Social Media Fatigue

his side of the bed

One of the biggest pushbacks I hear from people when I talk about how wonderful I think Google+ will be for business professionals is that they’re tired. They’re tired of joining a new social network. They’re tired of going through the dance of re-adding their friends and connections on yet another platform. They’re tired of having to think up even more content for yet another platform, after having finally committed to Facebook or Twitter or wherever else.

Social Media Fatigue

For a lot of people, the fatigue comes from that sense that they’re doing all the work, but not seeing the results. For another group, it’s that feeling that we’ve all done this before, so why do it again? For others, it’s just that we’re getting to the point where we feel maybe that we’ve shared all we can think of sharing, and we’re tired of rehashing the same old things over and over again.

Are any of these you?

Wake Up

Writing about social media can be boring. Writing about how to empower people, however, is pretty much always interesting. Telling people the same old thing on Google+ that you’d have shared on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn is about as boring as it sounds. Maybe try doing something new with the platform. On an absolutely random post about eating the Swedish meatballs at IKEA, I got a comment back from writer and all around interesting thinker, Jeff Jarvis, about how he not only likes the Swedish meatballs, but he admits to liking Taco Bell. For whatever reason, I came away from the experience thinking, “Huh, I wouldn’t normally get into these conversations, inane as they are, on the other social networks. I wonder why I’ve given myself permission to do so here.”

Wake up. We can all find new ways to talk about social media by NOT TALKING ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA. (Queue the Fight Club comments.) The thing is this: we’re using these tools to enable new connections. We’re using them to make different kinds of business happen. We’re using these tools to help causes that matter, and so much more.

It’s Your Choice

Look at your last 20 posts on any social network, and/or your blog. What are you talking about? Do you find yourself interesting? What else could you talk about instead? What would really change the nature of the conversation? How could you move from “talking about what everyone else is talking about” into talking about what’s next, what’s new, what’s personal, what’s helpful?

Make Your Own Media

These tools let you tell the stories you want to tell. They let you make something meaningful to you, to your business, to your pursuits. Nothing dictates how you use the tools to be your own media platform except your imagination and your ability to create. With that in mind, think up a few ways you might want to put these tools to use to tell the stories you want to tell.

  • If you’re a real estate professional, why not bring the neighborhoods you’re selling to life in stories and videos.
  • If you’re a freelance photographer, share the stories behind the photos.
  • If you’re a corporate blogger, tell us the passionate stories behind the big official posts.
  • If you’re writing just for your own passion, show us what you’re passionate about.
  • If you’re someone selling something, tell us the stories around that product or service.

The opportunity is for us to make something interesting and worthwhile, to be helpful, to empower others, to encourage and inspire others. If we’re fatigued, let’s all wake up.

I’ll do it too, okay?

ChrisBrogan.com runs on the Genesis Framework

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  • http://twitter.com/jenjarratt Jennifer Jarratt

    Love that ‘in bed” picture. It looks so cosy.

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  • Anonymous

     I’m still attempting to wrap my head around the fact that I’m selling something, however, your points are well made.

  • http://www.jasonfox.me Jason Fox

    I love the inspiration to go beyond our niche and tell stories.  That does not change the fact that when I joined Google + I had no photo, no friends, no info, no posts…  I have taken the challenge on because I understand the importance of being a part of anything that Google will give influence to.  In addition I was excited to see what the new platform was like.  Unfortunately, it still seems like a chore to me to build up my Google+ account.

  • http://www.decompressionmarketingelite.com Cindi @ Chiropractic Marketing

    Writing, posting and sharing with others about things other than your business is quite refreshing.  If all you did was write about your industry or your products then as a reader I would become bored with your content.  However, I too found the Swedish Meatballs at IKEA quite yummy and at the same time found it interesting that people would actually go to IKEA to eat dinner.  My point being, a person (hopefully) has more than business to write about.

  • http://www.themattberman.com Matthew Berman

    Great post Chris. Write about what you love and it feels less like work. Treat your own brand like you would a client. 

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  • Al94501

    Unsubscribe

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  • http://www.vmrcommunications.com Hugh Macken

    Chris, Change can be very expensive. Don’t you think maybe you’re trivializing this a bit?

  • http://WhosChrisHughes.com Chris Hughes

    excellent post here Chris. I’ve recently made a move on my blog to writing a little more personal experiences and have had a really great response from it. Since the switch from all business and marketing to more personal stories and lessons I’ve learned, I’ve gotten more clients, engaged more people and have felt better. 

    It was a terribly frightening thing to do, but it has been fulfilling so far :)

  • Anonymous

    Lots of truth in this post. Regularly I find people just use social media to talk about social media. It seems dangerously circular. 

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  • http://termpaperwriter.org/ Term papers

    This article is pure genius! Your blog is the first one i bookmarked in a long time.

  • http://justindupre.com Justin Dupre

    Great post here that brings up some valid points.

  • http://justindupre.com Justin Dupre

    Great post here that brings up some valid points.

  • http://scottkantner.com Scott Kantner

    Perhaps social media fatigue might have some other sources, such as 1) the latest platform being talked about like yesterday’s platform before most folks have even had a chance to sign up, 2) the purveyance of “experts” guides on Day One long before anyone could possibly be an expert on the platform, and/or 3) the realization that the next platform will be in our midst before we can grasp the current one and that we’ll be told we need to add that one too.

    I see a new law being formed. Perhaps we could call it “Kantner’s Law of Diminishing Social Media Returns,” which states the more platforms we have to deal with, the less all of us will benefit from any of them.

    People are going to make genuinely valuable social investments only so many times before saying “That’s enough, I need to spend time “doing the work”", as Pressfield would say.

  • http://homeremediesmd.com Home Remedies MD

    Social media can definitely get a little bit overwhelming if you don’t take a break or have a set plan going in before you start

  • http://twitter.com/Meredithbead Meredith Laskow

    I read the title of this post and thought, “WOW!  How does he know???”  In the paragraph SMF “is this you?” — yeah, 2 out of 3.

    I haven’t joined Google + because it seemed like One More Thing that would suck my time away.  One More Thing where I researched and learned the system, set it up, and then felt guilty because I couldn’t maintain it.  One More Thing where I met people, interacted with them — and then abandoned them, because the Siren Song of Too-much-to-do could not be muted.

    One.  More.  Thing.

    If I’m here, I can’t be there.  If I respond to this post, something else will not be done.

    Social networking is the “reward” after trudgingly long work days, the me-time between midnight and 1am when I reply, RT and promote everyone who’d promoted me.  Did I say reward?  One more hour of must-do — and if I’m lucky, I’ll have a few lines of conversation with another night bird.  (And I siphoned time from another chore to be here midday — because if I waited until midnight, the party would be over and I’d be shaking my Social Media booty on an almost empty dance floor.)

    For the record — Divas don’t do pity parties, but yes, I’m fatigued.

    And for the record, I’d rather be dancing.

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  • http://www.captivetouch.com/ Sherry Nouraini

    Well said Chris, and very timely and relevant! I’ve been using G+ for a few weeks now and I love it.  I purposely did not look for my Twitter and Facebook connections on G+ because, like you said, G+ provides a great opportunity to meet with a whole new set of people.  The nature of the interaction is also very different.  As a tip for people who can’t find time to use social media, your mobile phone could be your best friend.  I am a busy mom, business owner and college professor, but my phone allows me to stay connected at any opportunity wherever I am.  Having said that, I wish the G+ iphone app had a share button :)

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

     Understanding how and when customers are engaging with your brand is critical for establishing more meaningful connections with them. Social media will give a way to do this successfully…

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  • http://www.sustainablebusinessgrowth.biz Mike Ainsworth

    Excellent points. I especially liked the “It’s Your Choice” comments – a few more people should read that section.

  • http://www.sustainablebusinessgrowth.biz Mike Ainsworth

    Excellent points. I especially liked the “It’s Your Choice” comments – a few more people should read that section.

  • NEENZ FALEAFINE

    Chris: I too am noticing the difference in engagement with many others, especially Guy! Perhaps it’s because G+ allows us to express a complete thought with photos, videos, and links in more than 140. Brevity is a blessing sometimes, but there are other times when we have a bit more to share. Or maybe it’s because we’ve been given permission to Circle and share exclusive content, yet we’ll share with the Public. I’m sure it’s cerebral on some level, but I like to think it’s an emotional connection with G+.

    All that being said, I too have taken a different approach to G+ limiting more personal posts like my cat rolling over :) (for the record I don’t own a cat, it’s just an example), to adding and share more valuable content to the discussions. Over on Twitter, my community have become consumers of content, so I’m always linking; and Facebook is a mix of family, friends, and colleagues so they receive updates of my cat.

    In a coconut shell, it’s not just about rehashing content, it’s knowing what to share with whom to continue building an engaged and sustainable community.

  • http://lubetkinsotherblog.blogspot.com PodcastSteve

    As usual, Chris, you are right on point. The conversations in social media have become way too “meta,” with blog posts only about blogging, Facebook posts about using Facebook, tweets about Twitter. It’s about as interesting as reading the user manual for a new appliance. Now that we know how to use the tools, we should be avoiding opportunities to talk about the tools themselves, and focusing on using them to tell stories about the real world.

  • http://www.mightycasey.com MightyCasey

    With apologies to Samuel Johnson, those who are tired of social media are tired of life. 

    Sharing stories is how all human communication happens – being able to share them globally, across a host of platforms, is a big leap forward for human communication. Conversations about meatballs or treating metastatic cancer are equally important to those participating in them. 

    I’ve had longer-lasting and more-random conversations on G+ than on other platforms. You can share a complete perspective, a burst of inspiration, cute kitten videos, the whole nine.

    I’m not sure where it will ultimately stack up, but I have more purposeful interactions there (since they haven’t released the API to Hootsuite et al yet) than I typically do on TW/FB/LI.

    • http://pendantry.wordpress.com/ Colin Reynolds

      I don’t think the message is ‘tired of social media’.

      The message I’m hearing is ‘tired of reinventing the wheel’.

    • Karl Kessler

      “Those tired of social media are tired of life?” That’s outrageous. Human communication is most effective and moving when done with the user interface we were born with – our vocal chords, our body language and our hearts. Computers more often separate than connect. You wanna know about Swedish meatballs? You want to know about living? Come over for dinner, and bring the wine.

      • http://www.mightycasey.com MightyCasey

        It’s not outrageous at all. Imagine a world where you could instantaneously test-drive ideas with friends and colleagues across the globe; a world where a potential client 10 time zones away could find you, open a dialogue, and book you without ever having a face-to-face meeting.

        That’s the world I live in, powered by social media. It’s not about meatballs. It’s about communication. Vocal cords are important, but are not required for communication. One of my business colleagues can’t speak (lost speech after a terrible viral flu caused brain damage), without electronic communication he wouldn’t be able to work.

        And if you hate social media, what on earth brought you to Chris Brogan’s site?

  • http://www.mightycasey.com MightyCasey

    With apologies to Samuel Johnson, those who are tired of social media are tired of life. 

    Sharing stories is how all human communication happens – being able to share them globally, across a host of platforms, is a big leap forward for human communication. Conversations about meatballs or treating metastatic cancer are equally important to those participating in them. 

    I’ve had longer-lasting and more-random conversations on G+ than on other platforms. You can share a complete perspective, a burst of inspiration, cute kitten videos, the whole nine.

    I’m not sure where it will ultimately stack up, but I have more purposeful interactions there (since they haven’t released the API to Hootsuite et al yet) than I typically do on TW/FB/LI.

  • http://insequent.posterous.com/ebridge-interactive-to-resell-insequent-mobil eBridge advertising

    Well This is inspiring. Thank you. I’ve been thinking just in the past couple of days about some of the things I’d really like to blog about and don’t. Perhaps I shall now go forth and do so!!..nice one..

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  • Dneumann

    I think the fatigue comes from the multiplicity of platforms and repetition of info.  We not only need to be more rigorous about what posts are best sent via which social media platform.  I like the looks of Google+ and will be evaluating it against the other social media avenues before decide which ones work best for me and for my company.

  • Dneumann

    I think the fatigue comes from the multiplicity of platforms and repetition of info.  We not only need to be more rigorous about what posts are best sent via which social media platform.  I like the looks of Google+ and will be evaluating it against the other social media avenues before decide which ones work best for me and for my company.

  • http://www.nopickles.com Judy Klopfer

    I know I felt the same way when I heard about Google+ I liked this article and I especially like how you gave yourself permission to break the rules. I happen to like people and always wondered if the Ikea Meatballs were tasty :-)

  • http://fudge.org Jay Cuthrell

    [softly] crush it [/softly]

  • Anonymous

    I have felt tired about Social Media “Experts”… like Chris Brogan.

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  • Anonymous

    I think we’re all digitally-connected these days… but if you’re having panic attacks when you’re unplugged for a day from all these social networks, then, I’d suggest seeing a shrink.  I wonder why nobody’s taking social media fatigue or addiction seriously..

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  • cobi

    Very inspiring blog on how to stick to get FAME on the present social networks like facebook and twitter.

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  • TLMaurer

    I do like what I’ve seen thus far of Google+ but having to set up connections again is tiresome… especially when not everyone is ‘there’ yet and we only have 50 invitations to send out ourselves.  But, am sure when all is in place, the benefits I envision will all be there.

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  • http://www.chienergyheals.com Cacicero

    We at the Online School of Chi Energy Heals…are friendly on the topic of social media.  Used in a professional way it is a “soft market” approach of finding services.  However it is open season in some ways due to the “free” access so discretion is advised.  Gently energy and a brave social spirit will bring friends and customers to those how honor the rules of relationship building.

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