Too much social media could be bad for relationships

Social Media is Bad For YouBusiness is about relationships, we all know that. And thankfully the online world of social media helps you build, extend and maintain relationships in more ways than you imagined possible just a few years ago. There really is no excuse nowadays for not being able to have good relationships with your customers or suppliers.

Sometimes, though, a relationship can be too “busy”. Years ago I remember working in an office where one of our suppliers was forever on the phone, “bumping into us” down the pub, popping into the office – eventually we could not wait to get rid of him. He was an annoyance because he was seemingly always there.

The world of social media means that it is now possible for each of us to be just as annoying. There you are on Twitter, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on Pinterest, on anything else you care to mention, no matter when your customer logs in. You can easily be an omnipresence.

Nowadays we can conduct our relationship building in multiple channels. The problem is we don’t seem to be aware of when we reach the “tipping point” from being able to remind our customers of our existence and our interest in them to being an annoyance.

New research from the University of Oxford suggests that this is a real possibility. In a study of 24,000 couples it found that some relationships were affected negatively by the widespread use of several social media channels. Dr Bernie Hogan who conducted the study said: “there may be a cut-off point after which the increasing complexity of maintaining so many separate communications threads starts to undermine relationship ties”.

Importantly, the study also found that having a wide array of relationship channels did not actually enhance relationships either. In other words, social media doesn’t make our relationships any better – in spite of what we may think. The research evidence suggests it merely allows us to ensure our messages get through.

So, what does this mean for your business relationships? It suggests that you can stop worrying about being “present” in as many social media as possible; you don’t have to try too hard. It suggests that you should also consider carefully how you use each medium so that you do not become an annoyance. In other words, social media is something which needs careful planning and management if you are to strike the right balance between visibility and not being annoying.

Like this article?

Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on email
Share via email

Other posts that might be of interest

Internet Psychology

Is your brain back to front?

British businesses will spend this weekend on tenterhooks as they wait for Monday’s announcement from the Government about the ending of lockdowns. For the past couple of weeks, the mutterings from 10 Downing Street suggest

Read More »
Internet Psychology

Can you do boring tasks?

Last week, not far from the M25 in Buckinghamshire, the biggest-ever boring machine in the UK started its slow churn through the Chiltern hills to dig a tunnel for the HS2 rail system. It will

Read More »
Fence painting
Online Business

When did you last paint your garden fence?

If you are a “big change” business, then you are like my garden fence. Leaving it unpainted for so long has created much more work, at a higher cost, than if it had been tended to every year. Ignoring reviews of your online activity for long periods also means you make more work for yourself and raise your costs.

Read More »