Many people who’ve been off work for the past few weeks, or working from home, will have missed daily contact with their colleagues. However, the situation may also have brought into focus the people we don’t miss, such as those who disagree with us and always want to make it obvious, and those who are relentlessly downbeat about everything. While the best we can do about these people at work is to avoid them as much as possible, it’s a lot easier to take negativity out of the loop online. Some folks do this through a ‘digital detox’ but it’s really not necessary. Indeed, I think most of us who enjoy social media would lose more than we gain by simply dropping out of it.
I’ve been experimenting with being more selective though, and I like the results. I’m now using Facebook just for keeping in touch with family and close friends who make me happy. I haven’t missed the racist aunt and uncle (yes, it’s a cliché, but I really have them), and they won’t have noticed I never read their dreadful postings. I love Twitter, but I’ve just made a ‘list’ (group) of the few dozen people whose messages I always enjoy or find interesting, and I use this as my default view. I’ve also been ruthless with ‘muting’ people.
As for direct messages (WhatsApp, Messenger, even texts and emails), I’ve asked many people to take me off their distribution lists of supposedly helpful but usually rubbish information, and I think they’ve all been sympathetic rather than offended. I get very few direct messages now that waste my time. I’ve also gone through my email archive and unsubscribed from literally hundreds of email circulations, so that I’m now willing – as well as able – to read every email arriving in my inbox.
All in all, it’s been a great relief. But what, you may say, has this got to do with marketing? Well, I think that what I’m doing is already common, and will probably become even more so in future. That means we’re wasting our time on social media for business unless we’re being useful or engaging. If our social media output is positive and addresses the needs and interests of our customers and prospects, they’ll continue to want to hear from us. If it’s all about us, they won’t.
And it’s not a big step to adapt that to our personal social media presence either.