I received a call earlier this week from the producer of MacCauley and Co which is a morning show broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland She had come across my blog post talking about my experience of taking a digital detox and asked me to join them.
The feature would be about the advantages of taking time out from the digital world and Daniel Sieberg, author of book Digital Diet would also be sharing his insight and tips with the shows listeners.
I really enjoyed taking part and it was a little adventure for me sitting in a tiny sound booth at Reading Civic Hall. If you missed the show you can listen here it’s only on-line for a few days and our bit is about 6 minutes in.
Time to rest and reboot
I may have said before that I love working with social media, the technology available to all of us continues to amaze me and I feel very fortunate to be a part of this incredible digital age. When I wrote my blog post last summer, I was ready to take some well earned time off.
Running Scarletta Media is more than a 9-5 job and sometimes involves very long hours, sleepless nights and the ability to be connected and available on-line most of the time. I am also a serial reader. I love learning about new things and my mind absorbs information like a sponge, but it was time to slow down the pace considerably and give my frazzled brain a rest and reboot.
Focus, focus, focus
The majority of my work is with small business owners and sole traders and the responsibility for marketing their businesses falls on their shoulders. As well as running their businesses most have families to organise and look after too. One of the most common questions I am asked is how much time should I spend using social media?. As more often than not social media marketing is another action on the to-do list and this is where a bit of planning and a strategy are crucial.
The main lesson I have learnt is that by creating my own marketing plan for Scarletta I get things done quickly and efficiently. It helps me focus, reminds me when I need to work on my own content, whilst allowing me time to drop in to conversations on-line as and when I can. And continue to have fun with social media without it taking over my life from a personal and business perspective.
To help me manage incoming information, I use Google RSS feeds and Twitter and Facebook lists. I work mainly along the principles of must know, nice to know and disregard what is not important to me.
Are you addicted to social media?
You see other users endlessly tweeting and up-dating their Facebook status, sometimes every hour on the hour. They are either very good at using automation tools or hopelessly addicted to social media. The compulsion to share every detail of their lives, working days (if you can call it that!) and idle chit-chat isn’t work is it? Social media has clearly taken over and that is a cause for concern.
The other growing trend is a fear of missing something and the desire to keep up. If you follow a lot of other Twitter accounts it is pretty difficult to keep up with everything, and how useful would that be anyway? I drop in and out when I can and realise there are some conversations that will simply pass me by.
Keeping up social appearances
It is possible to keep up social appearances to market the business effectively and not burn out from social overload. However, it is about creating a balance that’s right for you and means you tune in to information you want to receive and know when to log off and zone out from the stuff that clutters your brain and is a time drain.
If all else fails set a timer
And as for me, of course I still love what I do and enjoy tweeting and being on Facebook, but I set myself social time limits. This usually means time to log off no later than 7pm on week-days and if I must I can log in for an hour or two at the max on a weekend. So if you see me on-line when I am not supposed to be feel free to tell me to get off the virtual world and get back to my real world. Pronto!
If you think your social activity is addictive and getting out of control, check out Daniel’s video and book it looks fab. I will be placing my order. Well it’s good to keep all this social media activity in check isn’t it?