Are You a Slave to Social Media?

By on November 6, 2014

The average B2C business is now keeping up with seven social media platforms according to a Content Marketing Institute study conducted globally during July and August 2014. Download a full copy of the 2015 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends study here.  Small businesses spend on average 20 hours a week on marketing according to a recent survey by Constant Contact. Click here for the report.

There’s been an explosion in online marketing choices, along with traditional media options, but it’s the online marketing that is consuming most of a small business owner’s time.

And on the receiving end of all this is the overwhelmed consumer. With 58% of American adults owning a smart phone, the digital culture has permeated almost every aspect of our lives. According to Nielson, the average American spends 11 hours a day with electronic media. Granted the majority is still anchored in traditional platforms such as TV and radio, but on average 2hrs and 8 minutes of our lives are spent on the internet or mobile device. It’s safe to say that many sub groups of the population are much higher than that. I’m thinking my teenager’s likely hit that daily average before breakfast!

What does all this tell us?

We’re wired more than ever before. And we’re busy with being wired. Frankly many of us are overwhelmed. A UK study estimated that over 1 million workers fail to take their full allotment of holidays primarily because of anxiety over the work waiting for them upon their return. You can bet that the email inbox with over 1,000 unread messages has something to do with that.

So here’s my prediction for social media and content marketing in the future:

2015 will be the year businesses are granted permission to kick under performing social media platforms to the curb. Instead of chasing everything for fear of missing the next big thing, 2015 will be the year we focus on what works – the 2 or 3 channels where we know our customers reside and where they will share our content. We’ll strategically focus our content, BUT we’ll also strategically focus our channel. If that sounds like a trip back to the future, it is. It’s really no different than picking the most suitable newspaper, magazine or radio station from a mature market where there are many, many offerings in each category. The challenge with social media has been the steady emergence of platforms in such a relatively short period of time. Think of it as similar to trying to buy every newspaper or radio station out there for fear of missing something. That would be utter insanity. I think we’re approaching that saturation point with social media. Of course there will be many new platforms that will continue to emerge, offering micro targeted access to specific markets. But we’ll start to assess them strategically. Rather than just jumping on board, we need to step back and pick what is well aligned with our target market.

2015 will be the year that platforms shake out and business and consumers rush to stop the insanity, by critically assessing where to spend efforts. It’s time to be strategic and forget about the rest. I’m not necessarily advocating that you pick two platforms and dump the rest. But you could certainly focus 80% of your effort on those two that are well aligned, and put the others you’ve established in maintenance mode – updating basic info from time to time.

So relax and breathe. Feel your inner Zen when creating content. And simply give yourself permission to only focus on what matters.

About Mary Charleson

Mary Charleson, MBA is a marketing educator, speaker and writer. For more marketing insights check out her blog: www.fiveminutemarketing.com, follow her on Twitter @marycharleson or sign up for her weekly e-newsletter at www.charleson.ca
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