One of my favorite parts of my job is speaking to business owners about the latest changes in digital marketing. For me, it’s very exciting when new tools and strategies enter the marketplace – I can see the potential there, and can’t wait to put them to work building businesses. And that’s the same look I see in the eyes of perhaps half to two-thirds of my audience.
But then there’s everybody else. Everybody else? They are definitely not excited to hear that there’s yet another social media platform. They’re not focused on the potential a new tool or platform offers: they see instead the time, effort, and energy it will take to establish and maintain this expansion of their digital identity. Add to that doubts about how viable or valuable the new tool will actually be – and if we’re to be fair, there are plenty of stories of great tech that just tanked – and it’s hard for these folks to muster any enthusiasm.
Today, I’m talking to that everybody else.
The way you feel about social media right now?
Social media, as it exists right now, is a relatively new cultural structure: if Facebook was a person, it wouldn’t be old enough to drive a car! We’re still learning, collectively and individually, how to use this communication tool without being overwhelmed by it.
It does take a significant amount of work to establish and maintain a social media presence. It’s important to acknowledge that, and to also acknowledge the fact that you’re very busy running a business. Entrepreneurs waver between two emotional states: euphoria and exhaustion, and frankly, sometimes we spend a lot of time on the exhaustion end of the curve.
So if you’ve been feeling any guilt, stress, or anxiety about the fact you’re decidedly unenthusiastic about a new social media platform – or even about learning more about how to use the social media you already have – let that go. It’s okay. Your feelings are totally legitimate and valid. The social media landscape can be very overwhelming. People get tired of it, developing a type of exhaustion I call Social Media Fatigue Syndrome.
Here are 5 tips for dealing with Social Media Fatigue Syndrome:
You get to set limits.
You know your business, your resources, and your internal capabilities better than anyone. Use this information to set reasonable limits for yourself. If that means you only have the resources to maintain a high quality social media presence on one or two platforms, so be it. Don’t feel obligated to do more than you’re capable of doing well.
You don’t have to do everything everyone else does at the same time they do it.
Not every social media platform is for every business. However, there are times when a social media platform appears to be reaching critical mass where every business owner rushes to it, as if they have to be there. There’s really only one meaningful criteria to take into account when determining if you *really* need to be on a social media platform: will it connect you effectively with your specific target audience? If the answer is no, let it go.
Systems save time.
Social media doesn’t have to be time-intensive. Developing systems to determine what content you’re going to post, when you’re going to post it, and how you’re going to respond to customer interaction will streamline the process and save you lots of stress.
Just because you own the business doesn’t mean you’re necessarily the best person to run the social media. Consider whether this is a responsibility you can delegate in house or if you want to work with a professional. When considering an in house candidate, remember that professionalism and marketing skills are just as important for this role as tech savvy.
Take a break.
Don’t be afraid to unplug as needed. Even though our culture is trending toward 24/7 connectivity, there’s nothing wrong with setting healthy limits to maintain your wellbeing. While abandoning social media entirely isn’t practical for most of us, taking regular breaks is essential. You may find you come back to social media refreshed and even a little more enthusiastic about what you find there!