As a huge proponent of inbound marketing, I also have a soft spot for social media as a marketing vehicle. It has been a fantastic tool in our content promotion and demand gen efforts.
At the same time, there have been instances where I felt tired of social media. Burned out even. Unmotivated to look at any of my profiles at times.
Of course, I always seem to catch my breath before long. Maybe my psyche just has a way of self-regulating. Or maybe it’s just a biorhythm thing – a natural ebb and flow of activity and excitement.
But not everyone is like me. I’ve seen people who can’t get enough of social media, both personally and professionally. We all know those folks who keep the smart phone tethered to their hand, just in case a status update alert comes through.
Hey, passion is great. I think it’s the driving force behind motivation for a lot of us. But how can we know when enough is too much? Let’s look at things to watch for so we don’t overdo it
Social Media: Alarm Signs That You May Be Going Overboard
At a recent training I conducted, we had a long discussion about this very topic. Based on the slides I presented and the brainstorm that ensued, here are the five signals we all agreed are important to watch for.
1. Your Social Media Audience Begins to Tune You Out
We’ve all heard the analogies of Google Plus to a ghost town (which is untrue, by the way). But what happens when all of your social media channels start to lack interaction?
If you’ve been working hard to keep your social media presence moving, there should be vibrant discussions, likes, shares/retweets, and other actions. This assumes you are approaching it correctly.
So if you are working hard and all you hear is the sound of crickets? Slow down and re-evaluate your approach. Are you posting too frequently? Pushing buttons too much? Offending people? Trying to hard sell in every other post or tweet?
Social media is great, and it self-regulates. If you aren’t seeing it naturally keep moving, take a step back and reconsider your approach.
2. You Start Getting Unfollowed / Defriended
Sometimes #1 happens, and other times, it’s even worse. If you not only see a lack of activity, but also see your follower / friend count start to tumble, signal the alarms. People are pretty forgiving on social media if you behave. Everyone makes an occasional mistake or overstates something, and apologies can go pretty far.
But if you’re oblivious to the impact your social media activities are driving, that’s a path to disaster. Remember that social media does in fact self-regulate. If people start ignoring you, don’t be surprised when they later disconnect from you altogether.
After all, we are all trying to manage this in the best way possible. It’s very easy to block or unfollow someone on social media platforms. When you see that happening, don’t just reconsider your activity. Stop in your tracks and overhaul it immediately. Your online reputation will thank you for it.
3. You Start to Get Stressed Out
I alluded to this one toward the beginning of this post – if social media is causing your blood pressure to rise, do something about it. It’s up to you to insert discretion into the process. If you are overwhelmed, change it.
Like I said, I’ve hit the wall a few times in the past. It’s amazing what a slowdown period can do for those feelings. We’re all human. There are only so many hours in the day. We all have a lot to juggle. Take back control and prioritize as you see fit. Dial back to recharge, then go forward without fear. It’s refreshing.
4. You Lose the Motivation To Keep Doing It
Maybe you have been hitting social media hard, and it hasn’t actually stressed you out. But maybe you find yourself just tiring of the process and the need to be “on” 24×7.
For me, getting stressed out and losing the motivation would likely come hand in hand. But others may just get disillusioned for any of a number of reasons. Maybe it’s because of pushing very hard and not seeing the results. Maybe it’s because of unrealistic expectations in the first place. Or maybe it’s just because.
I offer the same comments – dial back and see if the motivation resurfaces. Sometimes a short hiatus is all it takes.
5. Metrics Tell You To Go Another Direction
If any of the first four signals are cropping up, or even worse if all four are, start to analyze your metrics. Are you stressed out and unmotivated because nothing is working? Or maybe because you’ve been chasing off friends and followers with aggressive sales tactics? Is the content you curate not resonating with your audience?
Metrics are awesome, but they are also meaningless if not analyzed and reacted upon. Always test, measure, iterate, and test again. This holds true for all marketing vehicles, even social media. This is the best way to use your time effectively across all areas of marketing, so use that to your advantage.
Social Media Marketing can be a huge benefit to your business. But it’s not always rosy and easy to do. Watch for these five signals, and adjust your behavior in response. You’ll find that it helps make your hard work more effective and much more rewarding.
Have you seen any other signals I overlooked? How do you handle roadbumps like these five areas?
Feature Image sourced under creative commons attribution license from Deviant Art.