The following is a guest post by Cat Rose. Her bio is at the end.
Without sounding terribly overdramatic, social media burnout is a real thing – and something we should be watching out for.
Whether you’re using social media for work or for pleasure: it’s likely that it takes up a hefty chunk of your day. There is a limit to how much information we can process – and by flooding our brains with photos of our friends’ dinners, lists of celebrities that look like cats, advice to get us thinner doing ‘this one thing’…
It can get exhausting.
Literally. We can get cognitively overloaded from too much information, resulting in decision fatigue – which in turn, can have dramatic impact on our willpower.
So is Facebook driving you to eat that pack of cookies? May be… either way, many of us could benefit from taking a step back from our social media routine before burnout sets in.
Here are six tips for preventing social media burnout:
1) Niche down
If you can niche down with your target market, you can do the same with your social media followers. If there is one platform that is more popular with your ideal audience – go there, and take a breather from the others.
This ‘pick one’ strategy can be tough at first (good old FOMO) but it’s amazing what happens if you switch your focus to only one platform. It doesn’t mean you have to stick to that one platform forever either – it might be a week or a month – and if things aren’t working, you can always switch your focus.
2) Consider your likes
No – not thumbs up likes. What do you – for real – like? If you’re a highly visual type, stick with Pinterest and Instagram. If you enjoy writing, get behind Facebook and Linkedin. If you prefer quick, snackable bites of content – Twitter’s your platform. If you like being in front of the camera – get on Periscope.
3) Set SMART goals
You likely have come across the ‘SMART’ goal acronym before – a checklist to make sure your goals are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.
When applied to social media, you can set a goal (such as X number of followers by X date) and have something to work towards. When this is your only focus, you can stop stressing about all the other distractions.
4) Schedule on/off time
It’s easy to say ‘I’ll take a break’ but how many times do we end up foregoing that break for just another 10 minutes of scrolling through our feed?
By having scheduled time to be online, you are more likely to make the most out of your session. If you’re working towards your SMART goal, this will be a huge benefit.
If you aren’t already using a scheduling app to automate your posts – get on it! Whether it’s Buffer, Hootsuite, Edgar – it’s a great way to get the bulk of the content you want to share sorted in one go.
It prevents the infamous rabbit-hole effect. You know: we go on social media to share one thing and then… 45 minutes have passed and our eyes have glazed over.
Taking an hour or two out to schedule a week’s worth of content also allows you to specify the best time to reach your audience are online.
Finally, if you’re ready to take a break altogether from your social accounts, consider hiring someone to help you out. I wouldn’t recommend that for all of your posts – your audience are still going to want to hear your voice – and that isn’t easy for a freelancer to replicate!
But for scheduling shared posts and researching content, a freelancer from Upwork or Fiverr is a great investment.
If social media is feeling like a chore, or you’re not convinced your time is being spent well perusing your feeds; it could be worth taking a break. If you put into practise these tips, it should be an easy transition. Happy social media holiday!
Cat Rose is a designer and marketing consultant helping small businesses reach their dream audience. You can sign up for her free module from her upcoming course here, on how to save time managing social media – and still be effective. Find her on Twitter (not wasting time…)