An article I didn’t see myself writing when I started this blog about 10 years ago. I know, 10 years? Time has seriously flown since I decided I would take time off from college to move to Australia and figure out what I was going to do next. It feels fitting that 10 years later my blog is nothing like what I imagined, and that I am even going back on statements I made four years ago about social media.
If you are just starting your new business or a creative project online, then my guess is you are learning tons and having a blast while simultaneously feeling overwhelmed and like it will never work out. Trust me. If you are in this position, things will work out. I was in your place and I’m still like you, because like I said, my business and I are constantly changing and I am always trying new things out. But there are a few things I wish I learned a little sooner, and am still working to undo some of the impacts of.
The number one thing I wish I could tell everyone to do, but especially people with online businesses, is to schedule your social media breaks.
Social media managers, this means you too!
Let me walk you through my reality since taking my first job in marketing after college.
I graduated from the University of Utah in 2017 with a full-time job running all the marketing for two local sister clothing boutiques. This was your typical 9-5 with meetings and office work, but I also had the take-home work of posting after hours and on weekends. This included managing customer service questions, DMing with influencers, and of course responding to every single comment on every platform.
This is the norm for a social media manager, and yes this included the all-important “Merry Christmas” post on December 25th. Every day for 365 days I was opening up a social media app and shared a post for a brand or myself.
Over the past six years, the role of social media manager has grown to include even more things like being a…
- Graphic designer
- Video editor
- Face and voice of the brand
Needless to say, since starting my own business as a marketing consultant and running several brand social media accounts along with my own, I know just how exhausting this role is. It wasn’t until recently that I started planning breaks, and writing them into my contracts with clients!
So, this is my plea to you. Take the breaks you need, because at the end of the day your social media “emergency” is in fact not more urgent than your health or well-being.
Here is what I have seen by forcing myself to take breaks!
- My content is stronger. By taking breaks I am allowing my brain to think for itself, because whether you notice it or not you are a sponge! You will have more original content when you do this.
- I am posting my own content more consistently. Burnout was real and posting for four different accounts seven days a week was feeling brutal! Now that I spend my weekends offline I am posting every planned day.
- My engagement, traffic, and follower growth has neither declined or increased drastically. If you are a social media manager then you are probably worried about missing out on trends or new app updates or new editing skills. But let me reassure you, you will still have enough time to research all this. I also recommend subscribing to newsletters and blogs that do the trend reporting for you!
- I am more thoughtful with the time I am spending online. Since I am deleting apps and taking breaks for up to 48 hours at a time I am more thoughtful when I go to open TikTok or Instagram. I now like to ask, am I bored, or do I actually want to open this app?