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02 October 2012

Social Media Overload Nets a Blurry ROI

Busy, Busy, Busy…

Sometimes we get so caught up in the doing of marketing our business through social media, that we forget to consider the return on investment (ROI) of all that doing.  We busily create content for our Facebook Page, Tweet interesting tidbits, and frequently engage in other realms of social media, but what is the net effect?

The other day I was whining to a friend about the time suck that is my daily involvement with all things electronically transmitted into and out of my home in the name of connectivity (e.g., e-mail, social media, on-line news, etc.) I lamented that it is becoming a real strain on my productivity. I feel we’ve become a society that wastes an inordinate amount of time in an effort to stay current. Whether it’s following every friend’s mood through Facebook, scouring your tweets for potentially breaking news, or sorting through the superfluous e-mails in your inbox to get to the important communications, we are all inundated with an overwhelming amount of data. If you’re not overwhelmed, take a look at this infographic.

Edge of Cliff

Edge of Sanity

I like to think that I’m still one of the sane individuals that understands how to use these various websites and technologies to my advantage without completely going over the cliff into a social media abyss. The “abyss” being thinking that I might miss something important if I don’t monitor all of my channels compulsively throughout the day. Unfortunately, I have to admit, the other day I felt like I was getting closer to losing touch with my reality tether due to the sheer magnitude of keeping up with everything.

When the sense of overwhelm presents itself in relation to data transmission, it is time to step back and assess the ROI, focusing on the aspects of your efforts that are netting the most ‘bang for your buck’. As I’ve recommended before, and I’ll state again, don’t get so mired into setting up profiles on every social media outlet that you can’t keep up with it all and it just becomes noise–both to you and to your customers. Always regularly update your website first. After that, if you only have the time to spend on ONE social media outlet regularly, it should be Facebook. Accounting for 63% of the market share of on-line social media visits, chances are you’ll be able to find some or all of your customers on this one platform.

Secondly, (if you have time) you should allow yourself to continue to engage with one of your favorites sites, even if it’s not in the top 5. If you really enjoy your engagement on LinkedIn, by all means, continue to spend time there.

Pull Back

Lessen your engagement with the other platforms for a while. Of course then the question becomes, Should you delete your profile on the sites you no longer want to maintain with a regular frequency or just let the content become dated?” This is really a personal preference question. For me, I hesitate to delete a profile, because I may go back to it someday. Although MySpace is not a current contender in the social media marketplace, their recent announcement of yet another reinvention might materialize into something worthwhile. For now, I’m not going to worry about frequent updates on MySpace, but I’m also not going to delete our profile, because if it starts climbing the charts again, I want to make it easy on myself to jump back into the fray.

Those are my suggestions. How do YOU keep yourself sane in today’s social media landscape?

2 Responses

  1. Information overload is, without a doubt, a challenge. I have found that in order to manage it all I have to have a written plan. But it doesn’t stop at having a plan. I have to consult my plan, follow my plan, and refine my plan — constantly improving it to meet my information needs.

    Is it work? Yes! But I do it because what some people see as information overload I prefer to see as endless opportunity. It just has to be approached with great intention and a bit of strategy.

  2. Thank you for your input, Debi. I absolutely agree with you that having a plan is a necessity. It’s important to have an over-arching strategy for social media, just as one would have for any other aspect of one’s business. The difficulty for me is adding this aspect of marketing to my already full business owner plate.

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