Are You In Social Hibernation?

Chipmunk  in Hibernation

It’s been since August that I’ve logged in to my blog. Yep, I’ve pretty much broken every personal branding and SEO rule out there, including the rule of blogging 3 times per week. I’m a bad, bad girl.

I’d like to blame it entirely on the fact that I’m a consultant with a newborn. I’m doing both part-time, but, it really winds up being more full-time if you ask any working mother.

Regardless, I have to take some responsibility and not blame it all on getting up hourly to pop that pacifier back in my daughter’s mouth — I’ve actually discovered I’m in Social Hibernation. Go ahead, launch a new tab and start googling Social Hibernation and don’t finish reading this article. I know how you think, because, I am you. Let me tell you what you’ll find: At the top of your unsponsored links, you’ll find an article from eyeweekly.com about one who has opted for being a couch potato, as opposed to mingling. Nope, that’s not what I’m talking about here. The next link you’ll find is an article on how one can remove all traces of their identity from the internet by using what the author terms “Reverse SEO”. Interesting article, but also not what I’m getting at here.

What I’m getting at or rather, experiencing, as an iPhone AND BlackBerry user (I call it double-fisting), information overload victim, subscribing to way too many¬† newsletters, spam-receiving, mommy card-carrying, wife, business-owning, homemaking, getting-back-to-my-somewhat-thin self, yoga and Pilates-practicing life is that I’ve been in social networking Social Hibernation. What, you say, does that mean? It means I’m just too darn busy to really be spending the time that I used to using Facebook and Twitter — the more of what I’ll call the mass or “generic” social and micro-blogging sites. Why, do you ask? I think they’re noisy. I need to get more specific. I’ve also talked to a number of colleagues who say they’re a bit tired and distracted by social media lately. It’s hard to get inspired to write, tweet, blog and post.

And as a result, I’m experiencing what I forecast over a year ago — that people are going to start to seek more related and relevant content to their lives for social networking purposes and bailing from the generic social networks — or starting their own for that matter. For example, I’m more interested in say, a food blog that focuses on gastronomic delights as well as light and healthy cooking. Kid got a runny nose? Well, there’s a blog or a community for that too. Need to find a local music class for my kid? There’s a list serve and multiple blog resources. Gotta learn more, pretty darn quick, about a company I’m pitching? There’s a business community like Business Insider. You get my drift? I’m looking for quick, useful and hopefully credible information resources and a community¬†that I’m going to be able to use and enjoy in my life — that can also bring me together with like-minded people where I can share thoughts, ideas and real-life (and business) situations. I liken it to what has happened to the broadcast networks because of Cable. We had the Big 3, and then, the Cable industry was born. With the plethora of niche content out there, the Networks lost a ton of market-share. Are you picking up what I’m laying down?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I will promote this blog entry and newly coined term on Twitter and use my Networking Blogs feature on Facebook. Perhaps I will even trademark the term.¬† But I digress. I gotta keep my Followers following. (And somehow magically, I still gain relevant followers, even though I’m not tweeting that much. It’s not magic actually, it’s strategic on my part.) And yes, I do check in from time-to-time on FB to see what’s happening with my 400+ “Friends”, but, I’m finding it less useful and entertaining. I’ve reached my tipping point and mark my words, it will take a while, but you’ll reach yours too.

I’ve always been ahead of the curve in terms of adopting technology and seeking out the new and improved, which is why I’m a digital strategist. But, I also know that I’ve sometimes been too ahead of the curve. I was listening to Brian Leher on WNYC during the recent elections. He had was interviewing a social media strategist Valdis Krebs about the social graphs of each of the major NY gubernatorial candidate’s political networks. It was fascinating. At the end of the interview, Brian Leher asked him what he saw for the future of social networking. My Man Valdis, well, we’re on the same page. He validated the philosophy that social networks will indeed continue to become more segmented and niche, and that users will seek out content that is more relevant to their lives. Of course, I’m completely paraphrasing, but I swear, that’s the gist of what he said!

Now, I’m not saying that all of sudden Facebook will implode and that it will be deserted quicker than a cowboy film movie set. What I’m saying is that as¬† a”savvy” marketer, you have to go where you’ll find your really passionate and relevant audiences. I’m saying that it will take more than just using organic and free tools to seek them out. It will take more than a Facebook page (if that is even right for your business). It requires a hard-core strategy, good talent, serious people bandwidth, and the right software to really make a difference. I’m just saying that if you haven’t done so already, get on the stick, get focused, and talk to your audience — and it doesn’t mean you don’t have to be “Liked”.

Ok, back to my cave I go.

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