The Social Media Black Hole



If you’ve ever used social media even just for personal gratification, you are probably familiar with the phenomenon otherwise known as the “social media black hole.”

After a few minutes on Facebook clicking through someone’s profile, you realize you have wasted twenty-five minutes looking at pages you probably don’t even care about. Scrolling down the newsfeed on Facebook or another platform becomes a form of addiction and soon, you find yourself wasting hours a day on these platforms.

If you haven’t experienced this, let us assure you, this is a real problem for many people. In fact, social media can be so addictive that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders considered including “internet addiction disorder” to the list of genuine afflictions in the most recent publication of the handbook for psychologists.

It isn’t only people who use social media for leisure that waste time on it, though. Whether you’re managing social media yourself or have a team working on it for you, it’s incredibly easy to use it inefficiently. After all, distraction is one of the reasons social media is an awesome marketing tool. When you pop up in a news feed, the chances that someone casually scrolling through and not even seeking you out will click on it are fairly high.

Recently, Forbes published an article on research about people who waste time on social media. The question used to be whether or not social media was a waste of time in and of itself–now that we know the answer to that question is a big fat no for businesses, we can get down to the task of figuring out how to use it for best possible ROI and use of your marketing team’s time.

The number one way Forbes claimed that people waste time on social media is by not picking a focus. Not every platform is right for everyone, and if you are pouring dollars into a platform that your audience doesn’t use, it simply is a waste of your time. You’ll tear through content and lose the potential to maximize the value of what you share. Take a look at the social media platforms you’re using, and evaluate whether or not you could cut time out of one or spend more time in a lucrative place. You may find that the 30+ hours you spend a week on Pinterest is not the best use of your time.

Other pitfalls include not having a strategy, not having a schedule, failing to schedule posts in advance, failing to engage with your audience, and letting notifications distract you from work. Whether you have a team or are working alone, truly take note of how much time you’re spending where, and if you could be using your time in a better place rather than letting it fall down the black hole. Time is the most valuable asset you have, so spend it wisely.

Reprinted by permission.

Image Credit: CC by Thomas Leth-Olsen

About the author: Maggie Happe

Maggie Happe is a recent graduate of Creighton University and a contributor to Social Media Contractors.

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