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Managing Social Media Burnout

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Our research shows that online marketers with an organized approach to social media have been more successful at beating the exhaustion the eventually follows.

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									Managing Social Media Burnout
Social Media Fatigue: the Challenge for Brands

With so much going on in social media these days, it is natural for both marketers as well as users to feel
overwhelmed by the need to keep up. Social media is dynamic; while many companies are considering Google+, others
are juggling between blogs, tweets and posts. It is not just about what social media platforms to use. For most
brands, the bigger challenge is keeping content fresh and coming up with new ways to keep consumers engaged. The
increasing pressure to be on top of everything and to keep ahead of the competition can sometimes lead to social
media fatigue. From the consumer‟s point of view, reading the same content on Facebook, blogs and other channels
will only give them a reason to check out your competitor‟s webpage. Gartner‟s recent study on social media fatigue
shows that:
         One in four young people is „bored‟ with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
        31% of the respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 said the fun of social media is wearing off.
        The study also indicates that social media exhaustion is something that was most commonly associated
        with the early adopters. For online marketers, this signals the need to keep branded content fresh and
        capture people‟s attention instantly.

The proliferation of social media
platforms can be exhausting for
marketers. Yet, many brands
believe that the more social media
accounts they have, the more web-
savvy they are. According to
research by the Altimeter group,
large corporations averaged a
surprising number of social media
accounts (178). So much choice and
not as much content; what is the
best approach? Do you focus or
diversify? Do you jump onto every
new social media channel that is
launched? In our opinion,
preventing social media overload is
all about finding answers to the
too much vs. too little dilemma.
Here are some easy-to-follow
suggestions:

        Define Precise Goals
    The key to staying fresh and
    avoiding a burn out is finding out exactly what you wish to achieve from your social media efforts. Defining
    precise social media marketing goals is the first step towards understanding what works best for your brand.
                o Creating a Social Media Footprint: For brands
                    that are relatively new to social media,
                    gaining visibility and establishing a solid online
                    presence is imperative. If these are your
                    objectives, then we recommend focusing on
                    the big three (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn)
                    before considering the other options available.
                    This will prevent your brand from getting lost
                    in the social media blur and keep you from
                    getting exhausted in the initial stages.


© Position2, Inc.                                                                                                  1
                o   Knowing your Audience: If you have a target audience in mind, then the right approach will be to
                    focus only on those channels where your prospective customers are most likely to be present. For
                    instance, cosmetics brand L‟Oreal launched its recent digital campaign on Facebook after research
                    showed that women, who are the biggest consumers of their products, were highly active on the
                    networking site. Posting the same content all over the social space, hoping it reaches your target
                    market can be exhausting and time-consuming.

                o   Improving Customer Satisfaction Rates: Our advice to brands looking to improve their customer
                    satisfaction rates is „less focus on fancy campaigns and more focus on helping customers.„
                    Although a well-thought out, creative campaign is sure to attract new customers, it may not
                    exactly be what existing customers are looking
                    for. Instead of launching one campaign after
                    another, while simultaneously trying to keep
                    up with the flood of queries from customers,
                    it would be wiser to work towards being a
                    customer-centric brand. Offer advice,
                    demonstrate how you can be of service, and
                    show your customers that you care. Satisfied customers mean your brand can now breathe easy,
                    plan ahead and eventually launch those great campaigns. Dell, which lists customer-service as one
                    of its top priorities, has an exclusive team that focuses on helping customers via the @DellCares
                    twitter account.

    Defining precise goals will give you a great sense of direction, helping you plan ahead. The „let‟s get on board and
    decide as we go along‟ approach sounds tempting; however, like everything new, the novelty of social media can
    wear off, leaving all those fans and followers wondering about the unexpected dip in activity. Our advice? Fight
    social media fatigue by getting a S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed) plan.

        The Balancing Act
    As an online marketer, information overload can be overwhelming not only for you, but also for your customers.
    There is a fine line that divides too much content from too little; this can either convert customers to brand
    advocates, or will drive them to completely stop following your brand. Although achieving the right balance can
    be challenging, it is nevertheless, vital for long term success.

                o   The Importance of Give & Take: Many companies use social media as a platform to talk about or
                    promote corporate activity. Yes, it‟s true that social media is a place for this kind of a thing, but
                    not all the time. Uploading or posting promotional material incessantly will give your audience a
                    case of editorial fatigue, giving them the impression that you are too self-absorbed. Welcome
                    those who respond to your marketing messages, engage with them and listen to what they have to
                    say. Keeping the ‟social‟ in social media is all about having a balanced brand-customer
                    relationship.

                o   To Tweet or not to Tweet: The plethora of networking channels out there can sometimes be
                    confusing for marketers, who do not know if they should tweet, blog or constantly update their
                    Facebook page. The pressure to be present everywhere or be left behind has seen many brands
                    experiment with various channels. After a while, this can be overwhelming and tiresome. Here‟s
                    what we think: a) If you tweet more than 25 times a day, then it would be best to blog b) Try
                    Groupon or Livingsocial instead of Twitter if „deal-of-the-day‟ is your thing c) Not much to say?
                    Then you should just tweet. As quoted by the Global Director of Digital and Social Media for
                    PepsiCo, Bonin Boug, “Do only as much as your
                    resources will allow. If you don’t have the
                    means to have a person on Twitter 24/7, then
                    don’t do it that way….Have [something like]
                    Follow Fridays were you spend two hours
                    talking to the community if that’s all you
                    have to work with. There really are no set
                    rules.“




© Position2, Inc.                                                                                                       2
                o   Integrate Social Media with Traditional Marketing: For brands that prefer social media in small
                    doses, integrating social media marketing with traditional advertising campaigns is a good way to
                    get the best of both worlds. Many companies believe that a well-balanced mix of social and
                    traditional media can avoid a marketing burnout. One of the companies to have successfully
                    experimented with this approach is P&G. While continuing to advertise on TV, the personal care
                    brand has also managed to create several memorable social media campaigns.

        Running Out of Ideas? Listen to Your Audience
    One of the most common indicators of fatigue creeping into your social media activity is when you don‟t know
    what to do next. Marketers who are highly active on social media are on the constant search for fresh ideas and
    content in order to keep people interested in their brand. In a world where users are easily turned off by
    information that is dated and dull, this can be quite a challenge. To stand out in a highly competitive
    environment, brands need to create content that takes into account the real world environment and the day-
    to-day events that influence people. This is where social media monitoring tools prove to be highly useful.
    Here‟s why we think media monitoring tools like Brand Monitor should be a „must have‟ in every digital marketer‟s
    tool kit:

                o   It Pays to Listen: Refreshing content regularly is necessary for brands looking to keep people
                    interested in their social media pages. However, delegating this responsibility solely to the
                    marketing or creative department may not always be the best approach. The answer? Listen to
                    your customers for content ideas. Media monitoring will help you sift through the conversations,
                    pick out the most important ones and help sow the seed for some great content.

                o   Creating a Campaign? Look Out for the
                    Trends: Measuring the impact of an online
                    campaign is one of the most important reasons
                    why brands use social media monitoring tools.
                    How about using the same monitoring tools to
                    help generate ideas for a new campaign? Using these tools will not just save time and effort, but
                    also identify the current trends. Brands can then design marketing messages accordingly and
                    create a unique brand or company angle. According to Harvard Business Review Analytics Services
                    Report, 55% effective users are using social media to monitor trends or look for new product
                    ideas. Here’s what we suggest; monitor the buzz pertaining to trend, topic, or specific keywords
                    before creating a campaign. You are less likely to burn out while learning new things that interest
                    your consumers.

                o   Testing the Waters: The best way to check if an idea is likely to work is by asking questions. Post
                    that blog, ask your readers what they think, seek opinions, even opposing point of views. While
                    some audiences jump into conversations willingly, others need to be prodded and asked for ideas
                    and suggestions. This is a smart way to test the waters. Monitoring conversations, analyzing the
                    sentiment associated with the topic of discussion etc, will help you alter your marketing messages
                    and content accordingly, saving time as well as effort.

    The Starbucks formula for social media success is quite
    simple; monitor the trends and communicate with customers
    for new ideas. The caffeine-giant, through its social media
    pages, asks fans for suggestions, encourages discussions and
    requests for ideas on anything related to the company. Prior
    to launching a campaign for a new or an existing product,
    Starbucks picks out the most relevant conversations (mostly by
    listening to what the influencers are saying) and ideas, making
    users feel that they have some role in the decision making
    process of the company. By doing this, the company not only
    generates new ideas and fresh content at regular intervals,
    but also keeps social media fatigue at bay.




© Position2, Inc.                                                                                                       3
        Smart Solutions
    You have done your homework, equipped yourself with the required social media tools and have a great brand-
    customer relationship; yet, your efforts to go ‟social‟ are running out of steam. What you need are a few simple,
    yet smart-solutions to make certain you don‟t run around in social media circles.

                o   Automate Some of Your Posts: For marketers with profiles on multiple networking sites, updating
                    them all the time for routine „broadcast‟ messages can be a tiresome task. This is true, especially,
                    in case of smaller brands that do not have the necessary resources to refresh their social media
                    content frequently. Automating the posting of some content is a smart way of saving time and
                    energy, at the same time keeping content up-to-date.

                o   Linking Accounts: Linking key social media
                    accounts saves time for marketers who want
                    to post a common message across profiles
                    without having to log in and out several times.
                    For instance, tying your Facebook and
                    LinkedIn accounts with Twitter, means every
                    time you update something on Twitter it will
                    appear on all three accounts.

                o   Appoint a Dedicated Social Media Team: A
                    large number of companies have their marketing or PR staff also overseeing their social media
                    activities. This works fine for small to mid-size companies that have limited resources. However,
                    for brands that consider social media an integral part of their marketing strategy, it is important
                    to have a dedicated social media team to manage posts, tweet on behalf of the company and
                    monitor the buzz surrounding the brand. This will not only reduce fatigue, but will also ensure the
                    core marketing team has the time to focus on their content creation and campaign management
                    tasks.

Conclusion
Marketers have moved beyond seeing social media as a fad and have started to include it as a crucial part of their
overall marketing strategy. While this certainly has its benefits, it also means the possibility of getting caught in the
social media vortex is high. After the initial excitement to post, blog, tweet or +1 wears off, brands are confronted
with the question of „what next?‟ Also, the fact that social media never stops means companies are increasingly
pressurized to keep up. Our research shows that online marketers with an organized approach to social media have
been more successful at beating the exhaustion that eventually follows.

Instead of the „do-it-yourself‟ approach, brands are now looking at customers for inspiration by monitoring for trends
and listening to conversations. It is also important to keep in mind that social media fatigue is not something that is
restricted to marketers. With so much content and so many platforms to choose from, consumers are also susceptible
to a burnout. Though it is not always possible to hold their attention all the time, innovating and diversifying can
ensure that people are interested in your webpage. Easy-to-understand, fresh content has proven to be effective in
preventing digital fatigue for both brands as well as consumers.

That said, for brands that are plugged in 24/7, instances of fatigue can occur occasionally. Take a deep breath…you
don‟t need to be a social media maven to avoid an overload; preventing a burnout is all about achieving that perfect
balance, knowing what works for you and applying smart solutions.




© Position2, Inc.                                                                                                           4
About Position2
Position2 is a Search and Social Media Marketing firm that delivers continuous growth for our clients using our
proprietary “Surround and Intent” Marketing Methodology, delivered by our products. Our proprietary methodology is
a result of years of experience in working with diverse clients to deliver customer acquisition goals through search
engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing (SMM), and Pay Per Click (PPC) and online media advertising.

Position2 was founded in 2006 with funding from Accel Venture Partners, and has offices in Palo Alto, Bangalore and
Mumbai. Position2 is a certified agency with Google, Yahoo, Bing and is also part of the Google Adwords advisory
council.




Position2's flagship product is Position2 Brand MonitorTM, a platform that allows users to listen, discover and engage
with social media conversations in real time. With a team of over 100 professionals, Position 2 also provides expertise
in online marketing solutions: SEO, PPC, Media and Advertising.

Position2 works with leading global brands:




This article is also available on the Position2 Blog: http://blog.position2.com.
For more information, visit http://brandmonitor.position2.com or email info@position2.com.




© Position2, Inc.                                                                                                         5

								
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