Social media overwhelm is an ever-present threat to our mental attitude towards marketing our businesses online. Continually agonising over when to post to get the most traction, or the number of likes on your posts, or how many new followers you might get each week is exhausting and can make you feel like throwing your phone against the wall.
Tell me honestly, do you have moments where you feel like you are;
Overwhelmed with being present on social media for your business all week long?
Stressed-out and you’re on the fast train to burn-out?
Less successful than others?
Today on the blog I’m highlighting some boundaries that I have found really help me avoid feeling overwhelmed or stressed-out. This is my secret to keeping motivated and feeling productive when handling my social media.
My struggle with social media overwhelm
Ever since I started working online (mid-2006) I have found social media the most difficult part of my journey, partly because it just takes up so much time and it can be the one place I get sucked into when I really need to be focusing on other parts of my business.
I hold up my hand and say I haven’t always got it right.
There have been many days where I have checked my phone for social interactions when I should have been doing something else. In fact, if I was a fly on my own wall, I’d probably be horrified at just how many times I check my phone some days!
Sometimes it feels like my business success is wrapped up in what happens on my social media accounts. It’s so silly when you say that out loud (or type it in this case), but I’m convinced I have fallen prone to comparisonitis in more instances because of spending too much time on social media. I’m also convinced that it hasn’t helped my motivation and it has certainly increased the moments, or occasionally days where feel like; ‘I just don’t want to do anything’.
And I’m not the only one feeling like this – most of my coaching clients suffer from some form of social media fatigue from time to time and I feel it’s safe to assume others do to, regardless of industry.
Social media overwhelm is a thing and I believe it’s something we need to take seriously as sole-traders in order to maintain a healthy mental attitude.
Unhealthy habits that lead to social media overwhelm or fatigue
As I have gotten older and as my online business experience has grown, I have taken the time to really understand the habits that cause me to feel anxious, or overwhelmed. So, if you find yourself suffering from one or more of these things, then you need to address your daily routine!
Like me are you;
Logging on several times a day – constantly checking engagement, followers, or ‘likes’ is not only time away from working on my business, but it’s also incredibly counter intuitive, because results don’t happen in minutes, or hours. In fact, good marketing needs a build-up and so can take a week or more, sometimes even months to get desired results from.
Constantly looking up competition – the misconception that someone else’s social media stats are a true reflection of their success in sales is a trap we often fall into. We often also fall foul of comparing our success to someone else’s. This behaviour is only ever detrimental to our motivation and courage in putting ourselves out there.
Getting obsessive and emotional about stats – I’m a big believer in recording and reflecting on the statistics we can draw from our business, whether it’s; sales data, social media stats, or even tracking inventory. The problem in becoming a daily watcher of statistical data though, is that we can sometimes become obsessive and in that obsession, we can get emotionally attached to the results daily data shows. The emotion we feel can become disproportionate to what the data is actually telling us and that can have a negative effect on our mindset.
Posting ‘on the fly’ – I think we feel that social media for our business needs posts from us ‘in the moment’ and I think we feel this because this is how we approach our personal social media accounting. In business yes, it’s great to know what is happening in the moment, but for the most part it’s about the storytelling action that gets us noticed and this needs pre-planning to flow effectively. Our business followers aren’t so much interested in what we look like today as a business, but in what we have to say and the resonance of that message.
5 ways to AVOID OVERWHELM on social media
Trying to keep a healthy attitude that avoids social media overwhelm I believe is an incredibly important task ahead of us. So, if you have been feeling the strain of posting regularly lately, then watch the podcast for my tips;
Or Listen to the podcast here;
Essentially my 5 tips to beating social media overwhelm are;
Create a social media plan that allows you to be MORE effective with your message in LESS time – I recently wrote a blog post about creating the perfect social media plan, giving you my work method, one that has made a real difference to my workload. This will help you cut down on the time you spend creating content for your channels and remain on point.
Avoid checking your accounts before you go to bed, or when you wake up – one of the biggest obsessive acts I used to do was to check my accounts and data at every opportunity. Before I went to bed, was a big one for me… I’d literally check my phone before I pulled the duvet over me as I lay in bed! It is shocking isn’t it… and definitely obsessive action!! What happens when you do this is that your mind dwells on the subjects you have been exposed to; maybe someone else’s post about selling out, or a new shop update, or maybe the stats over how many likes your post got today and sometimes if that’s a negative perception of a result, then you don’t get a good night’s sleep. Likewise, checking social media as you wake up can set your mood tone for the day. This can be rather counterproductive.
Set a ‘phone amnesty’ – My partner works in social media during the day and is a phone gamer by night, so just like me he is a little glued to his phone! What we do to tackle this and to spend some time living in the real world is to have a phone amnesty… simply putting our phones out of reach for a portion of the evening or weekend. Time away is a big thing for positive mental stimulation and allows you to return to work refreshed.
You are always more than the sum of your likes – Whilst there are tricks to getting more traction with your social media content, sometimes it feels like there is no real rhyme or reason why a particular post doesn’t work, so stop obsessing over those numbers! Likes aren’t intertwined with our self-worth or our business success. Instead you need to focus on social media as a way to keep in touch with existing buyers and to target new ones.
Remember you are only getting part of someone else’s story – Online two things are happening on your competitors’ social accounts; firstly, they are showing their best highlights and secondly, they aren’t giving away every single moment of their business journey. So yes, they may have just hit 50k followers (and you’re like, ‘What?! How?? Why haven’t I?’), but is that translating to sales? Yes, they just sold out on their new product launch, but what is the customer feedback going to be? They aren’t going to record all the hard work and struggles they go through at the same rate as they celebrate their successes.
Bonus Tip – UNPLUG when you need to!
I know, I know I always go on about consistency and so this last tip feels like a complete contradiction. BUT here’s the thing… If you have a plan in place that allows you to pre-schedule a week or so ahead with a clear and targeted story, you can take the occasional day off from social media all together and no one will notice!
Taking some time off will help you mentally recharge and avoid social media overwhelm. When you return refreshed you are much more likely to be positive in the actions you take and the time you spend fostering your social audience.
Social media overwhelm isn’t an option in business as a sole-trader, because we have no-one else to do this important work for us (unless we can afford to contract this out to a high quality supplier) and so keeping on top of your mental status and working towards actions that help, instead of hindering our productivity are key.
Earlier I mentioned the Craft Biz Incubator. In that group coaching programme, we have the ‘Fearless Year of Growth’ course. This exclusive course is one of the reasons most people sign up, because it shows you exactly how I grow my business year on year!
To show you exactly what’s included with this course worth over £1800;
Module 1 'The Plan' - creating your business action plan
Module 2 'Refocusing Your Brand' - redefining your message
Module 3 'Pricing For Profit' - building long-term sustainability
Module 4 'Updating Your Website' - focusing your pitch
Module 5 'Social Media' - looking at better management
Module 6 'Focused Social Content' - creating product content that works
Module 7 'Enticing Newsletters' - connecting with your audience
Module 8 'Easy Upsells' - making extra money from products that work with your brand
Module 9 'Choosing Multiple Revenue Streams' - using your skills to generate further income
Module 10 'Keeping Your Head Above Water' - workflow and self-care skills
Module 11 'External Marketing' - finding opportunities for your brand
Module 12 'Review Process' - reviewing your year and moving forward
You will notice that social media takes up two modules. In that we will be tackling how to be more effective with your message and how to create a system that helps you manage and avoid overwhelm!