Raise your hand if you’re a social media team of one. Yikes, there are a lot of you! First, give yourself a pat on the back for taking on an (at times) emotionally straining role. Second, you are probably a bit burned out from this role, right?
Social media managers and community managers are not always part of a large team. In fact, if you’re the head of a small startup business, or you’ve convinced a brand that they need to have a social media presence, you’re most likely the lone wolf. So, how can you balance the need to be on social media at all times without becoming burned out?
Burnout vs. Overwhelm
Feeling burned out and being overwhelmed are not the same things. It’s easy to confuse the two because many use them interchangeably. However, there are distinctions.
Burnout is a gradual process that builds up over time. Be aware of these signs so you can identify being burned out and take the necessary steps from there:
- Loss of motivation
- Feeling trapped
- Negative outlook
- Emotional exhaustion
On the other hand, feeling overwhelmed is different because it’s more of an in-the-moment feeling. Here are the signs of being overwhelmed (vs. burnout):
- Stressed, but able to tackle the assignment
- Overly reactive
- Tasks cause you to worry
You can read this article from CareerWise that goes deeper into the differences between burnout vs. overwhelm.
Social Media 24/7 – But Don’t Burnout!
So, we’ve reached the tricky part! What can a social media team of one do to keep engagement up on their social channels and also avoid becoming burned out?
Tackle these first:
Create a social media strategy. The best way to stay ahead of the game is to have a plan, of course. Creating a social media strategy allows you to map out the goals that will help you grow your business. We know we’re in February, but if you haven’t already created a social media strategy, it’s not too late to start. This post from Sprout Social is great reading material to get you going: Building Your Social Media Marketing Strategy For 2022.
Employ social listening. Once again, we cannot stress how vital social listening is. If you’re a team of one, we still think this is a tool you’ll want in your social media toolbox. When you utilize social listening you are able to determine your target audience, track sentiment, and even determine trends with competitors. You are saving yourself time in the long run!
Suggestions to keep things running smoothly:
Schedule posts ahead of time. Outside of social listening, scheduling posts ahead of time will be your best friend. If you can schedule a month of content ahead of time, then look at all the time you’ve saved yourself! No need to squeeze it into a daily schedule when platforms like Sprout Social make these calendars so easy to use.
Dedicate blocks of time to active engagement. Lastly, and this may be the root of most burnout, you need to be actively engaged with your audience. Until the time comes to expand your team, be realistic in your approach to keeping engagement on your business’s social media channels.
The most logical way to do this is to block out time. If you can swing it, try blocking out 15 minutes every two hours. Set your boundaries and stay consistent. If you begin replying to comments at 2 a.m., then your customers will expect you to do that each time. But if you keep your engagement to more reasonable terms (for you), then you will have consistent communication with your customers on social.
It Can Be Done
Finally, don’t panic because all of this can be done. Hopefully, you won’t be a party of one for too long. Social media roles are becoming more popular for customer care as businesses recognize that customers are coming to social media for help. And if they need convincing, check out one of our past blogs here.
Just remember, what works for larger businesses may not work for you. If a large business can have a team of community managers splitting time over 24 hour periods, it does not mean that a smaller business can do the same.
Do what you can without losing the integrity of your service. In the end, your customers are still receiving quality engagement and ultimately a great customer experience.
What are your tips for preventing burnout in a social media role? Let us know in the comments below!