How To Avoid Social Media Fatigue in 5 Easy Steps

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Oh my god, you guys. The other week, I asked for suggestions on what I should include in my Job Hopping for Word Nerds e-book. Heather of CraftLit provided me with a goldmine of great suggestions, some of which I deemed outside the scope of my book. Still, I thought they would make for some great blog post fodder. So today, I decided to address this one:

How can I use social media without being swallowed by it?

So I opened up my Freelancedom dashboard, typed in the title of this post, aaand… then proceeded to spend the next four hours on Twitter.


So basically, this is a case of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do:

1. Find your audience. And by audience, I’m referring to anyone from blog readers to clients to anyone else who might pay you money or somehow further your career…the people you’re looking to reach with your work or your blog (or both). And for every one of you — depending upon your niche — the place where your audience hangs out will be different. I use Twitter because you’re my audience, and you guys seem to spend an awful lot of time there. 🙂 But you may find that your particular audience spends more time on LinkedIn, or Brazen Careerist, or Facebook, or a professional forum or listserv. Check out this monster list on some of the social networking sites out there.

2. Become active within that particular community. A lot of people make the mistake of signing up for every damn social network that comes along. Hussy. You don’t have to do that. You shouldn’t worry that the tide is passing you by. If you’ve done your research right, the only place you need to be is the place where your primary audience is already hanging out. So sign up for that one social network, or those two social networks, but don’t go too crazy beyond that. You want to be able to put together that best possible profile you can, and then participate as fully as you can. And you won’t have the time to do that if you’re maintaining accounts on 15 different sites. Once you have a dynamite profile in place, start participating. Concentrate on adding value and having meaningful conversations. The magic (whatever magic you’re looking for) will naturally happen.

3. Set goals. I’ve heard a lot of people poo-poo social networks because they “don’t see the point.” Well, there won’t be much of a point if you don’t know why you’re there. To attain focus and efficiency on your social network of choice, draw up a brief plan. That way, you won’t be wasting your time wandering the Internet aimlessly. For example, my goals with Twitter are to a) promote my brand and my work, b) find and share relevant content, and c) build up a network of fellow freelancers. My tweets (for the most part) reflect that.

4. Severely limit your time on these sites. I am obviously bad at this. At least when it comes to Twitter. But I have become way more efficient simply by keeping my Google Reader closed throughout the day, checking it once at lunch time and once more in the evening. I suggest scheduling out blocks of time in which you’re allowed to do the social media thing, and keeping those sites closed for the rest of the day. You know. In order to avoid temptation. If you have absolutely no discipline (::coughcough::), read this post again. It contains some additional tips, and also some suggestions for apps you can use to lock yourself out of specific websites. Pure genius.

5. Keep everything in one place. If you are juggling multiple sites, there are several apps that will enable you to juggle them a bit more gracefully. Because I have no interest in competing with what Mashable already does so well, I’ll point you to a couple of their posts about the best apps to use when it comes to aggregating all of your online profiles:

Finally, in parting, I’d like to beg you: Please don’t sign up for Foursquare! My husband just signed up for the damn thing, and my Twitter feed is now cluttered with tweets from him going back and forth in the Lincoln Tunnel. (Maybe I should just ask that you not sign up for Foursquare if your life is as uneventful as my husband’s.)

Related: Getting It All Done: Your Master To-Do List, Resource Roundup: 4 Time Management Applications, Going Unplugged: Impossible?


  1. I like the getting involved in community aspect. It really keeps things fresh and relevant, like the excitement you get when hearing from a new friend you admire. I’ve found Twitter, which initially I found boring, to be a great asset. My posts are frequently retweeted and I find new readers to my blog this way.


  1. […] How To Avoid Social Media Fatigue in 5 Easy Steps, Using Twitter To Achieve World Domination (in Your Field), 7 Portfolio Sites That Make It Easy To […]

  2. […] In fact, I wrote a lot about this — and other ways to avoid social media fatigue — here. But active participation on a handful of social media sites can really boost your traffic, your […]

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