On Taking a Break from Social Media

Every day I counsel clients to engage with their social media of choice—so why has Aria’s twitter feed and blog been silent for most of the last five months?

As recently as last summer, I would follow a single tweet down the rabbit hole of the web keen on learning as much as I could. I did this multiple times a day, losing countless hours reading things I might not have cared about but was compelled to consume because it was available to me. The web is a feast for those who are curious and I am a glutton. Ultimately, I felt as if I wasn’t learning or posting about that information fast enough, which caused increasing panic. After months of gorging myself on information and tweeting daily, I could no longer tell which tweets were integral to my business learning and which were not. What I read was no longer making its way from short- to long-term memory, rendering the hours long forays a true waste of time.

Ironically, I continued to manage social media for several clients, creating content and interacting with their audiences, and had no “side effects” while working on their outlets. I could follow links from their industry partners and competitors for an hour or two as well, but I never felt overwhelmed by it. It was just another part of the job in these cases. When I compared that to my response to using Twitter for my own business, I realized I needed a break to detox and process.

When I gave myself the time to view it objectively, I realized that I was ignoring key advice I give to clients: Don’t let your competitiveness get in the way of your message. There is no way to ‘win’ at social media, there is only the opportunity to share with those who might be interested in your products/services. What you share should either help them with their own business, teach them something, or give them insight into what your business process/thinking is. It’s ok to take a look at what the competition is doing, but don’t feel compelled to do what they are doing if it doesn’t fit your business’ personality or message.

Most importantly, behind every social media front are people and some of those people experience information overload. Give them some time to process what you’re offering them—and take the time to process information at your own speed as well.

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