There's been quite a bit of chatter about Social Media Fatigue (SoMeFat) recently on some of the sites I connect with. I took a break from all forms of Social Media at Christmas and having rethought my approach I now feel much more able to cope with the volume of interesting stuff that is shared, as at the time I was struggling to keep up, and I wondered if I was alone in feeling overwhelmed. To me that's what Social Media Fatigue is, but is that what everyone else sees it as?
Has anyone else had experience of it, and if so, what were the symptoms and what did you do to overcome it?
Thanks in advance.
Yes I've certainly experienced it. I think the problem is that we're bombarded with so many platforms.
The trick is to focus on a couple of platforms and use them well before expanding your portfolio. If you do find you're suffering from SoMeFat - loving this Acronym by the way - then strip back your social surfing to the basics. Twitter is a great way to get enthusiasm back as you're limited to 140 characters.
In terms of managing the volume of content that is shared, we need to think about what role the social platform should be used for. For example - and apologies for using Twitter again - only follow people who you find share useful information and at a frequency that suits you, so many people follow high volumes of people to gain more followers, thus losing one of the main functions of the site (to receive information as well as distribute).
Another way that to ensure that your Social Media strategy doesn't lose pace, is to integrate it into your current processes, I work in marketing, so for me it's integrating it into a wider content distribution process, which applies to all content we produce.
If you keep focused on "quality rather than quantity" you can avoid SoMeFat, after all it's better to be using a few sites very well then using lots poorly.
Thanks for your input and guidance, I'm glad to see I'm not alone and I like the idea of stripping it right back, I think that is kind of what I did at Christmas and it did help alot as I did some social media "gardening" and removed a few bits and pieces. I've developed an "outcomes" strategy that I'm using, ie if I'm spending time on social media I expect to obtain an output from it that feeds into one of my areas of interest. It is so easy to keep following links and get lost surfing without real purpose! I've found this makes me more aware of where the time is going! Your quality rather than quantity focus is a great comment.
I totally agree with what Samantha has posted and there are some great tips there. For me the trick is to deal with SoMe in the same way as I deal with email (remember how we were all drowning in our InBox a few years ago?).
In approaching SoMe as though it were email you'll find that some of it is useful and needs actioning (less than 20%), some of it is for background information which you may store and and most of it is useless noise (nearer to 80%).
One other tip I'd add is to approach SoMe using GUTS . .
Hope the above is of use.
So that gives us SoMeFat-GUTS :-)
I'd agree with Sam and have been doing a little 'cleansing' too. I knew the time had come when I was receiving notifications/messages that I then deleted without reading (LinkedIn groups being a particular source of annoyance). I also went through a phase of about 2 weeks when I didn't want to tweet anything.
That helped me to focus more on what I really wanted to see, so I disabled several auto-updates and have started to properly use the 'favourites' tool in Twitter. I then check out the links and save any that I can see a future use for. If they're that good/useful, I know I'll go back to them.
I'm really interesting in your "go back later" approach as this is what I am doing. I find Twitter can be annoying as I favourite things and then when I get around to wanting to get in to the detail they are often "unavailable" argh!. The thing about saving links is to have a strategy for managing your links. Do you use a bookmarking site?
I have started using Diigo but admittedly had forgotten about it until someone else mentioned it here. It must have been around the time when I had stopped tweeting - I suppose I had twut up...:-)
I've also been using the Favourites Bar in IE8. When storing to the usual Favourites list, I generally forgot about them completely, but as the bar is always on display it acts as a stronger reminder. The newest ones appear at the left and gradually get shuffled off to the right, by which time they've probably become obsolete anyway (but you can still get them back).
It's not much of a strategy, but so far it's working OK for me.
Well thanks for sharing your GUTS!!!! No, seriously, a good strategy and great for encouraging others to Share ie GIVE away/ TRADE. I think that the strategies for managing email do apply to SoMe but including SoMe with your email strategy is not something that I was doing pre christmas.
Is GUTS your idea or does it originate from elsewhere?
The GUTS approach is not mine but was developed years ago to assist with information management as part of a time management programme I developed.
That said, I've never seen it used elsewhere so I may well try and claim it as my own ;-)
Go for it! If I reference it I'll of course say I got it from YOU!
You are not alone! To me, SoMeFat is not just that there are too many individuals all trying to get noticed with their blogs (mostly saying similiar things), it's also too many companies trying to sell me stuff and get me to read their "White Papers". Symptoms - feeling that slightly panicky on the edge feeling when looking at all the demands for attention, being unable to spot which are likely to be relevant and useful, not being able to make a decision and ultimately just pressing delete / ignoring messages etc.
What did I do? I turned off the alerts from Facebook and just pressed delete a lot more. I figure that info on social media is like buying a house - there isn't going to be just one single house that is perfect for you. If you dont buy this one today, you'll find another one next week or next month. It wont be the same as this one, it will be different, but may have more interesting features!
I'd be interested in tips - the ones already given have been helpful as a novice to all this.
Your description of feeling "slightly panicky" is spot on with how I was feeling at Christmas! I agree about turning the alerts off, I do that for email to so that I'm not tempted to read emails when they come in with an interesting subject heading but wait until I've scheduled to read my emails! I get what you mean about the "white papers" too from companies although often they do contain useful nuggets.
Thanks for sharing.
I think we suffer fatigue from anything that we have too much of and SoMe is no exception, perhaps it's just the one at the top of our fatigue league at the moment? Or should that be that it is 'trending'?
I think what Samantha and a few others have said here is true - quality rather than quantity - I used to follow all sorts on Twitter from celebrities to old school friends and ended up with over a hundred people. I have Friend Stream on my HTC - it shows Twitter and Facebook comments - and it all got a little overwhelming. As a result I stripped out anyone who hadn't peaked my interest in recent weeks. I kept the SoMe application but 'fine-tuned' who I followed.
I also like to 'lurk' at times - read the comments of others but not get involved in the conversations - you'd be surprised how much time it saves if you're just reading but not typing messages all the time.
I still find it ironic to call this technology 'Social Media' when you can watch people sat in groups who are so busy texting or micro-blogging that they barely acknowledge the existence of the friend/colleague across the table - I guess they could be tweeting each other?!