Your eyeballs are sore from Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Insta posts of avocado toast. Always on, you sometimes wish you could switch off completely but as social media manager, can you?
By Erin Fox
Imagine how much more time and energy we would have if we could take time out from maintaining our online profiles.
Social media is supposed to be about the joy of life but it actually sucks the energy out of us, especially when we’re glued to screens 24/7.
Studies show that too much time spent online distracts us from what’s important in our lives like our relationships, education, and — our jobs.
So much so, that digital detoxes have become standard issue for improving wellbeing and productivity.
However, it’s not as easy committing to a digital detox when you are responsible for managing so many different social accounts. It may even sound impossible. If social media is your job, how do you take time out?
Face up to your bad habits
We’re not asking you to delete apps from your phone or quit cold turkey, but you need to have a strategy in place. Ask yourself, which channels do you spend the most time on? What are your bad habits? Here’s some: scrolling aimlessly through your business-related feeds all day, beating yourself up about the ‘cleverness and wit’ of competitors online which creates that horrible feeling of social media anxiety and inferiority. Acknowledging those habits can help you when it comes to switching off completely.
Exorcise your smartphone of demon apps
Ok, so we do want you to delete some stuff. If you’re using Instagram and Snapchat for business, you’ll need to hang onto those. But channels that are designed specifically for mobile are the only exception; everything else needs to go. And yes, this includes Twitter, Pages Manager and Pinterest. The last thing you want when you’re writing a report with a looming deadline is to have notifications popping up informing you of a new comment, or that’s someone pinned your photo.
Create separate accounts
With Twitter and Instagram, you can easily log into your company account without being tempted by personal notifications. Facebook however, is a different story. You can turn chat off during business hours while you’re logging in to manage your page, but notifications can still distract you from focussing solely on your business page. Create a separate account and add that account as an administrator on your page. This way you won’t be tempted by the 27 notifications that are potential comments and reactions to that cat meme you posted last night.
Organise your time and plan
Bad habits —such as constantly monitoring how many likes and comments a recent post is getting— can sneak their way into your professional social media, so organisation is key to kicking them to touch. You may think that you are just doing your job by closely watching the reach and clicks increase, but that’s far from productive. Soon you will find yourself logging into analytics and tracking visits to your website. Smarter social media requires proper planning and analysis. Next time you post, schedule a time for checking the performance and at the end of the week, you can check your goals in analytics.
Don’t be ‘always on’
Our ‘always on’ culture is a huge culprit when it comes to social media stress and anxiety. The Facebook badge which shows followers how responsive you are to messages can only be switched on if you reply to messages within 15 minutes. This is a tad unrealistic as you can’t just drop everything you are doing to respond to a message on social media. While it’s great for showing your followers that you are ‘very responsive’ to messages, it just isn’t possible to do so every time —and you certainly don’t want to be penalised for it. Take your time and reply when you have finished working on a task.
So, with a little planning and dollop of discipline, you can create solid lines between your personal and professional social presence.
You may even end up becoming a better social media manager.