Don’t Panic – Manage info overload with a few personal boundaries!

Take a lesson from me..when I first got on the social media train just 4 years ago, I was so excited to dive into the wild west that I quickly burned out.  I was tweeting, updating, blogging, videoing almost 24/7…at first the novelty fueled my constant activity…but quickly it caught up with me.  After a year, as the social media manager for the Cisco Interaction Network, I didn’t even want to log on to the internet to check the weather.  Being “on” all the time take its toll and it is easy to get wrapped up in the exchange of information and lose yourself.

So I learned how to manager the 24-hour, infinite cycle with a few personal boundaries to allow me to sustain and succeed.

Here are some tips to consider when participating in the big-bad social world without running into Burn Out of information overload:

  • Only create profiles you can manage.  Because it is free to access and easy to start up, the first rookie mistake is to go all in. Take some time to profile your customers, your business and make hard choices on how you want or can distribute.  Consider starting small–like twitter where an easy 140-character response can keep you in the game. Consider tools like tweet deck or google alerts where you can monitor and manage without loosing your sanity.
  • Pick 3 times a day you check all your online presence.  Sure, you may not be the fastest web slinger, but you will still be able to bundle your activity and respond appropriately.
  • Pick a day or two you don’t go online.  I know…sounds crazy right…what if someone tries to sabotage your brand…as long as you haven’t just launched an uber campaign, you won’t miss that much.  And you will thank me for the boundary.
  • Create a schedule.  Structure goes a long way.  When you are just chasing, you run out a fuel quickly…think of it like exercising.  When you have a routine and you build up….endurance is far more lasting than quick sprints. Set up an update process and editorial calendar.
  • Share the load.  Enlist people in your company or organization to help monitor your brand with google alerts or twitter search alerts. Create a template and a social media guide and ask them to help.  It truly takes a village.
  • Mix it up…online isn’t the only way to reach your audience.  In person, direct mail, email, search….it is the combination that leads to success.
  • Let go….sure you may miss something, but usually opportunities will repeat again…with all the retweets, shares and likes….you will be able to spot a BIG opportunity as it makes its rounds in cyberspace.

The name of the game is long-term sustainability.  It doesn’t matter how many posts or updates you do, but the value of your contribution to the audience. The age old cliche…quality vs quantity rings true for the online world. Personal boundaries are key for long-term success in anything you do…so prevent the burn out before it starts.


About the author

Melissa Kennedy

I am an innovative, practical problem-solver with an MBA. Pioneered one of the first social media strategic plans for a Fortune 100 company, including monthly online TV program viewed by 120,000 customers. Created a scalable channel marketing service model and established a new customer communication channel through partner web syndication. Developed marketing plan for start-up technology firm. Launched first comprehensive marketing campaign for major science and technology university's $1 Billion fund-raising effort. Award-winning performance for 15 years across functions, industries and organizations.

My passion for results goes beyond professional pursuits. I am a global facilitator and co-organizer of Startup Weekends and serve as an advocate and volunteer for many local charities including Food Bank of Central/Eastern NC, North Carolina International Affairs Council and Connected Women of North Carolina. Plus, I have served as the President for the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association,


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  1. christine ramsey

    Wonderful advice!! Burn out is my biggest problem with social media. And it’s huge, leaving me feeling defeated and angry at my computer.

    Thanks for the boundaries. I think I’ll turn them into a screen saver, or at least a plaque on the wall.

  2. christine ramsey

    Wonderful advice!! Burn out is my biggest problem with social media. And it’s huge, leaving me feeling defeated and angry at my computer.

    Thanks for the boundaries. I think I’ll turn them into a screen saver, maybe a quilt or pillow (since I work with vintage textiles)

    1. Melissa Kennedy

      Yes…I certainly underestimated the burn out effect. But now I am on track. Discipline and confidence are definitely keys.

  3. Ben Waugh

    I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

  4. Melissa Kennedy

    Thanks Ben. Appreciate the kudos….glad the info is useful! M

  5. iphone 5

    Saved like a favourite, I genuinely like your website!

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