Are we killing our own enthusiasm for social media?

As I was getting to work Tuesday morning, I happened on this Google+ post by Mack Collier:

I had noticed the same thing about people making radical changes in their social media use. I don’t mean the “social media gurus” though I’ve seen shifts there but I mean with my peers, regular people who are very active online. I got to thinking and writing a comment — next thing I knew, I realized I was so far into it, I needed to also make my thoughts a blog post. Here’s what I wrote to Mack:

Mack, I think that’s part of the quandry. People frequently want to know how to use the channels we have. And I found in a recent discussion that maybe I wasn’t really helping in the way I was talking through things.

I was with friends that were asking about Google+ and as I explained how I was using it, what I was getting that was value to me, they were replying but I’m not really into photography. They were missing my whole point. The point I wanted to make is it isn’t being used to replace Facebook or whatever but instead gives me a way to connect to people with a shared passion in a channel that compliments the topic. I think the next time I’ll be asking them questions first.

On a happier note, my niece has decided to start selling some of the jewelry she makes at a gallery night. When she was thinking through the how to do that she mentioned she was looking for blogs with tips. Someone laughed as if it was crazy & she said “if people like aunt Janice are writing blog posts about cotton because they love it, then surely someone’s writing about selling & exhibiting jewelry for art fairs.”

I wonder if some of it is about age & the knowledge that individualism is where it is at or people who focus on business impacts versus passions or something else.

(My comment is so long now, I’m going to just save it as a draft blog post — thanks for getting me thinking!)

Part of what strikes me is some of us may have different reasons for participating in the online space. There may be different motivations or objectives. I talked a bit about the way I got into social media with John Blue of TruffleMedia a long time ago. That’s different though from what I get from the channels, and quite frankly for me, if I am not getting some enjoyment or value out of it (staying in touch with people I love, meeting people with similar interests, learning something, sharing info with people who appreciate it, laughing about goofy stuff, etc) or if I don’t see potential for getting something out of it, I am likely to walk away or make a shift. People make me enthusiastic and enthusiasm really matters to me!

One thing I’ve found, if you are using social media to meet objectives then it’s best to look at what motivates you and how you can be enthusiastic for a long-term. Avoiding burnout is important as social media communities build over time, much like funds in a 401(k) account. Putting into it consistently helps you build the best return so when I talk to people who are new to social media about getting started I suggest starting with one channel that sounds best and slowly adding as they see fits them best. Its worked for me. Short breaks are great but radical shifts too often make it tough for others to know what to expect and therefore to engage.

I am going to write a few posts coming out of this on how I see social media and how I use it. I hope you will join in and comment so I can gain understanding on your perspective. Let’s start with enthusiasm…

  • Is it important to you to be enthusiastic about social media?
  • What makes you enthusiastic in social media?
  • How do you maintain your enthusiasm?
  • Have you seen a change in enthusiasm for others?
  • How can we help increase the enthusiasm level for ourselves and others?
  • Do you think making changes in your social media use can increase or decrease your enthusiasm for it? How?
  • Is social media different from other pastimes or passions as it relates to enthusiasm & engagement?

About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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11 Responses to Are we killing our own enthusiasm for social media?

  1. Mack Collier (@MackCollier) October 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Hi Janice! For me, since so much of my consulting is centered around social media, I need to be excited about it 😉 For me, helping individuals and companies realize the potential of using these tools is what excites me, and I think more people and organizations are starting to understand that potential, which is a good thing.

    Great post, Janice, looking forward to what others think.

    • JPlovesCOTTON October 2, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

      Thanks Mack! I am sure having social media as your primary part of your job, enthusiasm is critical! Having met you & seen you working for a couple of years, I think you do well identifying new opportunities for others and get something actionable that improves things for others as well as in the interactions you create. You certainly help me build enthusiasm from the community you continue to build! Thanks!

  2. Ameena Falchetto (@AmeenaFalchetto) October 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Very interesting post … I feel that social media should be used in whatever way you feel is appropriate as long as you are respectful of others.

    I have to admit that posts complaining about others methods makes me question “who appointed you as the Social Media Police?” I find the biggest offenders to be the early adopters.

    How do I stay motivated? I look at my analytics and follow like-minded people … simple as that! I do however keep an eye on the haters and use them as inspiration to fuel my argument that we are free to do as we please.

    Social media is too young for rules to be in place. As long as you are respectful and have a valid point then go for it.

    When it all gets too much I just switch off for a few days .. contrary to popular believe the social media world WILL survive for a few days without my presence 🙂

    Great post! I’ll be back! (Thank you Mack for introducing me!)

    • JPlovesCOTTON October 2, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

      Ameena, Thank you so much for stopping by. And I really appreciate your weighing in on the conversation. I absolutely agree that there is no “one size fits all” in social media and anyone who thinks there is…. well, they must not get the social piece of social media. That’s part of why I have so many questions on what creates enthusiasm for it with other people. I know the things that rev me up likely fail to motivate others…. just like other areas of our lives.

  3. Aaron Eden October 5, 2011 at 3:22 am #

    Janice, I believe that not only in social media – but enthusiasm applies to any field, that is, if you ever want to become successful in what you do. To answer your question, I love that social media helps me connect with people who I can never imagine meeting in the real world. My enthusiasm for the Social Web has made me dedicate tremendous amount of time and effort in making sure that I don’t get to suffer this so-called ‘social media fatigue’ that people are experiencing right now..because in the end, conversation matters and you should be spending more time in getting to know your peers online. I love the questions you posted, by the way 😉

  4. Lisa @ Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy October 12, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    I LOVE social media. For me there is no way I could keep up with friends with my schedule without it. And often once we feel out of touch, it gets even harder to feel like you can reconnect. But now even if i haven’t seen someone in months, I don’t feel like they are a stranger, and it is doesn’t feel awkward getting together.

  5. Karen Goodman (@karenstl) October 12, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    I’ve been thinking recently about how social media has changed for me in the last few years. I started blogging in 2007 and spent hours devouring every blog I could find that covered blogging to market a business or real estate. As I got more and more involved in twitter and then Facebook, I found myself spending less time reading blogs. When I would check in, it seemed that the bloggers were posting less often too. Sometimes I wouldn’t pop in for a month,and blogs that would have had dozens of posts over a month in prior years now only had a handful.

    On the social media front, I started with twitter. I actively sought out new people and was constantly checking in, reading and posting. I attended every tweetup that I could find and while I did get on Facebook, I didn’t like it as much since it wasn’t real time interactive.

    Then I started posting on Yelp, signing in on Yelp & FourSquare, and added Google+ to the mix.

    Fast forward to now. I’m on social media overload. I don’t know where to start. I have to remind myself to go back and write a blog post once in a while. I still pop into twitter daily, but I find myself scanning for familiar faces and not really seeking out new people. I toss out a few tweets, but don’t get involved in as many conversations. I spend most of my time on Facebook now, because the media experience is more rich. I don’t have to click on every link to see pictures and videos or an excerpt of a link.

    I’m fighting burnout, but don’t want to walk away. And can’t, since I still need to use it for business. I really wish it wasn’t so fragmented. I wish I could go back to just having one outlet that I immersed myself in, but that isn’t likely to happen.

    • JPlovesCOTTON October 12, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

      Let’s grab a cup of tea or dinner or something soon to chat!

      • Karen Goodman (@karenstl) October 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

        Would love to. Let me get past next week…I’m one of the organizers for a real estate tech/training conference next week so it will be a bit nuts.

  6. Robyn October 13, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    I have been blogging since the end of February. I started my blog as a creative outlet and to share our unique lifestyle.

    I had been reading blogs for 7-8 months before starting mine and ruminated over starting it for 2 months.

    I have had a facebook account for several years. I felt a blog would be a better way to share pictures and our story. I primarily use my facebook to promote my blog posts and follow other’s blogs.

    I am not on twitter and really do not have an interest in starting an account. The more I hear about pintrist the more I think about it.

    • JPlovesCOTTON October 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

      Its amazing how things evolve. I love blogging because you never know who’s looking for info yet you could be what they find through Google or Yahoo! I know several folks who are avid Pinterest users…. lots of fun for them. For now, I’ve stayed away. We’ll see how long it lasts.

What are you thinking?