Social media burnout is a state many people find themselves in thanks to the way social media (and information in general) surrounds us every day. What users once found intriguing and enchanting about social media becomes a burden that weighs them down; they can go from happily tweeting dozens of times a day to struggling to keep up appearances and a meager handful of tweets. Social media burnout becomes a problem for many businesses (and individuals) that eagerly jumped on the bandwagon and threw themselves into various networks and are now realizing just how much time and effort is required to maintain their accounts.
Don’t let yourself crash and burn
The exact signs of social media burnout vary depending on the source, but the general consensus is that anyone experiencing any combination of the following might be dealing with social media burnout:
- You constantly worry about privacy (what is being shared and who is sharing it, i.e. company information)
- You feel overexposed due to your social media activities (you feel there is too much information about you online)
- The updates of other people and businesses are distracting you from other projects
- You spend hours each day engaging with customers across any number of sites and networks (this is an issue when undertaken by an individual versus a group)
- You find yourself taking things personally and/or responding negatively when posting material of your own or responding to the posts of others
- Your overall productivity and workplace satisfaction is dropping due to time spent on social media
- You no longer look forward to working with your social media accounts; they are a chore rather than a tool
For more thoughts on social media fatigue and burnout, check out these amazing posts:
- How to Identify and Overcome Social Media Burnout – by Jennifer Beese
- Avoiding Social Media Burnout – by Skylar Smythe
- 7 signs you suffer from social media burnout – by Heidi Cohen
- Is Social Media Burnout A Rite Of Passage? – by Randy Thio
What you can do to gain control
For some people gaining control over their social media activities can be as simple as taking a deep breath and stepping away from the social media scene for a little while. Anything from a few hours to a few days can be just the time you need to avoid becoming completely burnt out on social media and losing the enthusiasm that your customers have come to expect! Can it be hard to step back from something that has been progressively dominating your life? Absolutely! Don’t think of it as a retreat, more like a chance to recharge and regroup. Every good leader needs to step back and strategize from time to time.
Take back control of your social media presence with these tips:
- Don’t Think You have Time for Social Media Marketing? – by Ron
- Preventing Writer’s Cramp, or, Control Your Social Media So It Doesn’t Control You – by Elizabeth S. Craig
- 5 Tips on Social Media: How to Get Help While Staying In Control – by Darlynn Morgan
- 5 Tips for Avoiding Social Media Burnout – by Tamrah
Already feeling well-done? What to do when a burnout might be on the horizon
Experts are debating whether or not social media burnout in one form or another is something that all businesses will have to deal with one day. Some feel that it is a sort of ‘rite of passage’ that serves as a trial by fire, strengthening a company’s resolve and separating the serious players from the rest of the crowd. Others say that social media burnout does not have to be in your future if you do not want it to be (and who does really?) and this is the attitude that tends to get the most positive press. Think of it like you would preventative maintenance on your car; get your oil checked and your tires rotated and balanced every so often to keep your car running smoothly. In the case of social media, take advantage of people and programs that can help you make your social media management easier and therefore more fun!
4 Simple Steps to Avoiding Social Media Burnout from the Start
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew – Instead of singing up for every single social site and network you can find, pick and choose which ones you will join. Make your choices based on how each one can benefit you, how much time (and other resources) it will take to get started and maintain a presence there, and how much each one appeals to your target audience. For example, if you have a lot of graphic content (images, etc) and want to appeal to women ages 25 to 45, Pinterest might be for you!
Not sure which networks are for you? Check out this post by SocialHeavy, “Is social media out of control? Here are the platforms you should use and why“
- Delegate, Delegate, Delegate – Don’t take on your business’ whole social media presence by yourself, instead share the load as much as possible; this is true of any kind of responsibility. If you are the sole employee of your business this can be a little more difficult, but it is still possible if you have the funds to hire someone to help you manage your social media. If your company has a few employees (or more) you can try splitting up the responsibilities amongst the group and then having regular meetings to discuss your progress.
- Take help as it comes your way – In the early days of social media you were the only one (figuratively speaking) who could manage your accounts; there were no automated tools or utilities that gave you a dashboard where you could manage multiple accounts across a variety of networks. Fast-forward to today where the landscape of social media management has changed. It is easier now than ever before to take control from the very beginning and prevent your social media presence from spiraling out of control and becoming something you dread dealing with.
- Remember that slow and steady does win the race – It’s not just true in children’s stories, this old adage is still relevant today, especially when it comes to social media. It has been shown that a steady presence online that regularly delivers valuable content and engages people is far more popular than random bursts of information and engagement. Your customers want to know that they can count on you, and you want them to know that you have them in mind every time you post. Don’t try to be a speed posting super-star on every network; try a more laid back approach, and watch the results blossom over time.
Already beyond burnt out? Get back on the road to recovery today!
It might seem hopeless, but you can reverse the effects of social media burnout! Often all you need to do is take a moment and re-evaluate your situation. A fresh perspective and a new game plan can make all the difference when you are desperately searching for a way to keep your social media presence going strong.
What you can do RIGHT NOW to begin reversing social media burnout:
- STOP right there – When you are in the midst of social media burnout, it is often very difficult to see the forest for the trees. When you are close to a situation, take a deep breath, stop what you’re doing, and take a step (or two) back. When is the last time you took a vacation (period, and from social media?) If it’s been a while, now might be time to take one. Even if you just leave off social media for the weekend, a mini-vacation could be just what you need to kick-start your recovery process. You can also start delegating your social media responsibilities (if possible) even if it is just for the times you want to take a break from social media.
- Gather your resources – There are quite a few (free and for-a-fee) programs, applications, and services that can help you manage your social media presence more easily. At the end of this post there will be a “Social Media Burnout Response Kit” with lots of links to things that can make life (and social media management) easier and more enjoyable. There is nothing wrong with getting some help and making things easier on yourself; work smarter, not harder!
- Take a deep breath and ease back in – Whatever you do, don’t give up! Your social media presence can be saved, and there are many different paths you can take to picking up where you left off and moving forward from there. If pressure and stress were what burned you out in the first place, take it easy and work slowly to build your activity up to a level you feel comfortable with maintaining for the long-term.
Your Social Media Burnout Response Kit
Social media burnout can happen to anyone! By taking steps to prevent burnout you can increase your chances for social media success both now and in the future.
Video: How to Outsource Your Social Media: Social Medial for Sustainability Professionals
- Take a Break From Social Media – by Susanne Ullrich
- When is the Best Time to Tweet? Timely will Tell You – by Lauren Dugan
Visual Tip: Time Your Social Media Posts!
((Click this image for a larger version on the KISSMetrics website))
Want more? Check out Parts 2 & 3 Here:
- The Science of Social Timing Part 2: Timing and Email Marketing – by Jason Caldwell
- The Science of Social Timing Part 3: Timing and Blogging – by Jason Caldwell
If you think you might be experiencing a burnout or that it might be right around the corner, act now and behave as though you were right in the middle of it. Many of the steps for recovery can also be used to prevent social media burnout, so taking action at any stage is only going to help.
Have you ever experienced social media burnout?
If so, what did you do to recover? If not, how have you avoided it so far?
Help us share the love and prevent social media burnout by sharing this post with someone you know today!