Spreading Your Online Self Too Thin

A few days ago Instagram announced that it was going to allow more people to business accounts which would give them the ability to schedule posts ahead of time, something that’s not allowed right now. I’ve subsequently read a lot of articles telling people it’s the best thing since sliced bread (not a direct quote lol).

Thin me

I was thin once 🙂

As someone with 5 blogs who also writes for 2 others I don’t get paid for, I think I can speak about the issue of being overwhelmed by having too much exposure online. This time I’m not talking about the people who might view your content; I’m talking about your ability to keep up with all of it and whether it’s worth the effort.

If we eliminate talk about blogs for the moment, I can honestly say that for the most part I’ve stayed away from multiple accounts on social media sites.

I have 2 accounts on Google Plus, but that came about when I needed two YouTube channels and at the time you had to have a second account to have a second YouTube channel. If I could figure out how to merge my 2nd channel with my first into one account I would, but I’d still keep the two channels separate since their topics are quite different.

The best thing about those channels is that they automatically show those I’m connected to my latest videos (if anyone’s paying attention). The worst thing is that my business site only has 15 followers; no one’s seeing anything unless I shove it down their throat.

I had a community on Google Plus devoted to leadership, and initially it was a pretty active group. Then Google stopped supporting its own site, and after 9 months where I was the only participant I decided it was time to shut it down.

I created a group and a business page on Facebook. The group page is about diabetes, where I share new information and give folks a place where they can talk about their issues or ask questions. That’s personal and I’m glad I created it, even if it’s barely at 100 members.

The business page… it’s stagnated around 400 members, and even though that’s a lot by comparison, Facebook’s algorithm change means that most of the time fewer than 20 people are actually seeing when I post something, and I’m sure only around 25% ever actually see the things I’m putting up. That was a waste of time, especially since Facebook doesn’t serve any of that content up so search engines can find it. At least once every couple of months I think about killing it; one day it’ll disappear.

I resisted the pull to create a business page on LinkedIn, as well as a business account on Twitter. I already get little attention on LinkedIn, so keeping up with a 2nd page made no sense. I’m lucky to get attention on Twitter but I’d rather work on promoting and branding myself than two different things at the same time. I also have more fun on Twitter without having to deal with the task of running two separate accounts.

I know quite a few people who answer the call for multiple accounts on most social media platforms. I don’t know a single person who’s done well with it. I tend to believe these are the types of things for companies that have dedicated employees around to handle the business brand while everyone else gets to be themselves. If you’re a sole proprietor or a very small business, it’s better to be more efficient with your time and energy.

Back to the multiple blogs thing. I’ll admit that sometimes I feel overwhelm in the effort to work towards producing on a consistent basis. Lucky for me, I have no difficulties coming up with topics on my two main blogs, this being one of them. However, I have one blog where I haven’t written anything new since November. If the topics weren’t so diverse and my reasoning so personal I’d work on finding a way to merge them all. I’ve actually been thinking of trying to sell one of my blogs… I just don’t have the energy to consider it now. That and having nearly 1,000 posts on it I should say. 🙂

Social media is hard when you’re trying to market on it. Spreading yourself too thin is tiring and stressful. I’ve always advocated that none of us should be on every platform, which goes counter to the marketing gurus. I’ll add to that by saying limit yourself to only as many accounts on the sites you decide to participate on.

That’s just my opinion; I’m sure you have yours. Go ahead, share; I’d love to hear it.

12 thoughts on “Spreading Your Online Self Too Thin”

  1. Mitch, I am with you on this one! I recently have been a little burnt out and have been offline a bit more. I’ve been having to take care of my dad more and it’s taken a lot of time out of my day.
    I don’t know how you do it all with your mother!
    I have not changed my personal Instagram over. I read it’s harder to get traction like with a FB page so why bother? That’s my own thought.
    With Facebook pages now you have to advertise get really get any traction.
    Google+ – I have not used much in the past year. Every once in a while I may appear there.
    Even my own personal Facebook has gotten crazy with so many people pushing their own stuff out day after day. I do keep lists there like a family one so I can quickly find things. Sometimes it just has too much drama.
    I recently tried AudioFm to podcast on my way to work and I liked it. I may do more of that in the future.
    I wonder how many of us do get burned out from time to time with social media? When I do, I get off for a while and when I get back on I’m back into it 🙂
    Have a good day Mitch.

    1. Sorry to hear about your dad. It’s tough taking care of a parent and keeping up with other things.

      When I first created my Facebook business page my posts were averaging 150 shares per post; it seemed like a really good idea at the time. I’m seriously thinking about slowing way down and rarely posting anything since every time I post something I get a message from Facebook looking for money to share with other people… who readily joined the page… some of whom have requested notification that they still never get! Sigh…

  2. Your ‘once’ appearance is startling! You have grown well.

    I visit Facbook once a day for about half an hour primarily to check for messages and scan through posts from friends. I rarely spend more than half an hour.

    I spend about an hour or an hour and a half sometimes, cumulatively on WhatsApp. I can’t help it. Everyone and his uncle wants to send messages and expect responses.

    I have a Twitter account which for all practical purposes is inactive.

    I am confortable with my spread. Online that is but, not at all physically.

    1. LOL! It was the thinnest I ever was as an adult. I knew when I got there that I couldn’t hold it. I like the line about being comfortable with your spread. 😀

      I’ve never been on WhatsApp; you’ve got that one on me.

  3. Great post! I get frustrated with social media on a regular basis, especially with Instagram! It’s so impressive that you have have 5 blogs and write for 2 others, I don’t know how you do it! 🙂

    1. I don’t know how I do it either. lol I think I’m working the branding and marketing angle, but sometimes I get tired. Maybe I’m impressed with myself for my output and keep on doing it to keep impressing myself, though it’s not getting me anywhere. At least I’ve found that I do have limits.

  4. Agreed. I don’t use instagram…just too much time. And, it’s hard to drive traffic to your site from there. I’ve been focusing on Pinterest which does drive a lot of traffic. And, I agree with you – go narrow rather than wide.

    1. Rich, if I only used social media for business promotion I probably wouldn’t use it at all! lol I just love looking at pictures, and even though Instagram seems to keep trying to keep me from doing it I’ll stick around until it burns and crashes because I love having a place where I can find my pictures online… especially tracking foods I’ve eaten to see if I liked them or not. 😉

  5. Hi Mitch,

    You have provided us with an insightful article. Truthfully, spreading yourself too tin is not the way to go. I have always told friends and clients to focus on a few social media sites, master them before deciding if you need to have a presence on other social media platforms.

    For example, I used to have 2 Twitter accounts, but the fact that I’m wasn’t able to keep up with both – in terms of engaging with my audience and other stuff, I let it go. Now I’m more concentrated on one account. Even the one I have now is still not easy to deal with. Have to interact with followers, response to message, etc.

    Thanks to social media automation tools.

    The fact that you have 5 blogs is amazing, even though you mentioned that 2 are your main blogs, yet it is not easy writing for them all as well as guest posting on other blogs.

    The bottom line, it is pointless trying to be everywhere on social media. Choose a few, establish your presence, before going any further.

    Thanks for sharing Mitch.

    1. Glad to share Moss. Sometimes I think I’m doing it wrong and that maybe I should be putting all my content on the same site. Other times I know I’m doing it the right way because there’s no logic in putting so many different topics on the same blog. At least I know I won’t be trying to get onto too many sites; way too tiring.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this–it’s something many don’t ponder or think about, and it can be real drain to come up with original, good content and posts. I need space for ideas to percolate, notions to build and strategies to pivot to. All of this takes quiet time–I usually get my best ideas walking to the gym :). I hardly focus on Facebook…

    1. I love the concept of social media but it can be overwhelming to deal with. It’s almost worse when you have a business and are trying to figure out how to market yourself online. All of us need to know the when, where and how to take a break so we don’t burn out. I’m glad yours is while walking to the gym… although I’m wondering why you need the gym if you’re walking to it 🙂

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