10 counter-intuitive things social media managers should do to stay sane
Updated: Jan 25, 2019
Facebook users watch over 100 million hours of video every day and click the 'Like' button 4 million times every minute. Over 6,000 tweets are posted every second, and 500 million tweets are sent per day. 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram every day, and around 400 million Snapchat stories are created per day (source). If your job includes managing social media accounts for one (or more) brands, chances are at any given moment throughout the day (and night) you're on the verge of burnout.
Facebook can make you feel depressed, research says
As counter-intuitive as the 10 tips below might sound to someone who needs to stay alert on social media every minute of the day, they will make you more focused and productive and help you avoid the burnout.
1. Unlike Facebook pages and leave groups that do not add value to your professional or personal life.
When it comes to Facebook, whenever the company decides to test a feature or a new tool, it will slap it in your face so there's no way to avoid it. Since Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook's focus on groups and communities, your Facebook feed has most likely been flooded with group posts, followed by dozens if not hundreds of Facebook notifications.
Facebook doesn't make it easy for its users to unlike the pages and leave the groups you might have joined throughout your Facebook life, so you might need to set a few hours aside, go to your Page Likes and Groups you joined and say good bye to them one by one. Once you have finished Facebook pages and groups cleansing, you will notice that you have less reasons to check your feed (simply cause there will be less posts) and you will see more posts from friends and family and companies that do matter for you.
2. Unfollow toxic people.
If there are people on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat (you name it) who make you feel bad about yourself or make you doubt what you achieve - take your time and unfollow them one by one. It might be that the person is posting too many baby pictures, too many holiday shots or odes to their partner that you don't have the capacity to watch in that amount every day, you know what to do.
On Facebook, you don't have to remove this person from friends - you can simply tap the little arrow next to their name and unfollow them. On Twitter, you can 'mute' the person.
Once you start unfollowing people on Facebook, the social network will start showing you posts from other people whom you might forget that you're friends with - so you might need to keep unfollowing people whose posts you cannot relate to. As a result, you will see posts from people you truly care about and waste less time checking Facebook.
3. Unfollow competitors.
Whether you're a solo entrepreneur or work for a company, you might be monitoring competitor activities for various reasons. The downside of this is that you might shift from focusing on what works for you and your company towards what is working for your competitor and keep comparing your worth and value against what they project on social media. And we all know that people and brands put their brave face on and promote their successes rarely talking about their failures, challenges they go through and sacrifices they have to make.
Don't compare your worst day to someone else's best day (or a post on social media)
Keep your eyes on the prize, and focus on what's working for you and your company.
4. Unsubscribe from newsletters.
People receive an average of 88 emails per day, while only sending 34 emails per day, meaning that people get more than 2.5x more emails than they send out (source). Now, if you work in social media, chances are your numbers are much higher and you wake up to a couple of hundreds fresh emails every day, with most of them being newsletters, "updates" and other noise from companies that you subscribed to or got subscribed to without knowing it when you used their service.
Use Gmail's "easy unsubscribe" (the "unsubscribe" button on top of the email) or scroll down to the bottom of the email to unsubscribe from updates that you never really read. As you start receiving less email clutter you will notice that you spend less time deleting emails and more time working on the tasks that really matter.
5. Use Facebook Messenger instead of the main Facebook website.
If you communicate with others through Facebook's messenger feature throughout the working day (and I don't mean personal messages sent to you via Facebook), instead of using Facebook's main site where you can get constantly interrupted by notifications, switch to www.messenger.com which has a much cleaner interface.
6. Check personal messages and social media feeds only within a dedicated time.
When being on social media is your job, it's very easy to get sucked into reacting to incoming messages and updates from your personal contacts. When at work, log out from your personal profiles when you can and set a specific time when you let yourself catch up on social media. For example, if you commute to/from work by train let it be your half an hour or an hour of social media time.
You will notice how much more time during the day you have and how much more present you are when talking to others (whether at work or outside of office hours).
7. Disable push-notifications on mobile and desktop.
While it's important to stay alert and quickly respond to incoming social media inquiries for your brand (there have been some stats floating around saying that the majority of social media users who contact brands through social expect a response within 60 minutes), multiple notifications, being a massive disruption to your thought process and work, can significantly decrease your productivity. When you're managing social media you're constantly checking your company feeds and messages anyway, and push notifications (that simultaneously ping you on mobile, email, desktop etc) are only adding an unnecessary layer of noise and distractions to your work.
I personally even switched of the notification showing me how many unread emails I have on my mobile - I know that I have an unread email at any given time during the day but there's no real urgency to check my email evert second.
So go to your iPhone settings and browser settings and only keep notifications that are absolutely essential (for example, you should better continue receiving notifications from your bank whenever your card is charged so that you could quickly respond to any fraudulent activities if it happens).
8. Switch your phone to silent mode
It has not been a few years that my phone has been in the silent mode. Yes, I did miss a couple of calls now and then and was able to promptly return the call. The lack of constant pinging and different sounds my phone used to make has contributed to the calmer and focussed me.
Keeping the phone in front of me on my desk on in my pocket with vibration mode on for calls and selected apps is more than enough.
9. Don't be on every social media platform.
In the world where new social media services and platforms are popping up every day, you can be under pressure to be on every one of those social networks. And hey, if your company can afford a talented team of people who create tailored content and interact with users on each one of those platforms, go ahead and do it! But if like most companies out there you either have lack of time, resources or money (or all of those), then do yourself a favor, review your company's social media presence and decide which platforms are the most important and effective in generating the results you want. Then invest your time and effort in those platforms and make sure you rock that one (or two) platforms rather than doing a mediocre work and playing a catch-up game on all dozens or hundreds of platforms that don't add any value.
Check out this article that explains why you don't have to be on every social media platform ever.
10. And last but not least, take time off and connect with people in real life.
Even if your job is to have your company's "digital back", don't loose your interpersonal social skills. Talk to the team and see what business insights and ideas they have that can help you do your work. Talk to a customer in real life and understand what their challenges and issues are and how you can help (including through your work on social media). After all, behind every screen there's a real person who wants to connect with your brand, and Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram are just digital formats that help get your story across to real human beings.
What challenges do you experience in your work as a content marketer and what helps you stay on track? Please share in comments below!