These days, it’s easier than ever to have a 24/7 social media presence on a multitude of channels. With tools such as Hootsuite, Triberr and Buffer, we can pretty much schedule our social content well into the future. Now, even Facebook allows us to schedule posts on Facebook Pages!
Basically, we’re able to achieve top-of-mind awareness with greater ease than ever before, across time zones and when we’re fast asleep. While that’s great, there is a downside to having a continual outpouring of social content without ever taking a break.
Here’s a list of 5 reasons why I believe we all need some social media downtime every once in a while:
1. Posting 24/7 just isn’t authentic
If social media marketing is all about authentic engagement, then how can we be authentic if we’re automating our messages, every hour of every day? While such effort is very important in order to build top-of-mind awareness, there are limits to how far we should go. All I’m saying is that we should each take a break every now and then. It can be one random day per month, or more or less frequently if you wish. Just show that there is someone behind your tweets and posts by switching things up a little.
2. Continuous effort can lead to social media burnout
Just as with any task, if you’re not careful, you’ll get burned out. Then your productivity and effectiveness will diminish. Prevent this from happening by taking a break from your social media campaign when you feel like you need one. Again, I’m not advocating for a regimented pattern of downtime. Just give yourself a little space from time to time. An interesting article about social media burnout by Jennifer Beese can be found here.
3. Talking less allows us to listen more
Effective social media marketing depends on how well we listen to our audience. Sometimes, we’re completely off-message from what our audience wants, all because we didn’t listen. Other times, we’re so busy thinking about what we should say that we’ve forgotten how important it is to listen to what everyone else is saying. By giving ourselves some downtime, we can really focus on delivering the types of content people actually want to see, so that when we return, we’re on point.
4. Going quiet builds interest and suspense
Psychology would tell us that when we are used to seeing something continually and then it disappears for a while, we’re curious. This peaks our interest, if only subconsciously. So by taking a day off from continually tweeting and posting, we’ll be peaking the interest of our audience, who may have expected to see a new update from us. Then, when we return, there will be a renewed sense of interest in what we have to say. Again, do this at random for maximum effectiveness.
As actionable marketing expert Heidi Cohen argues, “While some branding advertising uses repetition to build recognition, consumers today are more likely to block these ads to reduce message overload.” While this applies more to ads than to social media content, the idea is the same. Don’t overload your audience.
Well, I hope everyone reading this understands that I’m not against automating some of our social media tasks. I use automation tools in a limited capacity all the time. I’m simply saying that everything has its limits, including such tools. Add a sense of curiosity, mystery and randomness by changing things up every now and then, even when all you’re doing is doing nothing at all.
Let me know what your thoughts are on this topic. I haven’t found very much written about taking a break from social media, so I’m curious as to whether you agree or disagree with me.