Social Network

Is It Time For a Social Media Diet?

Do you get anxious when you think you are missing the latest Facebook newsfeeds or tweets from your besties? According to a recent State of Social Media study released by Harris Interactive and MyLife, 62% of adults who belong to more than one social network "keep an eye" on their networks daily; and 40% said they'd rather get a root canal or spend a night in jail than give up their social networking profiles!

If this sounds a little too familiar, it may be time to start that social media diet plan.

Social media pinning/posting/nipping/and tucking takes up a lot of our time and may actually have a negative impact on your lifestyle.

  • Do you find yourself feeling depressed, sad, envious, or even just annoyed at what a close friend or relative posts on your newsfeed?  A trip that you can’t afford, an engagement when you haven’t dated in over a year, someone’s weight loss success story after you’ve realized you’re up a pant size!  Can it get any worse sometimes?
  • Does looking at the success of others pressure you to be “keeping up with the Joneses”?
  • Are you missing out on other aspects of your life because you’re spending too much time pouring over your social media accounts?

I think it’s extremely important to recognize that you’re also not seeing people’s “real lives” most of the time.  How often do we post negative issues?  Is it often you take a photo of yourself right when you arise out of bed and say, “I’m beautiful and am going to post this photo to the entire world today?”  Rarely, I guarantee it.

The main point I’m trying to express if that if you start to feel depressed or moody as a direct result of your excessive time on these websites, then it’s time to make some changes.  Here are some actions you can take to improve your mood swings and social appetite:

  • Update the control settings on your accounts.  For instance, on Facebook, you have the ability to hide a friend’s newsfeed.  The person is completely unaware of this change (unless you physically block them), and you will no longer be able to see the negative posts, whether it be on a weekly, daily, or even sometimes, hourly basis.
  • Take a break altogether from the sites.  If you can’t quit cold turkey, then limit the number of times a day that you view your favorite sites.
  • Exercise or participate in some sort of activity or hobby to limit your time spent on the computer.
  • Catch up in person!  Think about the good old days when we didn’t even have such options and head to your favorite coffee shop or restaurant.  Gab the night away versus clicking it away.

The most important point I’m trying to express is if you find yourself “addicted” to social media or your favorite newsfeeds, to any extent, then it’s time to possibly take a hiatus.  Do you really have to see your best friend’s self-posed images every hour or even her most adorable English bulldog giving her kisses by the fireplace, or could you probably go without knowing about these non life-changing events?

Here’s food for thought…put away the phone or computer, save the eye strain, and engage in some positive physical activities.  Hit the gym or read a challenging book.  Surround yourself with the positives in life and you will find that a social media diet might be the best cure to a healthier lifestyle.

Are You Targeting the Wrong Social Network?

By Melissa Goodman, Social Media Specialist at IMPACT So many small business owners have the mindset that if we capture tons of followers on our social media networks, that will be the key to a greater success for our business, but is this necessarily true?

Take, for example, your Twitter account.  According to Courtney Rubin, from a post on Business Writers, a 37 year old female is the target audience for Twitter.  If that is not the market that you are trying to reach to market your product, then chances are there is a better social network out there for you to utilize.

I recently read a study performed by Pingdom, a website monitoring service.  They surveyed 24 of the most popular social networks, including Facebook and Twitter.  The results from these studies said a lot about the target audience on the different sites.

  • More than 55% of Twitter users are older than age 35.  So, if you want to capture women in their mid-30’s, you should create Twitter posts that capture this audience’s attention.  Such topics as motherhood, careers, family, and beauty are all great topics for this type of account.
  • The youngest users, under the age of 24, found DeviantART.  This actually surprised me, as I would have thought Facebook was the leader.
  • LinkedIn had the highest percentage of users over the age of 55.  It is great to know that this generation is utilizing such networking services.
  • Tech-focused sites tended to be heavily male dominated, which is generally the rule of thumb.

Overall, it was found of the 24 sites, the majority of users were female (51.25 percent vs. 48.75 percent male).  It comes with no surprise that Pinterest was the most female dominated site.  I guess we have finally proved how much we love to eat, decorate, and shop!

What is the point to all of this?  Well, there tends to be a target audience for all social networks.  If your small business is more tech-savy, you may want to learn more about Slashdot.  If your audience is more artsy/creative, you may want to research Pinterest more in depth.

Have any of you noticed a difference in social networks?  Do you see the same members across the board or is it easy to differentiate?  Sometimes the key is not to have thousands of followers, but to connect and really engage those who are truly interested in your product.   I think it definitely pays to research if you want to reach a target audience specialized to your products.  It’s especially important with year-end approaching and the sky rocket sales that are usually predicted in the holiday season.