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?

Link Feast For Writers, vol. 21 – Time Management

Welcome, welcome.

In last week’s comments I asked you to tell me what you are currently struggling with. Rhonda Hopkins was looking for the right balance to keep up with writing, blogging and social media.

Thanks for the comment, Rhonda. This week there is a whole category dedicated to time management and productivity, and some other relevant links.

Also, this Friday I’m blogging about social media and what you can do with it in just 15 minutes a day.

Another commenter, Coleen Patrick, was stuck with her story which lead her to feel disinterested. I really feel for you so I scavenged a few links to help you out, Coleen. And then there is the usual fare. Enjoy everyone!


If You Have Time For Only One Thing

Book Marketing Freebies by Duolit
– Get Your Mind Right: The 4 Rules of Successful Book Marketers (PDF)
– Market Your Book (Without Losing All Your Writing Time) (PDF)
– Who is My Target Market? (PDF)
– Find Your Best Reader Hangouts (PDF) [This is a must see]


On Writing

Pauline Fisk On Cyber Bullying: A Personal Tale

Ask a Writer: How Do I Write What the Audience Wants to Read? by Chuck Wendig

How Debut Novels Need To Be Different by Nicola Morgan

“You Just Need To Get Started” Is a Bad Idea by Cal Newport

5 Ways To Write the Right Kind of a Book For You by Karen Woodward

A Girl’s Love For Batman: The Possible Cost of Segregating Stories By Gender by Julie Wu

Character Values by Liz Fredericks

People In Your Memoir Are Characters Too by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett (these tips work for fiction writers too)

Writing Realistic Love Relationships by Carolyn Kaufman

Showing Emotions: Boys vs. Girls by Susan Kaye Quinn

What Star Wars “New Hope” Can Teach Us About In Medias Res by Kristen Lamb

Scenes and Sequels by Lisa Hall-Wilson

Find Your Voice, Find Your Power by Robin LaFevers

Killing the Scared Cows of Publishing: Rewriting by Dean Wesley Smith

Reignite Your Passion For Writing: Interview With Julie Isaacs by Nancy Christie

4 Ways To Hack Into Your Mind and Become Infinately More Creative by Ollin Morales

Got Writer’s Block? You Just Need To Care Less by Lori Devoti

10 Steps To Deconstructing a Novel: How To Learn From Great Authors by Kathy Steffen

Heinlein’s Rules On Writing by Robert J. Sawyer

Becca Puglisi’s Favorite Teacher: Stephen King

Writing Prompts: Start With a Setting by Kathy Steffen

6 Laws For Becoming a Career Author by Shannon from Duolit

Build a Budget For Success by Lisa Jacobs

Comparable Titles by Janet Reid


Productivity & Time Management

The Writer’s Golden Hour: Making the Most of Our Time by August McLaughlin

Making the Time to Write, Blog, Do Social Media, Finish School and Be a Parent by Yesenia Vargas

Triage Your Priorities by Steve Pavlina

How To Prioritize by Steve Pavlina

The 50-30-20 Rule by Steve Pavlina

Microtasks by Steve Pavlina

33 Rules To Boost Your Productivity by Steve Pavlina

How To Create a Personal Productivity Scaffold by Steve Pavlina

Why “I Don’t Have Time” Is a Big Fat Lie by Steve Kamb

Always Dominate Mondays by Steve Kamb

How To Become a Productivity Ninja by Steve Kamb

My 2012 Plan To Stay Out of Busy-ness & In Creation by Abby Kerr (really helpful day by day schedule)

Efficient Email by Steven Pavlina


Your Author Platform

Do You Know Who Your Audience Is? No, Really: Do You? by Dan Blank

Finding Your Audience Is About Becoming More Yourself, Less Like a Marketer by Dan Blank

Discover Your Core Values and Use Them To Anchor Your Brand Story (every book has a theme, a deeper meaning and message, and so should your brand and blog)

The Value of People by Erika Napoletano

How Little Surprises Help You Blow Awayyy Your Audience and Clients by Dorian Mars

7 Reasons Why Your Marketing Isn’t Working by Cory Huff

Is Your Marketing a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing? by Jay Baer

DIY Book Marketing: 4 Things Authors Must Do Themselves by Stephanie Barko

How To Get Your Book Reviewed: A Practical Lesson by Catherine Ryan Howard

How To Build an Email List, Starting From Nothing by Jon Morrow (6:32 min video)

5 Things To Ponder Before You Self-Publish by Karen Woodward

Ruth Harris Reports: Editors and Editing (Part 2)

What Is a Book Publicist by Stephanie Barko



What Offer Does Your Author Blog Make? by Joel Friedlander

Are You Writing Your Writing? by Abby Kerr

Why No One’s Paying Attention to You (And What to Do About it) by Mars Dorian

5 Steps To Make Your Blog Difficult To Ignore by Yeremi Akpan

How To Manipulate People For Fun (and Profit) by Derek Halpern

10 Ways To Optimize Your Blog Subscriptions by Christine Brady

17 Crazy Places To Get Jaw Dropping Headline Ideas (Pushing Social)

How To Add Impact To Your Story-Based Articles by Sean D’Souza

How To Interview Anyone: 5 Lessons From Amazing Interviewers by Rohit Bhargava

Guest Posting Genius by Annabel Candy

How To Live Blog (or Twitter) an Event Effectively by Rohit Bhargava

Why I Don’t Have a Blog Roll And Why You Shouldn’t Either by Yeremi Akpan

5 Ways To Re-Enter Your Blog When You’ve Been MIA by Abby Kerr


Social Media

Long Term Goals for Social Networking by Adam Justice

Social Networking: What Are You Getting From It As a Writer? by Cindy R. Wilson

How To Not Get Overwhelmed by Social Media Marketing by Matt Southern

Should You Preschedule Tweets? by Meghan Ward

Social Media Is a Process by Vered de Leuuw

Twitter Is a Pub by E.J. Newman

Why 150 Followers Is All You Really Need by Srinivas Rao

Promoting Your Blog With Twitter (Pushing Social)

Diary of a Social Media Hiatus: How I Did It & What I Learned by Abby Kerr

30-Day Facebook Fast (and the lessons learned) by Steve Pavlina


Collected Wisdom

Blog Treasures by Gene Lempp

Twitterific by Elizabeth S. Craig

Friday Features by Yesenia Vargas

Fill-Me-In Friday by Roni Loren


Deep Stuff

10 Incredibly Simple Things You Should Be Doing To Protect Your Privacy by Kashmir Hill at Forbes.com

10 Powerful Things To Say To Your Children by Jim Barnes (this is a book review of a book with the name of the post)

Living Your Values by Steve Pavlina

Using Your Values To Make Decisions by Steve Pavlina

Re-Evaluate Your Values by Steve Pavlina

30 Days To Success by Steve Pavlina

Practice Makes Permanent: A Lesson From World-Class Korean Archers

How To Go From Introvert to Extrovert by Steve Pavlina


Fun Stuff

Lea Kingsbury’s gorgeous Pinterest boards

August Horoscopes by Austin Kleon (clever)

10 Ways To Know Your GPS Is Trying To Kill You by Sarah Hoyt

Top 20 Most Anticipated Fantasy & Science Fiction Books of August 2012 (The Ranting Dragon)

Top 30 Most Anticipated Speculative Novels Coming Out in September 2012 (The Ranting Dragon)

Fantasy Influences: Ancient Greek Mythology – Part 1 by Victoria Hooper

Pirates: Fantasy’s Forgotten Scoundrels by Laura Graham

The Music of Miriam Black: Songs for the Songbird by Chuck Wendig


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