23 and Counting – Social Media Burnout
Today I counted the number of social media/communication tools that I use or manage. Here are the totals for the main ones:
6 E-mail addresses
2 Youtube Accounts
2 Flickr Accounts
4 Twitter accounts
3 “all-in-one” social media management tools
That’s 23+ tools that I work with almost daily. And with a new tool coming out all the time, one can’t help but ask “when is it too much?” And with my role at MATRIX Resources I am constantly researching tools and helping my teammates learn how to use them. Many of them come up to me and say things like “I don’t have time to use all of these things.” And I would agree. They don’t.
So, how can you use these tools but not become overwhelmed by the information or just plain noise that comes from them?
Matthew Cornell, a productivity expert, recently empathized with social media burnout in an article on SFGate.com:
When you sign up for something like Facebook or Twitter, implicitly or explicitly you’re making a commitment to it, and that can be a lot of pressure . . . [and] . . . losing track of time when browsing social media sites can happen easily if you’re not disciplined.”
There’s a word that most people hate. . . discipline. But I have to agree. So to help summarize that article and a few others on social media burn out, here are a few tips:
- Don’t try and keep up with every update, tweet, or wall post.
- Learn to skim – the same way you would skim a newspaper or your e-mail inbox for the most important matters.
- Limit your time of social media sites – build it into your calendar if need be.
- Automate Automate! Schedule tweets in advance.
- Use the parts of the tools that make life/work easier.
A few weeks ago I helped an Account Manager in our office set up a Twitter account. We setup her account and started following people that she knew and other industry experts. As I was talking to her I realized she wasn’t paying attention to me. When she noticed my pause, she said “Sorry, I was trying to read all of these tweets.” I laughed because I knew how overwhelming it can be at first. But, I stressed the importance of “skimming.” Now she is well on her way to building followers and leveraging Twitter (and other tools) to build better relationships.
So discipline yourself, and the time you spend on social media. The last thing we need is another burnout.
My question to you is, how many tools are you using?
Tags: Facebook, LinkedIn, time management, Twitter
Ooohhh…Where is your third blog?!? Can I read it? 🙂
I have two email accounts (work + personal), one FB, and three computers that I use regularly. Six total…so I’m not anywhere close to you! That said…I have a spreadsheet (password protected of course) where I keep track of my usernames/passwords for websites and I have at least 131 online accounts!
Wow! 131 accounts! That’s a huge number of usernames and passwords to keep up with.
My 3rd blog is the MATRIX blog. I manage it and am a guest author. http://matrixresources.wordpress.com.
Great article. Thanks very much for the link; I hadn’t caught that one yet 🙂
Re: tools, I think you’ve tagged yourself right. You’re the kind of early adopter who people like me (or a CIO) would look to for advice, or to take the pulse of the industry. Part of your work is to be a guinea pig for those 23 and counting tools. Which ones *stick* with you is something I’d like to know, though it probably changes over time. Question: Where are the RSS readers in your list? “All in one?” Or are you talking strictly about accounts.
I like Shel’s article. He and I are on the same wavelength. Thanks for the pointer.
In the same spirit of counting your attention commitments I wrote “These Are The Inboxes Of Our Lives” (http://matthewcornell.org/2009/07/these-are-inboxes-our-lives.html).
Thanks for the comment! Yes, right now most of my teammates are still “adopting” the tools so it’s early to tell which ones will stick for them. For me personally, I have developed quite a few relationships through Twitter that I wouldn’t have had the pleasure without that tool. So for me, investing a little more time in the evenings or throughout the day is worth it.
RSS feeds. Hmm. I forgot to include those in my count and I use them on a daily basis. So I would add another 15 RSS feeds to the mix. Good catch!