How do you deal with social media overload when you’re the one responsible for it? I don’t have the answer to that one. But to be honest, I have absolutely reached saturation point. If I have to deal with one more plea for attention on another supposed ‘business page’ I will probably throw my laptop out of the window.
I am now at the point where in the evening I switch everything off. I lead an extremely busy but surprisingly simple life with very little downtime. And frankly I only have social media to blame for most of my procrastination.
I have a hard and fast rule of not posting personal content on my business sites and I never add business people to my personal pages. But many people, it would seem, are largely oblivious of these boundaries. I know some advisers suggest that posting personal content humanises your business. Well of course, but there is a fine line and you have to be careful about what it is that you are posting and how that looks to professional businesses as well as a more relaxed clientele.
I have carefully filtered out certain platforms, not joined others and taken steps to cull followers. And I never feel obliged to follow someone back. You can of course mute particularly annoying individuals, a silent response if the person you are following will take offence at your disappearance. It’s handy because unfriending someone can really offend and it’s a fine line between you appearing as a number on someone’s follower ranking and not having to actually read their stream. In social media, numbers are all that really matter, no matter how empty those numbers really are in the great scheme of things.
Thanks to management sites like Hootsuite I can have a social media upload day that dripfeeds back onto my sites for weeks. It’s been an absolute god-send. And then I get to spend the rest of the week doing more the important stuff like designing. When it comes to putting content out, it’s the same problem. And being able to filter subjects that I have an interest in, is considerably easier now. I don’t have to read through my entire timeline every time I log on to find relevant content. This is why hashtags are important. If you don’t hashtag, I won’t find you. Once I have the results of a shoot I can then schedule posts across sites so that I don’t have to go online every time I want to upload some fresh content. I means for instance, that I can take the weekend off.
And it seems like I’m not the only one who doesn’t get the social media obsession. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been there. Although not to the extreme of sharing my personal life including my dinner, my kids (I have none) or my weekend away to Blackpool on my business pages (thankfully social media didn’t exist when I was a teen). These are all unprofessional no-no’s if they have no connection to your business and there is a lot about the fashion industry that I don’t like and I’m happy to avoid.
That said, watching these feeds is a useful tool for finding out who you don’t want to work with and I’ve probably managed to avoid some potentially terrifying or disappointing studio days by seeing what people are really like before they get to me. Being a lurker can have its positive points.