Social media fatigue: 10 facts you should know
What’s the first thing you look for when you wake up? How about the last thing you hold before you tuck yourself in? Our guess is that it’s probably the same thing: your mobile device. People these days hang on to their phones like they’re hanging on for dear life.
Here’s an interesting study from Hong Kong: heart rate increases at an average of 15% when people drop their phones, even faster than when they are asked to speak before a crowd. People desire to be connected and the one thing that lets them stay that way is social media. As of January 2014, 74% of all online adults use social networking sites. The rising demographic is why brands have also used social media marketing to connect with their followers and audiences.
But while it is physically easier to fire a post online than hand out flyers to passersby under the heat of the sun, it does not necessarily follow that social media does not cause fatigue to the marketer and the audience.
According to Techopedia, social media fatigue refers to the “users’ tendency to pull back from social media when they become overwhelmed with too many social media sites, too many friends and followers, and too much time spent online maintaining these connections.”
The challenge is for marketers to create a social media strategy that engages people without tiring them out. Here are the things you need to understand and avoid social media fatigue.
Restless with too many platforms
Just when you thought you are the king of marketing on Instagram, another photo-sharing platform comes around. Give yourself a break and don’t jump in all at once. Think about it. Do you need it? Are your followers in there? What are you likely to gain or lose from it? Do you have the time and resources or simply the energy?
Social media is not going to stop evolving. A new network will be born as soon as you blink. It’s an exciting world but that doesn’t mean you have to join every roller-coaster ride. It is okay to be an outsider first and observe. If the new platform supports your goals and serves your audiences, then do it. If you have the time, people, and resources, do it. But do not stress yourself out by thinking you are ripe for it when you’re not. Do not stress your audiences out by being in too many different places at the same time. Please value your sanity and everyone else’s.
Time for an update yet again
How many times do you post on social media? If you are posting content several times a day in several platforms, you are going to lose it at some point. Social media marketing needs a solid plan of action, including a schedule. In case you haven’t heard, you don’t have to do it manually. You can schedule your posts just about in every major platform or hire a virtual assistant to streamline all updates.
Irrelevant content wears everyone out
Marketers invest so much on content creation. But when that content is irrelevant and does not have value whatsoever, you are just wasting your time and tiring your audiences out. Imagine your avid followers read up on content that does not mean anything. And imagine the time and energy you wasted and lost as a marketer. Plan your content very well. Make sure it is credible, relevant, and interesting.
One voice, one message
One of the social media tips you are likely to get from successful marketing professionals is to find your voice and stick to it. Can you just imagine the audience’s dilemma when they go to you for pop music then you give them jazz? When you draft a social media strategy, have one solid message, a solid narrative. Find out who you are. Find your voice. When people can no longer figure out who you are, they get tired then they leave. Do not let that happen.
Narrow your focus
Speaking of finding your voice, you have to know how to narrow your focus. This does not only mean focusing on one or two platforms that work. This also means focusing on the type of content that you produce. Is your campaign more of the blog type or infographics? Does your audience go to you for tutorial and DIY videos or do they seek you out for interesting lists? Know your audience, know your strengths, then narrow it down.
Making sense of data and metrics
Do not lose your sanity over data and numbers. Understand how data-driven social media marketing strategies work and never again feel small and overwhelmed in their presence. You have to familiarize yourself with your audiences by going beyond demographics. Get to know who you are up against. Know what likes, comments, and shares really mean. Only by going deep into these data can you actually get rid of uncertainties and produce the real thing.
A field of trolls
Have you ever had to deal with a troll? Engage a troll? Trolls are usually on social media platforms, Internet chat rooms, and discussion forums. They use negative language and hide behind fake identities. Yes, they know how to bring about social media fatigue like a boss. Deal with them or not deal with them, that’s your call. When you choose to engage them, remain calm and collected. Do not argue, just educate them. Acknowledge their views, however senseless, and thank them for it. Humor them. If they keep lurking on your page, stressing everyone out, maybe it is best to block them for good.
Outsource what you can’t handle
Outsourcing is a common refuge for startups. Do not force it when you don’t have it. If you are working on very limited resources, identify what part of the social media marketing process you are having difficulty with. For example, if writing several pieces of relevant content a day is weighing you down, hire a freelance writer. If you force doing all aspects with limited resources and people, you will risk negative results in more aspects than one.
Think big but manage ROI
One viral post after another is not an impossible goal. But get real. If you are a startup, new on social media, and do not have a lot of resources, try to manage your expectations. You have to identify what it is that you want to achieve with your social media strategies. Do you simply want online awareness and visibility or leads or revenue? What it is that you want from social media? Only by answering that question can you actually start measuring success.
Lack of success
Note that we did not use the word failure. Just like traditional forms of marketing, social media marketing has its own learning curve. We are all a work in progress. Social media could be tricky and, with so many brands subscribed to them, it could be a jungle. If one of your social media campaigns does not work, learn from it and move on with the next. In the process, enhance your social media know-how, assess your strategy, try new techniques, and invest in creating better content.
Take a break if you need to. Reassess your focus so you don’t produce clutter. In the end, it is a matter of going back to the reasons why you do what you do in the first place. Know your brand, know your audiences. Give only what both camps need and desire. Keep expectations manageable. Don’t ride all trends, just stick to the ones that matter to your brand and your audience.