How do you feel about social media these days?
Just before Christmas, and feeling cynical about Facebook and probably social media in general, I spontaneously decided to take a break until the new year. And I do not miss Facebook at all. Not to say I don’t find it useful, it can be. But I am definitely guilty of wasting time scrolling the feed, seeing things I don’t need to see. I’ll log back in in January, but I am going to do my best to use it more wisely and try not to get sucked back into the unholy vortex that it is.
How do you feel about social media these days? It’s undeniably important for brand building and getting eyeballs on your content, no doubt. But on a more personal level, how do you manage it?
Social media is a great marketing and branding platform. Besides that, it’s one of the best ways to be in touch with friends, acquaintances, customers, and network ops.
But these days, I am using the unfollow and hide features of posts too often. I find too many people using social media, in my case Facebook, as a complaint board. I prefer to have Facebook as my online happy place.
Social Media can be used both to manipulate or to inspire others. Luckily, it is up to us to make sure it is used in the way that serves others the most. I know it sounds like hippie talk, but by serving others and sharing our values and visions we are really inspiring others to do the same. If you stop doing it, those who use it to manipulate will win.
I’m finding social media to be OVER saturated. I haven’t logged into FB this year. There’s too much out there on S.M. and it can be overwhelming. Everyone flocks to the new biggest and brightest and the “new” suffers rapidly. Hard to find quality and value. I try to find recommendations of qaultiy and value and go from there. The world is becoming one big cliche and social media displays this admirably. I’m not being cynical, it’s what I see.
After 10 days or so of staying completely off FB I can say that I did not miss it at all, and that I read a lot more. Since I logged back in I’m way more disciplined about it…I don’t have much desire to scroll the feed. I keep it off my phone to stop any temptation to habitually open it. It’s a necessity for me to use it for work, but I do also like to keep in touch with friends with it…I certainly don’t need to know every little thing that’s happening, though. You tend to learn about what’s really important through any number of means.
I also now question everything I post, honestly answer myself about my motivations behind it…is it my ego that needs a little boost by getting a photo liked? Even if that’s the case and I do end up posting something purely to “show off” well, at least I’m aware of it.
One other thing I’ve done is keep my phone out of the bedroom…and use an actual clock if I need an alarm. How many of you scroll your phones right before bed, and first thing as soon as you wake up? I used to.
I was without a cell for a few months in 2016 and most of the time when I did have a cell in 2016 I didn’t have the Facebook app. I have recently had to install FB for a few apps that integratate with it like IG. When I needed to change FB settings on IG, the settings were easier to change if I had the FB app installed, which was a bummer. Usually, I checked my emails in the morning on my phone when I wake up.
It can be a very good marketing tool but I find it takes to much time away from my family. I would rather spend time with them and do other things than sit on social media. And also these days you can barely see someone without their head glued into their phone. It’s getting a bit out of hand. I use it mostly for marketing because I just started my new blog but I try to limit it to a couple of hours a day.
* A note from your friendly neighborhood Social Media Manager *
I think it’s really important to recognize that Social Media does have an impact on us. Because Social Media is still relatively young, there are no longitudinal studies yet, but there are a lot of strong cases that indicate that Social Media has an impact on our self-esteem, our sense of self-worth, our moods, and can even manipulate our beliefs (just look at Brexit and the Election in the USA #fakenews). Seriously, Social Comparison is a thing and can wreak havoc on your mind.
Social Media isn’t going anywhere. It has spawned a whole new industry with lots of investment dollars put into new platforms and advertising. BUT, we can be mindful of the types of content we consume and how much time we spend on Social Media.
You’re all correct — it’s a great way to cultivate an audience and it’s also becoming increasingly important as a way to build up your professional identity. Having Social Media experience and a strong Social Media presence is becoming more and more of a requirement from employers. But you don’t have to work harder at you — just smarter. Here’s what I suggest:
– Look into free automation and scheduling programs. I use IFTTT for simple cross platform posting, Latergram is great for scheduling out Instagram photos, Tweetdeck is also good for monitoring and scheduling Twitter.
– Be mindful of the time you spend on Social Media. Set aside time to schedule your own channels and engage with your audience, and set aside a separate chunk of time towards reading blogs — but be mindful of WHAT blogs you’re reading. Are they providing you with any new insight or intelligent perspective? Or are they very opinionated blogs or listicles of cat pics?
– RESEARCH! Put forth the extra 5 minutes to check an author’s sources. If you find an article online, don’t take it for face value. Try to find the original study or document an author is referencing and interpret the data for yourself. Here’s an article on how to be a better Social Media Citizen.
Things to look out for in 2017
– Live streaming platforms: Because Facebook and Instagram are breaking into live streaming, these platforms tend to prioritize this type of content. What’s great about this is that it’s raw and in the moment. No need for post production. Just go into it with a strong angle and a loose script. Facebook recommends live streaming for at least 15 to 20 minutes so that it can notify your followers that you’re doing a live stream.
– Medium! Medium is a platform for readers. It’s a new-ish Social Network for writers and essayists. It’s somehow integrated with Twitter, so if you sign in with Twitter, your followers from Twitter who also use Medium will become your Medium followers. Writers can self publish their essays and other experimental works for their own feeds or contribute to publications within Medium. Matador Network has a publication on Medium and we’d love to showcase your work there!
– Snapchat and Instagram Stories continue to compete. Those types of quick hit stories that only last for 24 hours doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.
What suggestions do you have? What kinds of programs do you use to monitor and manage your Social Media feeds?