Sep 1, 2012

    Thanks for the shout-out. Actually, I recommend VERY LITTLE self-promotion. The formula is 1/3 INFORMATION 1/3 Reciprocation and 1/3 Conversation. This keeps us balanced.

    If all we do is tweet links to favorite articles or videos (Information) we can appear to be self-centered because we are never RTing for others. If we lack conversation we can appear to be a bot, even if all the links are super interesting.

    I almost never tweet about my books and I only post about my blogs once a day. Three times MAX. If people like our stuff, they will tweet/post and that is better anyway. Also, if we are engaging with people on Twitter, they will RT and pass on our links to our blogs/books. We don’t need to do everything. We are not alone ;).

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Sep 3, 2012

      Thank you for visiting, Kristen :) My bad about not getting the formula right. I’m going to correct it to the blog post.

      You are so right that it’s better if others promote us. That’s one of the things WANA is for. But most of all for the community and friends.

  2. Prudence MacLeod
    Sep 1, 2012

    Hi Reeta, these are great tips. I often fall into the “OMG I’ve been sucked into Facebook again” category. Since it is early and there’s noone on Twitter to chat with, I’ll go off line and make a plan. (Sure I will) hehehe
    Prudence MacLeod recently posted..T-BonedMy Profile

    • Jenny Hansen
      Sep 1, 2012

      LOL, Nigel…I’m with you. I do 45-60 minutes per day at least 5 days a week. Way to go, Reetta on cutting that time (at least) in half. I’m completely impressed. :-)
      Jenny Hansen recently posted..Are You Starring In Your Own Life?My Profile

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Sep 3, 2012

      *grins* Been there, done that too. And if you have the time and you dislike plans (they certainly chafe me from time to time), spontaneous social media is totally fine. If I have only 15 mins a day and I can do nothing but follow the plan, I’m not having fun. I need a little free time to play.

      So in all honesty, you can do all you need in 15 mins a day but if you have more time, it’s better.

  3. Nigel Blackwell
    Sep 1, 2012

    Hi Reetta

    I’m not coordinated when it comes to social media, I tend to just do things because they interest me. I think my biggest failures are in 4, 5 and 6. Especially 4 – I can’t believe anyone can go over twitter, facebook, respond to blogs etc in 15 minutes! Maybe I should drink more coffee!

    Have a great weekend :)

    Cheers!

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Sep 3, 2012

      Nigel, great point about doing what interests you. That’s why it’s better to steer clear of the social media that are not fun for you. Bonding is supposed to play too, not just work.

      I find it better to do just one thing in shorter batches. If you try to do it all in 15 minutes and switch between FB, Twitter and blogs, it takes a while to get into the flow in the new environment. Whoops, there went your five minutes already.

      And I need the egg timer if I don’t want to lose an hour in the internet wonderland.

  4. Jenny Hansen
    Sep 1, 2012

    All right, I need more coffee before I tromp around any more on the web today. My response to Nigel is under Prudence. *sigh*

    Thanks for the link to the Undie Chronicles – my two favorites continue to me the post on Thunderwear and “When Man-Style Goes to the Zoo.” Although Vibrating Panties are running a close third. LOL.

    Love your social media tips!
    Jenny Hansen recently posted..Are You Starring In Your Own Life?My Profile

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Sep 3, 2012

      That happens, Jenny :) Man-Style Goes to the Zoo is my favourite too. And my all time fave funny post from you is The Almost X-Rated Garage Sale. I’m still laughing, just remembering it.

      And honestly, if I include blog commenting to my social media time, the time is up by hours because I want to comment all the great posts I see. But I’m sneaky and file it under research for Link Feast posts :P I think that it’s important enough to merit at least a separate 5 minute slot daily.

  5. Kassandra Lamb
    Sep 1, 2012

    Great tips, Reetta, but I’m with Nigel and Jenny. How do you cram all that into 15 minutes? I don’t just want more coffee, I need whatever brand of coffee you’re drinking!
    Kassandra Lamb recently posted..The Sexy, Sassy, Sensational letter SMy Profile

    • Kassandra Lamb
      Sep 1, 2012

      Okay, how did I end up with a grouchy dinosaur and crab claws instead of my picture. *sigh* Technology hates me.

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Sep 3, 2012

      Kassandra, you can do it all in 15 minutes if that is all the time you have. But like Fabio said, it requires a lot of self-discipline. I don’t have it most of the time. None without my egg timer :P But at the moment I also have more time at my hands. Which I could use more efficiently.

      It makes a big difference to choose the few places where you want to be and make a real impact.

  6. August McLaughlin
    Sep 1, 2012

    I love your tips, Reetta—practical, creative and fun. People really seem to have mixed views on social media. One common complaint I hear is “I don’t have time.” I used to believe that. Now I feel I can’t afford NOT to partake. It’s helpful on so many levels…

    Off to share your fabulous post. :)
    August McLaughlin recently posted..Thrilling TV: What Rocks Your Tube?My Profile

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Sep 3, 2012

      Thanks, August. I think that many of those people who say “I don’t have time” don’t know how social media works and are apprehensive of it.

      Or assume that they have to do it all and no one has time for that.

  7. Fabio Bueno
    Sep 1, 2012

    Great tips, Reetta. Easy to follow too. Well, the 15-minute rule requires a lot of discipline :)
    Fabio Bueno recently posted..YAmondAY with Debra KristiMy Profile

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Sep 3, 2012

      So true, Fabio. If self-discipline could be bottled and sold, the inventor would be a billionaire.

  8. Francelia Belton
    Sep 2, 2012

    Great tips, Reeta! I’ve been struggling with this myself. I’ve struggled about having to do them all: Twitter, Facebook, blog commenting, Pinterest, Goodreads, et al. It’s good to know I just need to select a few and do what I can there. Thanks again!

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Sep 3, 2012

      Thank you, Francelia :) I’m glad I could help a little.

  9. Angela Orlowski-Peart
    Sep 3, 2012

    Reetta, these are invaluable tips, and I especially enjoy your weekly social media planning. I’m going to incorporate that idea into my routine. Quality over quantity is what I strive for. There is enough of a mindless blabber already, especially on Twitter :-)

  10. Lena Corazon
    Sep 3, 2012

    These are all fantastic tips, Reetta, and incredibly practical! Definitely one of the best lists I’ve seen to date. :D
    Lena Corazon recently posted..ROW80: Anyone Have a Time Turner I Could Borrow?My Profile

  11. Karla Darcy
    Sep 5, 2012

    These are really good tips. I shared with a batch of friends who are newbies like me and are really overwhelmed by the learning curve on social media. These tips helped.

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Sep 5, 2012

      Thank you, Karla :) I’m glad you found the tips helpful.

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