Are you in the social networking doldrums? Does the idea of posting content on social media sites fill you with dread instead of excitement? Social fatigue eventually happens to everyone but with a little effort you can get your social mojo back.
Signs and symptoms of social media fatigue
● Procrastination. When it's time to post social content you end up watering the plants, brushing the cat, and flossing your teeth instead. Anything to postpone logging into social networking sites.
● Lack of focus. You're compelled to check out every funny cat video and take all the latest quizzes on Facebook before putting up social content for the day.
● Temporary amnesia. You have a really great idea for a Tweet but forget it by the time you log in to the site. Seven different thought leaders posted links to things you want to read -- if only you could remember what they were.
● Irritability. You used to be excited to join in the latest community fun, like #ThrowbackThursday or #FollowFriday. Now you just wish everyone would stop repeating themselves and find new things to share or talk about.
● Anxiety. Signing in to find a batch of PMs, @s, and comments used to thrill you. Now you reach for the Tums and wonder how many you can get away with not answering.
The best way to determine if you're suffering from social media fatigue is to take this quick test.
Fill in the blank.
Logging into your primary social media site, you see a notification that you've gained 52 new followers over the weekend. Your first reaction is:
A. Wonderful! I can't wait to read everyone's bios and welcome them to my little corner of the internet! I'll start now!
B. I need to make time to send a personal message to each of them sometime today. But first, coffee.
C. Drat. What did I do to make this happen and how can I make sure I never do it again?
If you answered C then you almost certainly have social media fatigue. Fortunately, it's curable.
The treatment for this malady is an easy three-step system.
1. Take a short social media break. Preload the social media management tool of your choice with a few days worth of content set to auto-post, then walk away. Forget about social media and all its responsibilities for a little while and rejuvenate by not signing in or looking at your accounts until your content runs out. You don't want to leave your social accounts unattended for too long, however, so only stay at step one as long as absolutely necessary.
2. Before you return to your social sites, think about where your personal burnout landmines are and what you can do about them. For some, it may mean taking a day away from social media each week. For others, it might mean committing to no social media after 6pm on weekdays.
3. Set boundaries for yourself and stick to them. This may mean removing social apps from your phone if you can't resist checking them when you're away from your desk. If you have trouble committing to a posting regime, schedule time right into your daily calendar to make sure it gets done.
Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so the best defense against social media fatigue is to keep from catching it in the first place. The easiest way is to share the workload with other social marketers and take turns managing your accounts. Better yet, outsource your social media management to professionals and let them handle it all for you.
Image: Umberto Salvagnin