Do you have social media fatigue

Are you tired of social media?

As an early adopter of social media, I’m now finding it increasingly difficult to decide what I should be doing with it now. In the early days, it was a fun way to communicate and keep in touch with friends and family that I have scattered around the globe. Then, as I’m a ‘wanna be’ author of note, I tried using social media as a way of letting people know that I wrote books.

However, with the sudden advent and popularity of ebooks a couple of years ago, I found myself spending more time letting people know about my books than keeping in contact with my friends. Undoubtedly driven by the hype and all the expert advice I read about using social networking as a platform for ebook promotion, I put my shoulder to the wheel and started putting in the long hours that were necessary to build a broad social media platform. The key factor in doing so, however, was ‘engagement’, which was extremely time-consuming. But I put in the hours and ended up with a decent size network.

Over the course of the last year, though, I have noticed that this fundamental element of ‘engagement’ is rapidly disappearing and being replaced by either blatant advertising and ‘in your face’ pushy marketing, or habitual posting of the inane and thoroughly boring, as users try to keep their timelines active.

On my two most used platforms, Facebook and Twitter, there is now such a banal sameness about what is being posted that I am struggling to stay enthusiastic. Facebook has become a stream of silly little images with stupid sayings, pictures of cakes and worst of all, streams of online game results.

Twitter, on the other hand, is now where I am bombarded with ‘buy this and that’ every twenty seconds. It has become so bad that when I follow a few new users, I’m guaranteed to receive a bunch of automated Direct Messages ‘welcoming’ me by telling me to buy something. Hardly what I’d call fun or engagement.

So has social media lost its way and just become a huge space where people just try to sell their wares? Or use it as an enormous public toilet wall where one can scribble any inane nonsense?

To be honest, I’m getting tired of both uses.

With engagement disappearing and automation becoming the norm, the decision that is perplexing me is how I will use social media from now on. Or should I bother continuing to use it at all?

Social Media Fatigue

26 thoughts on “Social Media Fatigue

  • 28/07/2012 at 10:20 pm

    Don’t leave us Derek! You are one of the “Good” ones.
    I am quite selective lately with new followers and have been regularly dumping those who just spam, or give endless “inspirational” quotes, etc. ~Anne

  • 28/07/2012 at 10:36 pm

    When I first started all this about 10 months ago, I spent hours on the computer with Twitter and Facebook. Got to the point where I was losing track of friends and not writing at all, so I took a huge step back, reviewed the situation and decided to stay on FB, Twitter and Triberr, but limit my time daily to an hour for all three. I don’t see how we can get a name for ourselves and entice people to at least try our books without social media so unless someone comes up with a brilliant alternative, I guess we’re stuck.
    PS. Derek, I’m reading Louis now.

    • 28/07/2012 at 11:24 pm

      It’s a real Catch 22 Darlene and one I don’t have an answer for. But it’s impractical to be spending 24/7 on social media when there are stories to write.

      And I hope you enjoy Louis!

  • 29/07/2012 at 5:20 pm

    I share your feelings on social media, Derek. I don’t do FB at all, I am on Twitter but have completely lost interest in my timeline which seems to be just one long promotional parade. I send one or two tweets every couple of days promoting my free book and it seems to be enough. It is far more important to me to get the next book out than to spend hours on promotion. I think it is better to rely on word of mouth from people who have enjoyed by books. Just my humble opinion.

  • 30/07/2012 at 12:18 pm

    The problem is so many people will convince you – whether you’re a writer, artist, musician, you name it – that you MUST facebook and you MUST tweet and that without them you can’t possibly sell a single book. trouble is at least 50% (and probably far more) of people in the self employed-let’s-advertise-on-facebook also work a a day job. then they come home, clean the house, cook dinner, take care of kids/spouse/pets/parents and THEN they try to draw/write/practice music etc and THEN they have to spend hours on social media… only so many hours in a day. The main people who have time to connect and engage tend to be people who have the free time to do it in – maybe they don’t have that day job, or maybe they don’t have those kids/spouse/family to take care of every night etc etc. but everyone else is already overloaded and then social media is force fed as the “only reliable way” to make sales so automation and fast, nugget sized quips become the norm. As for images there was a very interesting marketing study done that found that user respond much better to images than just word posts – and I’ve noticed it in my own stream. the posts that get shares, like and comments are images, however, how does posting these and engaging people to share/like/comment on – for example – a cartoon bat sell my books? A person might have 600 FB likes, but that doesn’t mean sales, and it doesn’t mean those people are even seeing your posts. I recently broke down and made a FB author page and frankly I can’t say it’s increased sales any. That’s a study I would be interested in seeing done, though, whether social media really does impact sales or not. Alas between everything else, I don’t even have time to contemplate it.

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