The Social Media Dilemma

Most of the time, I enjoy using and learning about Social Media, however recently I have begun to feel as though The Oatmeal might have a better grasp of the situation than I do. Social Media has begun to take a very large chunk of my time, time I could be using more productively, however I will admit that it’s mostly due to my lack of self-discipline.

Take Pinterest for example, I could waste hours on that site looking at Social Media Infographics. Now, the vast majority of Social Media Experts/Entrepreneurs recommend using the following with high frequency:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google +
  • Pinterest
  • Youtube

This is my social media application list:

And then there’s that I have a pseudonym, so that’s another list of social media plus Stumbled Upon and Tumblr. The thing is it used to be worse. I deactivated my Delicious, Digg, and Reddit accounts. I would have deleted my Google+ Pages, but it cannot be done, I have wasted hours trying, so unless you’re active on Google+, I don’t recommend making a google+ page, your google+ profile will be enough (please learn from my failure in this regard).

The fact remains that even though I have a reasonable understanding of how these social media applications work, most of them produce little if any results, I suspect I will shortly deactivate my Stumbled Upon Account for this very reason. I’m simply not getting back in referrals what I’m putting in for my time and effort.

As an establishing writer, I have this message constantly shouted at me that if I don’t make an effort to set up my online presence, prospective publishers won’t take me seriously and my prospective audience won’t know I exist. This is a fair enough point, I am against stiff competition, but it seems like I’m hamstringing myself at the same time. I need to get better at evaluating what is worthy my time and if time spent on one particular social media application will yield a valuable return.

For example, take Instagram. At first I didn’t want anything to do with it, my mobile phone had difficulty with complicated apps like that and as I’m a Writer and not a Visual Artist, I didn’t see what I had to gain from using it. However, another writer friend showed me how they used Instagram. They uploaded cover pictures onto Instagram, took pictures of her manuscript that she was in the process of editing, shared pictures that were relevant to her book. I also realised that I could use Instagram to take pictures of meals for my Weekend Notes articles. So, from that discussion, I understood how Instagram could be of use to me as a Writer.

So, here comes the Audience Participation Segment, I’m going to assign a task to my Readers :). Evaluate your social media applications (What do you use? How often do you use it? Low, Medium or High usage?), pick two that fall into the low usage class and deactivate your accounts/apps. Figure out what works best for you and what doesn’t. Let me know in the comments how you went and what applications you decided to cull 🙂

How To Use Instagram – Wikihow
Asana – an organisational tool that focuses primarily on task-lists
Todoist – an organisational tool that focuses on task-lists
Trello – an Organisational tool that uses the storyboard method

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