Thursday, May 18

3 tips to avoid social media fatigue

If you own a small business it's probably a good idea to engage in some type of social media to get and keep the conversation going. When I first started out, my blog was my main way of getting the word out about my products. I then created a Facebook page and joined Twitter. I mostly cross-posted  and occasionally tweeted my new items on Etsy. With this method I succeeded in gaining new customers and spreading word about my shop. People began to associate me with fabrics and the shabby chic lifestyle. My blog was (and still is) by far my most loved way of spreading the news. Well things certainly have changed since the early days with ever more social media sites flooding the internet.

Ever since I opened a business account on Instagram I have to admit that I am glued to my phone. Instagram has turned out to be a great business tool for me and I have gained new customers on there that I wouldn't have reached otherwise. But I also know it's so easy to get sucked into that virtual reality and get sidetracked. As a highly sensitive person I'm often  overwhelmed by the sheer mass of information. Plus Instagram is such a highly curated site aiming for perfection. I do at times feel the pressure of posting ever more beautiful and "styled" pictures. As for Twitter, I liked it a lot better when there wasn't an option to post pictures and videos along with the message! Between Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook it was simply too much. It felt like mental overload. I felt drained, because that's what social media fatigue does. It robs you of your energy, motivation and creativity. At one point I didn't even feel like blogging anymore. Not a good feeling!

I definitely needed to change something, so I contemplated how to remain sane while still reaping the benefits of social media for small business owners. I have been adhering to the following steps for several weeks now. Check out my suggestions (requires a bit of self-discipline).

 Set up specific times during work hours for social media

Example: I post one photo to Instagram in the morning and answer any inquiries I may have received via personal message. I check my feed for a maximum of 15 minutes.
Around midday, I check my post and reply to relevant comments. I do this again at around 5:30 pm. I do not engage after 8:00 pm, because that is my winding down time.
I may post business related information to my Facebook page. Plus I hardly ever open my personal page, unless someone tags me. I may also tweet about my products, but no more than twice a day. Once a day I pin images to my Pinterest boards, but don't remain on the site longer than 20 minutes. Also, last year I cancelled my Snapchat account, since I don't like telling "stories". It seemed a bit pointless as a business owner.

Conclusion: I find my business doesn't suffer if I'm not on social media 24/7. If your products / services resonate with your target audience they will remain loyal. Sticking to this routine really frees up time to concentrate on actual business.

Customize your social media feed and focus on those that generate new leads

Example: by muting certain hashtags and / or phrases I've cleaned up my feed on Twitter. This helps to get the information I want in my home feed while eliminating the junk. Some weeks ago I began unfollowing accounts that I feel aren't relevant to my business and goals. What a relief! I already feel more energized. I try to focus primarily on my blog which allows me to write about my products in detail and show large images, and Instagram. Since I haven't generated real business from Facebook in ages I limit my time there. Pinterest is fun, but there's no real activity that leads to sales. It's more of an inspiration site, although it still refers a good number of visitors to my blog. However it may be different for others. I know some business owners who generate a lot of business on Facebook only.

Conclusion: It helps to analyze the sites. Then choose the top three to focus on.  It is not necessary to be present on all social media sites. Also, choose who you follow wisely. Popularity does not automatically equal great content.

Go offline at least once a week

Example: As an online seller it's difficult to switch off, but for the sake of my mental health I have made it a point to go offline one random day during the week. I use this day to re-group, take a walk, connect to my passion, read, try out a new recipe, create, daydream...

Conclusion: Nothing dramatic happens when I'm offline for a day! Go ahead, try it :)

I do believe that moderation is key to everything! I hope these tips are helpful to any small business owner going through a similar experience or as a preventative measure. Thanks for reading along!

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  1. I've been thinking of setting aside specific times for social media, commenting on blogs, etc., but I haven't gotten that formal about it yet. I totally agree that taking some offline time is important! I can't wait to be away from technology most of the day for a month during our trip. It's always so refreshing.

  2. I can see how all the social networking sitesncould get overwhelming.

  3. I need to do a day offline for sure. My shop is so dormant but I'm afraid to signing up for Instagram for fear of being online even more. I get most my clicks from Facebook and I enjoy interacting with friends and family there. I rarely go on Twitter. Your tips are helpful though so thanks!

  4. I usually turn my computer on about 6:30 am - and check my emails, then do some promoting of my items, and tweet, pin, post on Google+ and FB. I also try to promote as many other Team Members, suddenly my kitty is staring at me - it lunchtime!!!! That is when I know it is time to shutdown - and try to stay off for a few hours. Remember those good old days before Social Media - when all we had to do was like or fav an item on Etsy or do a Treasury!!!!

  5. Liebe Duni,
    das hast Du super geschrieben!
    Es geht wirklich die Welt nicht unter, wenn man mal einen Tag Pause einlegt *lächel*
    Ich wünsche Dir einen wunderschönen Tag und einen guten Start in ein herrliches und entspanntes Wochenende!
    ♥ Allerliebste Grüße,Claudia ♥

  6. I just did a huge social media purge and it feels so good. Unfollowing people on Instagram and Twitter. Hiding posts on Facebook and unfollowing on Pinterest too. It makes all the difference when you get to see only the things that are relevant to you :)

  7. I don't have specific hours dedicated to social media but know that I would benefit from that type of schedule. It's way too easy to get sucked into social media around the clock.

  8. Great tips! I tend to set aside 30 minutes in the morning for social media and avoid it the rest of the day. Otherwise it is too disruptive (and addictive). On days when I have a huge backlog of work I simply stay away from it. The break is good for the brain too. Social media is an amazing free advertising tool.

  9. I'm so in on all your helpful tips Duni!!! I just totally eliminated my FB presence ... even occasionally ( because it is link to IG ) I have sale from it.... my challenge is my blog.... it is in postpone mode quite for a while! I'm so busy with shops and new licensing work... so it is not a big of a deal for me. I'm always take a Sunday off ( as bible said :) need rest!

  10. Ever since I returned to work full-time, I haven't had time to engage with social media. Blogging is about all I have time for . . . and then not as frequently as I'd like. Still, because it's not possible to engage as frequently, there is a sense of relief. You have some great common-sense suggestions in your post.


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