It’s been such a long time since we’ve collaborated on a blog post. We shared one of our old ones on cliches recently and decided to see if we still had that back-and-forth sassiness.
While we have written about social media fatigue before, today we are discussing how to overcome it and re-engage on both your personal and business channels. We hope you enjoy our conversation below. Please feel free to comment and let us know how you stay engaged on social media!
Why we need to re-engage in social media
Jim: Just a few days ago, I posted a status on Twitter that my social media fatigue was being caused by a lack of engagement. For some reason, brands (people trying to be brands) have turned social media into broadcast media. I came to Twitter in April of 2008 to talk – converse if you will. Heck, I can’t even remember the number of times we’ve both said, “We met on Twitter.” Wait, that could be a reason to not engage …
Shelby: Yep, it’s all Twitter’s fault that we met. Maybe that’s why I stopped using Twitter as frequently. Just kidding. That wasn’t why. It was because I follow 3,000+ accounts and my stream was almost exclusively the “Me, Me, Me” with zero @ messages or mentions and therefore zero actual conversations. I’m guilty of it too. I probably shouldn’t have my Instagram posts directly sent to Twitter and Facebook. And I certainly shouldn’t let that be my only communication on Twitter for days on end. But like anything in life, if you want to find a solution you need to stop being part of the problem. So recently I’ve been trying to re-engage on Twitter and Facebook with both my personal accounts and the brand accounts I manage and monitor.
Jim: I know I’m guilty of the “Me, Me, Me” syndrome on Twitter for sure. But it’s a unique platform that can still work. There a few friends that I only communicate with on that network. When I’m engaging with them, my stream is almost all @ messages. On the other hand, when I’m not engaging, I get very “broadcasty.” I do try to include a photo with many of my posts and try not to cross post using Instagram or another service. A native Twitter status tends to get more likes and/or engagements.
Shelby: It shouldn’t be this hard. We are after all social creatures. When I walk down the street and pass someone going the opposite direction, I say hello – unless of course that person is talking on the phone, texting or playing Pokemon Go. (Is that still happening?) Personally, I think we have too many gateways for engagement. I have picked three: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Those are the only three networks where I’m communicating regularly for my personal use. It’s harder for brands though. But I’m currently putting forth daily efforts for three different brands on both Twitter and Facebook. Trust me, that’s not easy and it’s very time consuming – and sometimes just a wee bit confusing.
Jim: Shelby, life is hard, get over it! I do agree, however, that we need to pick our battles as far as personal social media channels. I also focus mostly on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I dabbled in Snapchat earlier this year, and while I found it intriguing, it just never seems to hold my interest for an extended period of time. This is my second time giving the network a try. On the other hand, I’d given up on Facebook a few years ago and now it’s one of my go to networks as much as it pains me to admit that. For some reason Instagram won’t go away either and Twitter just holds a special spot in my social media universe. You mentioned social for businesses. That is a different animal altogether. I’ve managed a couple of those business accounts and I believe it’s much harder to do well than most people realize. Honestly, compared to what you do with those accounts, I suck at social for business.
Shelby: Stop using Buffer, Hootsuite or any other post scheduling service! Honestly, that’s the key and that’s where you go wrong when it comes to social for business purposes. I know you think it saves you time and I’m sure it does. But it also makes your brand sound canned – less human – and therefore less conversational. If you want to engage people, why are you talking like a robot? Also, each network has its own voice. Twitter is short and to the point. Instagram is visual. Facebook is explanatory. How can you send the same post out to all three and expect people to engage with you? Also try being the one to start a conversation as a brand instead of waiting for someone else to comment on your broadcast. I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to re-engage if you are engaging.