Lately, the world and the news have discussed in length that millennials are too attached to their cell phones and smart phones. Why is this? Well, members of the younger generation theoretically feels that technology is the only way that they can communicate, maintain a social life and entertain themselves. Thus, problems with survival arise when they are sans iPhone, as well as problems with in-person interpersonal communication skills, or so doctors and technological scholars around the globe claim.
The increased connectivity is a difficult point to argue. Although we can’t see how the digital revolution will affect younger generations now because we’re still in the middle of it, eventually this compulsion will show itself, either to the benefit or the detriment of those increasingly connected users. However, I’d like to argue that emotional and psychological attachments to social media are not just a problem for our teenagers– they’re a real problem for marketers as well.
I began to mull this over earlier this week, while looking at the page of an account that I no longer work on. This is an account for which I’d set up the Facebook page, Twitter page and almost all other platforms, personally enjoyed connecting with and put hours upon hours of my time into. I agonized over which Facebook advertising dollars should go where and snapped pictures at every event and moment. My iPhone library was filled with more photos to be used for this account than for my personal pages, and to me, this wasn’t a bad thing—at the time (and I’m still not entirely sure it is).
In other words, I loved this account and watching it succeed through my efforts; it felt like my baby, my brainchild in more ways than one. And I don’t think this is a unique feeling. It’s difficult not to become attached and invested in the success of your social media, especially if it’s done in-house by a marketing department or members of your company.
This Day in the Life of a Social Media Manager infographic is meant as an inside joke, but is really, scarily accurate—posting, publishing, curating, checking email, monitoring engagement will fill as many hours as you let it, and eventually, 99 percent of your day will be spent looking at a screen. If you love your marketing strategies and the accounts you’re working on, maybe this is a positive thing. In reality, being too attached to your social media is ultimately unhealthy for you and for your company.
That is why good, effective social media needs a team working on the account. As soon as I left that past account I’d mentioned, I immediately realized just how attached I was. Ultimately, it was a beneficial development for another pair of eyes to look at my work and to see where it could be improved; I was too blinded by passion to see where I’d gone wrong or where what I was doing could be better. No matter how much work I put in or how much I loved it, checks and balances absolutely have to be in place. I’m not saying you shouldn’t love what you do, but the best thing for you and your company is to realize that other people are experts too—and new angles are always a good thing.
So if you’re on the verge of outsourcing or keeping your social media in-house, just remember that sometimes an outside perspective or third-person narrator may be the best thing that ever happened to your brand. Relinquish that vice grip on your marketing and let it breathe. It will survive just fine, and so will you.
Image credit: CC by Stephan Geyer