Over the past several weeks I have noticed a change in the Social Media environment. Have you seen it? Have you heard it? There in lies the issue…it is getting quieter.

Retweets, shout outs.. just even responses to ‘Good Morning’….all met with no chirps….

All my statistics show I am holding steady. My KLOUT score is the same, my page views are steady. Monthly active viewers are up. So why does it seem like it is quieter?

My first thought was it was summer…people on vacation. This is my real full first year on social media so only time will tell if this is a trend. But then I had others asking me if my click-through rate has changed…so that made me start thinking again, what was it, because now obviously I was not the only one who had noticed. So I started checking things.

I can tell you the steady stream of Follow Friday shout outs has decreased (#FF) on Twitter. This is almost a blessing. I know when I started follow Fridays I listed all my friends I wanted people to follow without giving people a reason WHY they should follow them.  What would my followers get if they chose to follow these people. And I still see so much of this. I have since learned it is better to recommend 1 or 2 people to follow and to say WHY they should be followed. I believe this makes the choices of whom to follow more valuable to the follower. It also places increased value on the followee! So Fridays have gotten noticeably quieter as there seems to be less follow Fridays.

Or perhaps we burnt ourselves out on it and have recommended the same people for so long everyone has picked them up? This may be an indication our following has slowed down as we don’t have new people to recommend.  Personally my Fridays have gotten much busier, especially in the morning when we all used to get those requests out. So I just haven’t had the time at work to get these out even though I DO so appreciate and support my followers, I haven’t been able to thank them officially with #FF’s.

On top of that Twitter is making it VERY difficult for me to follow new people without giving up some of my existing peeps. I am at that point with that darn follower to following ratio that if you are not following me, I have to delete you. And who like giving up people they like following? So I am forced to make a choice, leave my list as it is and hope the new people following me also don’t have to drop me, and hope I can get to some magical number that is not shared anywhere so I can pick up more people without losing the ones I have.  These are not easy nor good choices to have to make. After all, I don’t expect Rachel Maddow to follow me yet I love reading her tweets!

I believe the issue with Facebook is content. I KNOW I have to offer compelling content for my readers, but I go through phases of writers block. It is very interesting, as the owner and moderator of several Facebook pages, I can tell you creating content, especially compelling content is difficult. And content curation works well, but being the owner of a page, I know I have to create content as well to be respected in the community as ‘knowing my stuff’. If all I do is spout back other people’s work, then I am great at curation and getting timely messages out, but that is only part of the game. So I have to get past my own writers block and really get on the stick with writing my own material. Hopefully, material people will want to read (vulnerable moment here). I also find I need to learn how to create images, stories, and even in many cases GET the story…sometimes stretching the limits of what I know. But I love learning new things so that isn’t a problem…the problem becomes time to do it all and do it well.

Is Goggle+ eating into our well-known social media landscape? To be fair I have not used it enough. I do have a strategy for using it and want to make sure it doesn’t just become another Facebook for me or why go there. I love the integration across document sharing, calendars and all the great things Google is doing. And I am following different people there than on Facebook (of course all my business friends are there as well) but my personal friends are on Facebook and I think I am going to keep them there. Different platforms for different purposes. But I haven’t figured out the purpose of being there yet. This isn’t a problem…I did the same thing with Twitter…sat back and watched awhile and learned. Made a few forays into the landscape and then jumped in. I think this is probably what I am doing with Google.

But I see an expansion of what we define as social media. I see more use of Yelp and I see Klout changing where now you can earn badges and perks and recommend others (who has K+). Foursquare has grown a bit but seems to have flatlined. Daily discount social media sites also seem to have hit a bump in the road as businesses have learned the hard way, once a discounter, then people won’t go to you unless you discount again. I mean honestly why pay full price. People are more willing in this economy to visit a new restaurant offering a discount than to go back as a repeat customer to a business NOT offering that discount. So offering that Groupon may have brought in customers but did it bring in repeat business? (Another lesson…bring them in the first time and treat them so well you build that repeat business). Trust me while I was on vacation we were daily users of Yelp and Groupon to see where we should go and how we could save.

My question to all of you is this….do you find yourself so diluted across all of these media you just don’t have time to do what you once did? It took some work but I was able to keep up with Facebook posts, Tweets and even blogging. Now I have more to worry about AND watch to keep an eye on brand reputation than I ever did.

Here is my second question to you…do you think people are migrating out of Twitter, Facebook and moving to G+ or is this just an addition to their existing strategy?

My thinking is this…the silence is telling me something. What I am not sure. But what that means to me is it is time to take a step back, look at the landscape and tweak my strategy. I am not going to go running full speed into every single new thing that comes out as I feel that is a knee jerk reaction that could cost time and money with no real value in the end. But I am going to take the time to figure out where else it is I need to be. I feel the numbers still show strong growth and stability in the Facebook and Twitter platforms so I have no intention of lessening my efforts there BUT it may be time to tweak WHAT it is I am doing there now that I have a stable base of fans and followers.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this so please leave your comments and let’s discuss a bit more!