In browsing through my Facebook newsfeed earlier today, I came across this post: I’m a Social Media Hypocrite. You can read the post if you like. Essentially, the post tells the story of a social media user who became burned out. He became so consumed with his social media outlets that he ignored the more important things in his life. With time, he realized his mistake and gave up social media all together.
Social Media Burnout and Obsession
This seems to be a recurring theme with social media users. Especially for those of us who are active in more than one social media network, time does sometimes start to become an issue. And for many, it also seems as though these networks can become somewhat of an obsession. We seem to always have the urge to check in with our Twitter friends and see what’s happening. Or see if anyone has mentioned us on Facebook or posted on our wall. This obsession can sometimes lead us to becoming burned out. Or lead us to neglect the people and things that are (or should be) most important to us, as in the example in the I’m a Social Media Hypocrite post.
Avoiding Social Media Burnout and Obsession
Does it have to be like this? Well, only if you want it to be. If you’re using social media to stay in touch with your family or keep up with your friends, that’s fine. But if you’re using social media to build your business, you need to plan your social media strategy just as do the rest of your business dealings.
There may be some people that will disagree with me on this. But you don’t need to be available 24/7 to your social media followers. Okay, perhaps if you’re a multi-million dollar business that operates round the clock, you do. But for most of us running small businesses, a 24-hour-a-day 7-days-a-week commitment is not necessary.
You do need to check your social media outlets on a regular basis. You need to monitor your brand. And you need to answer people who are trying to reach you. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend hours every day with your social networking.
My advice is to figure out how much time you want to spend on social networking and prepare a schedule to follow. In most situations, somewhere between 2 to 6 hours per week is usually sufficient. Ideally, a little time every day or at least every week day is probably the best strategy. The point is to work this time into your schedule and disconnect when the time is finished. Set an alarm if you need to.
If you wish to spend more time with your social networks, feel free. Just don’t forget that there’s a whole wide world away from your computer or cell phone that is waiting for you. Obviously, running your business is important. But your mental and physical health is important too. You can’t run your business efficiently or manage its social media strategy if you don’t keep yourself healthy.
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