Ah, social media… the new hangout place for individuals and businesses alike. It’s fun, engaging and often weird; but regardless of all the ‘upsides’ of social media, I just can’t stand it anymore: I’m having a social media burnout!
I am not a highly sociable person; my personal Facebook account was so, so quiet. Twitter? I don’t actually have a personal account! The problem is, in my line of business, I was supposed to have many social media accounts – mostly for business purpose.
You see, I follow the best practice: Every business website should have its own social media account. Biz Penguin has its own Facebook and Twitter account; but so does my dozen others!
Not only that, I actually have social media accounts on various social sites: Other than Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, I also have accounts with Google+, Chime.in, Foursquare, Pinterest, BX, Biznik, Bizsugar, BlogEngage, Blokube, StumbleUpon, Digg,… – the list can go on and on.
With dozens of social media accounts to manage, a burnout can happen anytime.
Of course, when I converse, I really converse; but most of the conversations I have on socialsphere is all about business and related to some – if not many – of my websites. But that’s where the problem lies: I run out of gas.
It’s resource-consuming to deliver genuine messages – many of them – on daily basis. I simply don’t have the time and energy to do it all myself. I have many websites to take care, emails to answer and so on.
Symptoms of social media burnout
Headaches… stomach ache… fever… well, not really (or maybe?), but Christina Gilberti lists 10 signs of social media burnout – here’s the list:
- A lack of zest in your comments and tweets
- No innovative ideas
- Tired, worn-out phases
- A dull Facebook page
- Seriously uninventive blog posts
- Going back to the hard sell
- Begging for comments and likes
- A decrease in social activity
- Talking nonsense
- Getting others handle the activity
Ouch. Pretty well-described symptoms, I must say.
Okay – I burnt out and I have taken the #10 route. I did hire someone to run my social media campaigns – just like many businesses do. However, I stopped doing so – why?
Why? Let’s just say it didn’t work; I hired someone, and all I can say that what you have paid is what you will get – not-so-engaging posts and zero impact. It could work, but I do need to invest in the right person who can engage my audience and grow the follower base – and you need to pay good money for his/her expertise.
So, how to avoid burnout?
Well, there are actually some great tips on the web (I will share the list in a moment… read on…) but not all give clear answers to the question.
From the articles I read and from my very own experience in having a social media burnout, here are some tips to complement those great tips from social media experts:
1. Follow 80/20 rule
Of all social media accounts we have, we do have our clear favourites, don’t you think? Why don’t you hang out on the top 2 or 3 social media sites on your list and just forget the rest? Social media effectiveness is related to how much time you spend to work on your social media profiles. Most likely, 80-90 percent of web traffic, business leads and buzz are coming from the 2 or 3 social sites you are active in.
It’s clearly ineffective to try establishing presence on every single new social media site you discover – unless you have the resource to hire people to manage social media campaigns for your business.
2. It’s not a sin to hire someone to manage your social media presence!
Just admit it: There are cooler, more sociable people than you. Just like the best practice in hiring any other employees, you should hire someone who is better than you; someone who has the knack to spark conversation and drive interest… and don’t forget to pay them well; why?
Because, just like marketing, the whole image of your business lies in that person’s hands; this caveat is the main reason why you should think twice before you hire someone to run your social media profiles.
3. Devise a plan – seriously!
Just go out there and converse won’t work – at least in a long term. You need to plan things out to keep yourself from burnout; you need to post updates effectively and efficiently: Plan and schedule your posts.
Just like the tactic to avoid email burnout, you should avoid login to your social accounts all the time; Set specific times of the day to go check on your social media accounts.
There are always interesting industry news, funny cat fails, weird stuffs, inspiring quotes, and many others on social media: Again, plan your online time so that you don’t get stuck checking updates after updates and get burnt out along the way.
4. Use tools
There are tools to help you becoming more productive with your social media activities (tools for blocking online distractions would be effective, but it’s not fun!) – why don’t you try one or two to help you avoid burnout?
Tools like Buffer can help you manage your social posting so you don’t have to logged on the whole day. Mention is also a good tool for you to track mentions about your business without spending most of your time scrolling down the live update streams to learn what people think about you and your business.
I personally use SocialOomph to manage and schedule my Twitter and Facebook posting, as well as managing followers and engaging the right followers – everything from one, single dashboard – neat!
5. Unplug often
Probably the most difficult of all, if you want to avoid and/or recover from burnout, you need to go for low-information diet regime.
Want your life back? Log out of Facebook and the likes. Better yet, just shut down your Internet connection and stay away from your devices – for a while.
Get a life – meet real people, talk to real people. It’s not that those you meet online are fakes, but having real face-to-face conversation feels so, well, real.
When you are on a mini-break or vacation, also take a break from your social media activities… you deserve it.
6. More tips…
Want more tips? Here are the list of articles and blog posts I recommend you to read for “curing” your social media burnout:
It’s pretty challenging actually to avoid social media burnout; our life has been attached so much to the Internet and everything that comes with it for quite some time… it would be difficult to stay away from flood of information and social media updates.
Smartphones and other mobile devices have actually “worsen” things out by bringing social media at your finger tip.
Convenience is a double-edged sword: On one side, it can help you do business better; you can close more sales and respond to changes very well; you can even work anytime, anywhere you want. However, too much information and tools at your fingertips can be bad for your work-life balance and personal well-being.
You definitely need some reasons to unplug – your task today is to find those reasons and start to work on it. If you want a reason, I give you one: I have proven that unplugging often from social media, emails and work in general has improved my productivity many times. I am now looking forward for my mini-breaks and enjoy my break from the noises in social media. If I can do it, you can, too!
Good luck in recovering from social media burnout!