How to deal with social media changes and burnout

There has been a shift in social media lately, and I can feel it. I can see it in the way we share, what we are saying, and how we are using social media. I think we are all a little burnt out and tired of trying to figure out the latest algorithm changes before it changes again. I know I am. There are two ways we can look at the current social media atmosphere: we can talk about it, feel down, and give up on it, or we can make a change, shift our perspective, and turn things around. Which will you choose?

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How I’m feeling about social media lately

Are you tired of social media like I am? Tired of scrolling through the endless amount of posts only to be left feeling deflated and dizzy from content overload and feeling like everyone else is moving forward so much faster than you? It seems like I keep posting the same as always but no one is listening anymore. I think it is partly due to the change in algorithms, but partly due to the fact that we hear so much noise through these platforms each day. The last thing I want is to add to the noise so I’ve found myself leery about what to share and what to say. I’ve found myself stepping back from it and thinking deeply about how to move forward.

The atmosphere is changing

Social platforms will always be changing. That’s part of the game. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t be a place of true community and social interaction. After all, the core of social media is to be social. No matter what changes occur on your favorite platform, it is still there to be social. Somewhere along the way that stopped. Instead of using it as a social platform to engage and converse with our community, we started using it strictly as a business tool. Myself included. And I think that’s where this barrier lies.

Instead of feeling encouraged, uplifted, and inspired on social media, we feel burdened, heavy, and discouraged by it. We compare ourselves to the hundreds of other images we see daily. We put too much weight on the number of followers we have. We think about the best way to reach more followers, the right hashtags to use, and how to get the perfect image instead of building genuine connections, showing our true personalities, and offering a real life image of our lives and businesses.

Don’t get me wrong, a strategy is good with everything in business and social media can easily be overwhelming without it. And social media can do so much good for a small business when used the right way. But at what cost? Is it worth it for us to feel so negative about these platforms just to benefit our business? And when we stop to take a hard look at it, is it really benefitting our business as much as we think it does or are we stuck doing social media because everyone else is doing it?

I think there’s a better way. I think we can use social media to benefit our businesses while still maintaining what we love most about the apps too. I think we can be encouraged and inspired by others while offering the same to our following. I think we can create real relationships and connections while showcasing our work, telling others what we are passionate about, and offering valuable content instead of adding to the noise.

It sounds too good to be true, but there’s no reason that any part of our business has to hold us hostage like that. I believe everything we do for our businesses should have a purpose for us. It should fuel the fire behind our business and mission, not put it out. And social media can quickly put out a fire when we look at it this way.

What we can do about it

The first thing I recommend to do is take a break. Taking a break from anything is good to get some fresh air and fresh perspective. If you’re feeling stuck on your favorite social platform, walk away. Delete the app. Focus on something that fires you up instead.

Secondly, take a look at how you’re using automation for social media. In an age of extreme automation for our businesses, this is one place where it can actually hurt us instead. I’ve been taught and have taught others to always schedule your social media posts. That way you can think about your words, batch things like content writing, image curation, and scheduling, and not have to take time out of your day to worry about what you will post to social media. These are all good things and do help with productivity and social strategy. But at the same time, we can start to sound like robots that aren’t actually showing up for our followers. I don’t think we should spend hours upon hours on social media, but I do think that we should be more actively involved with it.

I also think that we can be more innovative while going back to the roots of social media. We always want to be ahead of the curve and stand out from everyone else. But in this pursuit of being different, we can lose sight of the core purpose of social media. I believe that we can be innovative with how we look at and use social media while still maintaining the purpose of the platform. We can challenge ourselves and others to share quality content over quantity. Share less but better. Start a genuine conversation. Be real and open. And lastly, stop worrying about the numbers.

Social media is a necessary evil of sorts for business owners. There is so much good that can come from it when used the right way, but it can easily take us down a path of comparison and self-doubt if we aren’t careful. And when we put too much emphasis on the business side of it, we can take the joy out of the tool and turn it into something we dread. I got to a point of dread with social media, but I’m determined to look at things differently. If you’re feeling like me, let’s make a change together.