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…
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?