My good friend Kristi Petersen Schoonover posted this comment on my recent post about Pinterest:
Jen, I’ve only heard of Pinterest in the past couple of weeks. I’ve been thinking about getting an account because it looks neat, but aside from the issues you’ve just mentioned, I’m scared to have another social network. I can’t even keep up with Google +. But I like the idea that I can post my pictures. I love pictures.
And it got me thinking about writing about social media fatigue because, like her, I have trouble keeping up with some of my other social networks, including Google+. I have been planning to write a post about it for a few days, and then the Wall Street Journal published an article about how Google+ is a ghost town (a really good read). The news doesn’t surprise me, but this quote struck me:
“Nobody wants another social network right now,” said Brian Solis, an analyst at social-media advisory firm Altimeter Group.
Are we all just suffering from social media fatigue? There are so many networks out there, but how do we ever keep up with them all? People are picking and choosing, and one of my Twitter followers made an excellent point:
@jenconnic I feel like it's nicer, and easier to use. People are just so entrenched in Facebook though. People go where everyone is.—
Delia Associates (@DeliaAssociates) February 28, 2012
Of course, everyone goes where everyone is, right? My friends are mainly on Facebook and Twitter, which is why I spend the most time there. Not to mention those are the two networks I like the most. I also have different uses for them where Facebook is more of a private conversation with my friends and Twitter is my public conversation with the world.
Then there are the networks I like, but I use them much more sporadically. I love Tumblr for certain things, specifically how you can highlight photos or a quote or a link. I use it quite a bit to highlight my photos and view photos from others. I love Flickr, but I have a hard time connecting there beyond posting my own photographs. And Reddit is such a robust community with great conversation on so many things I like, but I have trouble even remembering to go there. I only remember to go to Google+ when there is an alert because so few of my friends use it, but I like some of the features there. And don’t get me started on Pinterest since I haven’t even figured it out yet.
And when you are in a role like I am — having to keep on top of so many social media platforms — it’s hard to keep everything straight without your head spinning. It’s hard to pick what is right for you. Another Twitter follower (and a friend) told me this today:
@jenconnic Same here. Keep telling myself goal is quality, not quantity. Realize telling that to clients/employers falls on deaf ears.—
Amy Kundrat (@modernamy) February 28, 2012
So how do you pick the right platforms to make sure you have the quality you want? Am I a fan of Facebook and Twitter the most because I’ve already built my networks and I’m too lazy to rebuild them? Or is it because I like the community of those sites more than others? I’m not quite sure.
But I do know that for my work, it comes down to where my community exists. If our community is on Facebook, that’s where we should be focusing our efforts. If it’s on Twitter or Tumblr, we should be focusing our efforts there. But it’s hard too because each can have its own, vibrant community that does not exist on the other.
How do you combat social media fatigue? How do you pick which social media networks on which to focus? Share your thoughts below.