Is Social Media Overwhelming?

by Jay Deragon on 08/21/2009

screamingwomanIndividuals, brands and entire institutions are feeling “overwhelmed” by all this social stuff.

Everyday we’re witnessing explosive growth and developments in technology that enables us to create, distribute, connect and communicate like never before. The collective dynamics are creating “overwhelming forces” and everyone seems to be trying everything to keep up while feeling overwhelmed.

A Strategy To Overwhelm?

An effective strategy for rendering  resistance powerless is the strategy of overwhelming force. This is a military strategy used in past wars. Instead of merely dipping your toes into the change you’d like to make, you dive into it headfirst. Instead of under committing resources, you over commit.  Have you noticed what our government is doing with our money?  It’s overwhelming.

Too often when people and organizations  attempt a big change, they under commit their personal and professional  resources. Instead of a quick victory, they end up with a quagmire, where they have to keep putting in more and more energy just to maintain the status quo. Sounds like a lot of people and organizations spinning their wheels in all this social media stuff. Organizations are jumping in because they don’t want to be left out.   All of it seems overwhelming.

Who Can Resist Overwhelming Force

It is hard to resist the pull of social media. Your hearing and reading about it everywhere  from everyone. You hear about companies like Dell and Zappo’s gaining significant revenue from their social media activities.  You also hear about companies and entire institutions banning the use of social media on the job. The messages are all overwhelming.

How Not To Overwhelm Your Audience

No one likes to be overwhelmed. An audience has a limited attention span and less patience with people and brands doing things wrong and doing the wrong things. There are a few things that need focus in order not to overwhelm yourself and your audience. These include:

  • Network Strength – Wow, you’ve got influential people @ messaging and retweeting you. Great content is rewarded. Focus on relevant and rewarding content that attracts people. Don’t overwhelm them with meaningless chatter.
  • Activity – You are effectively distributing your messages without overwhelming your audience or being spammy. Pay attention to what people consider spam. Stop it immediately and focus on context and quality. Spam is also considered a one sided trick conversation.
  • Reach – You are gaining a strong following and your message is being heard. This is a strong indication that your doing the right things and doing them right.  Listen hard to the responses and show appreciation for people engaging in your conversations.
  • Velocity – Your tweets have been interesting enough for others to spread them to their networks.  If people don’t share your content then it is an indication that your content isn’t worthy of sharing.  Does your blog get comments, retweeted and shared? If not your velocity is zero, standing still.

There are the things that you should always improve:

  • Demand – Your network has either decreased in size or you’ve had to deliberately follow a lot more people to reach your current size. Following anyoneisn’t relevant to building a strong following.   Don’t just follow to be followed in return.
  • Engagement – Try having more conversations and less one sided broadcasting.  Learn what a conversation is and learn how to improve your own conversation.  The primary value of a conversation is providing information that is valuable and can be converted to knowledge which can be used by others. It’s called a gift that keeps on giving.

Overwhelming forces have two sides. One is of no value and the other is of tremendous value.  You can overwhelm the audience with no value and get shut out of the conversations. On the other hand you can overwhelm the audience with lots of value thus improving your value. The choice is yours.

What say you?

{ 21 comments }

Danielle Brown May 20, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Hey is social media overwhelming #MC330? I think so! http://www.relationship-economy.com/?p=5569

Elizabeth Adams August 23, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Fantastic description of parameters – thanks Jay!

Allen Mireles August 21, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Is social media overwhelming? (via @jderagon) http://ow.ly/kPlk

allenmireles (Allen Mireles) August 21, 2009 at 12:17 pm

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Mario Tankovic August 21, 2009 at 9:03 am

Is Social Media Overwhelming? | The Relationship Economy…… http://bit.ly/bCClt

BrianCitizen (Brian C. Citizen) August 21, 2009 at 9:33 am

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Daily Deragon Dose: Is Social Media Overwhelming? [link to post]

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Achievers Network August 21, 2009 at 8:28 am

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Maharshi Patel August 21, 2009 at 8:14 am

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z49 (Mario Tankovic) August 21, 2009 at 9:05 am

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Is Social Media Overwhelming? | The Relationship Economy…… [link to post]

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JDeragon August 21, 2009 at 7:40 am

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Shelley Graves August 21, 2009 at 7:23 am

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Stephen Kincaid August 21, 2009 at 7:10 am

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Diane Cominotti August 21, 2009 at 6:42 am

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smconnection August 21, 2009 at 6:29 am

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stephenckincaid (Stephen Kincaid) August 21, 2009 at 7:15 am

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Angela Suddarth August 21, 2009 at 6:10 am

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