With the rising popularity of social media, the impacts it has had on society has come under question. While many of us enjoy staying connected on social media, there have been calls to research the possible negative impacts excessive use may cause.
While the jury is still out on that, there’s a lot of advice online about how we can limit our time on social media to preserve mental health. You’ve probably heard many of them: don’t wake up and hop straight on social media, don’t go to bed scrolling on social media, keep social media apps out of sight (and out of mind), enjoy phone free dinners… the list goes on. While the general advice is great, what can be done for those of who use social media as part of our jobs – or for whom social media is their job?
Being a social media manager, digital marketer or copywriter might mean you’re on social media a lot – and it’s no easy task. You’re responsible for upholding the reputations and voices of brands online. You need to be creative, funny, strategic, analytical, organised, and in the ever-changing world of digital marketing, your finger must always be on the pulse – so you’re researching competitors, keeping up to date with the latest developments in digital marketing, and keeping your skills sharp by diving into online courses.
Piece of cake.
But tell a marketer to switch off from social media?
Worldwide, people are spending an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes1 on social networking sites daily. However, for those of us working in social media, that time can easily be triple. So, what can we do to maintain good mental health while working with social media?
1. Audit & curate your personal socials
Social media can be an exhausting place, but it can be a little less exhausting if you take some time to control what your personal feed looks like.
Marie Kondo your following list – if it doesn’t spark joy, UNFOLLOW! If you’re concerned about potential conflict from unfollowing someone in your network, you can ‘mute’ accounts on Instagram and ‘unfollow’ or ‘restrict’ accounts on Facebook. You can mute certain keywords that you don’t want to see on Twitter, or restrict certain comments on your Instagram. This can make a world of difference in the content you’re seeing , especially in your ‘off’ time – when social media is for personal use and not work.
Once you’ve cleansed your feeds of negativity, go ahead and fill them up with content you want to see. Find positive accounts which uplift or resonate with you. These could be funny memes, body positive content, or even just some classic #foodporn. You do you.
Some of our office favourites include all the goodest boys from #boopmynose, Tim and his wholesome posts from @nationalcowboymuseum, and @gaborestefan for his bright and cheerful photography.
2. Monitor your screen time
Limiting your screen time is an essential part of ensuring you’re not using social media excessively. Most smartphones have inbuilt features which tell you how much time you’re spending on each app daily. In fact, iPhones now have a dedicated ‘Screen Time’ feature which you can use to see how you’re using your device; it even lets you set limits on certain activities. Otherwise, there are plenty of apps which will monitor and limit your time on the apps you choose.
By setting time limits on the use of certain social media apps, you’ll also be forced to approach your usage with purpose – after all, you’ll need to complete all your tasks before the time is up. However, ensure you’re leaving yourself adequate time – allocating yourself too little will only exacerbate your stress levels. Keep it realistic.
3. Do your best to take time off
Social media shouldn’t consume every hour of your day. To use your time efficiently, schedule content in advance, so you have more time to work on other projects. If you work in a team, consider delegating social media tasks to someone else for a day or two. Allow yourself the time to breathe and be away from your brand’s social profiles. You can afford to step away for a few days – especially if you have a solid social media policy in place which your team can follow.
Try to ensure you have allocated yourself adequate time offline. In fact, make sure you’re allocating yourself some time away from work altogether, so you can rest and recharge. Read fiction (not business or marketing) books, or listen to entertaining podcasts. These will lift your mood and provide an opportunity to take a break from ‘reality’. When you give your mind a break, you can come back to it and your socials feeling refreshed.
During the work day, it’s also helpful to block out periods of social media on/off time. We find the Pomodoro Technique useful for breaking a day up into segments – 25min ‘on’ periods (pomodoros), separated by short breaks (and a longer break every four ‘pomodoros’).
4. Manage your customer care carefully
As we all know, community management is an essential part of social media management. With that being said, it can also be taxing. Create response protocols, procedures and templates that will not only streamline your audience engagement but allow a coworker to step in when you need a break. There are plenty of automation tools available for direct messages on Facebook and Instagram that will speed up your processes even more.
This streamlining is especially important when you’re dealing with negative audience sentiment. Responding to messages from unhappy users is bound to get even the cheeriest person down. Clarify in your procedure which engagements warrant a response, and which should be hidden or removed.
5. Take care of yourself!
Perhaps the most obvious step (but also the most important) is looking after yourself. Eat well, exercise, stretch in your breaks, do a little yoga or meditate, and get a good night’s sleep. When you’re busy, it’s sometimes easy to forget that keeping your body healthy is essential for keeping your mind healthy too. By looking after yourself, you can ensure you can weather a tough day on social media, and come back to work the next day feeling recharged and ready to tackle it again.
Need a hand keeping on top of your social media accounts? Perhaps just some pointers for working in social media? Get in touch! Whatever your brand has to say with social media, at Social Weaver, we can help you tell your story.