Is this the summer of (no) social media?

blog_graphic_socialvacayAre you ready to take a vacation from social media? You’re not alone. This summer, it seems like more and more people are expanding their breaks from the office to include a little time off from Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and all the rest. As TechCrunch’s John Biggs says:

I can’t do it anymore. This has been a summer of social media. I’ve used it endlessly, made plans on it, chatted, read it religiously, and watched countless friends and friends of friends go on vacation. I’ve played a game of whack-a-mole with LinkedIn invitations and I’ve streamlined my automatic Tweeting systems. I’ve watched the world buzz by 140 characters at a time. I’ve seen hundreds of beautiful photos of beaches and old castles and bars and beers and whiskeys and sandwiches and endless cats and I don’t want to see any more. I’m done.

I’m taking my brain back.

Likewise, 99 Days of Freedom asks participants to drop Facebook for 99 days and document how the change affects their daily lives.

Social media used to be an escape from our everyday drudgery, but now that it’s so ingrained in our daily routines, it’s part of the problem. While you can never have enough cats, maybe social media is simply too much of a good thing. We’re stressed that if we don’t check our phones 20 times a day we’re going to miss something. Social media is an obligation rather than a pleasure.

Personally, I don’t think it’s realistic or even desirable to completely quit social media. The connections we have and the information we receive from social networks are real and important parts of our modern world. As with most things, moderation is the key. So don’t delete your Facebook account, but think about deleting Facebook from your phone. Don’t stop posting pictures of your meals on Instagram, just stop posting pictures of every course. Keep tweeting, just not after midnight (no good tweets happen after midnight).

As a business owner, it’s crucial to understand how your customers are feeling about social media. You shouldn’t simply add to the clutter with more and more messages, you should make yourself and your social properties one of the reasons people can’t really quit social media – at least not for good. Jody Glynn Patrick shared a great example of how a business uses social media to enrich their customers’ online experience:

Mama’s Kitchen in Gallatin, Tennessee posts its ever-changing food menu via a daily video post on Facebook, which landed the restaurant more than 100 new customers within its first month. The idea, attributed to co-owner Jim Clark, has gone viral. Mama’s Kitchen has earned a cult following and newspaper media attention, which results in new viewers daily!

In general, video viewing has doubled on FB in the past six months, Facebook reports. People are much more likely to watch – and share — original content that offers an emotional reaction such as laughter. Delighted by dancing chickens in the background, Mama’s Kitchen allows followers to check in to hear the chef discuss the daily menu while peeling potatoes and explaining the dishes. The best inbound marketing efforts offer useful and updated information and tools to attract people to their site to develop relationships with potential customers.

Don’t make your customers feel like they need to “take their brains back”. Feed them with thoughtful content and they won’t leave.

About Kris Prusynski

Kris works on the Commercial Marketing team at TDS Telecom and helps TDS achieve their online objectives through digital marketing and website optimization. She has worked in the digital marketing space for over 10 years, in product categories as diverse as shoes, banking, beds and pig farming supplies (really!). Kris has both undergraduate degrees and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and therefore bleeds Badger red. She’s a veteran blogger on topics ranging from digital marketing to Wisconsin fish frys to the sweet necessity of ugly office sweaters. Nowadays, you’re more likely to find her on Twitter or Google+ trying to decipher the mysteries of A Song of Ice and Fire. In her spare time, you can find Kris kayaking, hanging out at the dog park, or thinking about lawn care.

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