September 30, 2014

How Much Social Networking is Too Much?

Social Media Marketing is obviously a common way for bloggers to generate some exposure for their own work. But at the same time, if the time that you spend using social media is not limited, it’s possible to spend all of your time doing things that will not directly bring results to your blog.

Before I get into this post, it should be noted that I’m approaching this subject from the perspective of a blogger who is primarily using social media as a means to generate traffic and make connections with other bloggers. For many people social networking is entertainment or a leisure activity, not a business. If that’s your goal with social media or blogging, I’m not suggesting that you’re wasting your time with Facebook or Twitter, rather, I’m approaching it from a the perspective of a blogger who wants the benefits of social networking , but still needs productivity and time management.

Social networking and social media sites provide bloggers with excellent opportunities for getting connected with other bloggers and for getting exposure to a huge audience very quickly. For these reasons most bloggers actively use at least a few social media sites. Personally, I started using social media as a way to generate traffic to my blog, and it has been the #1 source of traffic for me. Not too long after I started using social media I began to really appreciate the networking possibilities. I think this is pretty typical of most bloggers, but at what point does social networking become counter productive?

In my case, I use social media as a vehicle to improve my blog and to improve my own potential as a blogger. Ideally, the time I spend on social media is justified and beneficial to helping me reach my goals, but at some point it will actually prevent me from achieving my goals if it consumes too much of my time.

Social media can be a trap if it prevents you from doing what’s most important. The intent is to help your blog, but some bloggers become so obsessed with chasing the front page of Digg or some other type of social media traffic that they ignore or neglect other sources of traffic and other methods of growing a blog.

How Much Is Too Much?

Is it preventing you from doing other things?

Obviously, in order to build a successful blog you will have to dedicate time to writing posts, interacting with readers, marketing your blog in various ways, and expanding your knowledge. If you’re spending so much time with social media that you are hurting yourself in these other areas, it’s probably too much.

Are you seeing results, or do you have reason to believe that you will see results?

If your time spent on social media marketing is bringing in a lot of new visitors and helping you to grow your blog, it’s probably worth the time. If you’ve been spending a lot of time on particular sites and you’re not making any progress, maybe you should dedicate less time to them. Although, just because you’re not getting immediate results doesn’t mean you should give up on a social media site. It takes some time and patience, so you’ll have to evaluate whether or not you think your efforts will eventually pay off.

Are you spreading yourself too thin?

Are you using too many social networks? If so, you’re probably hurting your chances of success with any of them. Focus on using only a few at a time and make as much of an impact as you can with each one. Bloggers have so much going on that by spending too much time in one area they will spread themselves thin in other areas. Seek balance when using social networks.

Does it help you to meet your goals?

Ultimately, social media should help take your blog to wherever you want it to go. Don’t just blindly use social media to pad your stats. Have a purpose and see to it that your use of social media is putting you in a better position to meet your goals. If it’s not, change your approach or spend your time in other ways.

Are you relying too much on social media traffic?

One of the downfalls of social media is that it can produce so much traffic that bloggers tend to rely on it too heavily. Make sure you take the necessary steps to build diversity in your traffic sources. Social media audiences can be very fickle, and that traffic can quickly dry up. If it does you’ll be in trouble without some other established sources of traffic.

What’s Your Opinion?

How much time do you spend on social media sites, and how do you know when it’s too much?

About Steven Snell

Steven is a web designer, blogger, and freelance writer.

4 comments

  1. I try to separate the social media sites that I use for professional reasons (SU, Mixx, del.icio.us, MySpace) from the ones I use to keep in touch with friends (Orkut, LJ, IJ).

    However, I often become friends with people I meet at the first group of sites, and I feel tempted to use the second group as marketing tools. As you can see, sometimes it’s hard to sustain that separation and this is when things start going wrong for me, due to excessive time spent in unproductive activities.

    Normally I try to solve it by radically cutting down the time spent on almost all social media sites; I “abandon” them for several weeks. The only one I never, ever stay away from is del.icio.us, because it’s an extremely powerful tool that helps me in several projects of mine.

  2. Karen,
    I’d say that Delicious is a lot different than other social media sites. It’s as much a tool as anything else. I use it as an organizational tool and I also use it to draw traffic. You’re right, I don’t ever stop using it either.

  3. I dont think they interfere with my life. I try to set aside certain times during the day to visit the social media sites and then step away. I probably could use to be on the sites even more.

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