Social media has done wonders for connection and exposure. It is easier than ever to reach out to folks you don’t know and stay in touch with those you do, and its ubiquity makes it an accessible tool to promote yourself and your business. Unlike you or your business, however, the threads of the world wide web never disconnect to rest. It’s easy to become overly attached to online happenings, and to neglect keeping a healthy distance from them. How does one balance the necessity of a social media presence with some semblance of sanity?
Choose Your “Why” Purposefully
Social media is, first and foremost, a set of digital tools. Just like a hammer has its purpose, so do all the websites and applications at your fingertips. Make sure you have clarity about your online purpose before establishing your platforms, to help keep you on task.
Let Authenticity Clear The Path
Once you’ve ironed out your “why,” the next step is dialing in how you’ll present yourself. I mentioned finding your authentic voice when discussing content overwhelm in our newsletter (hit us up here if you’re not already a subscriber). Authenticity is key to keeping your messaging and design focused and clear. When your message is clear, the means by which you share it stays clear as well. Focus time and energy on the appropriate platform(s) instead of spreading yourself thin on every one.
An aside, of sorts: specificity in your messaging can also bolster your confidence in what you deliver, and lessen (if not eliminate) the urge to compare yourself with others. The vast reach of the internet nearly guarantees your customers and peers are out there somewhere. Give them the real you, and they’ll find you!
Focus on What Fits Your Business
This leads right into my next suggestion: limit your platforms. You might have recoiled at that suggestion. Isn’t it better to be everywhere? Not necessarily. Each platform has its pros and cons; focus your attention on the ones that fits your business best. Keeping your presence simple and straightforward also keeps your stress level low.
Another way to keep stress at a minimum is with assistance. Social media management apps give you more bang for your proverbial buck by allowing you to collect and schedule your content in one place, even allowing you to share content across platforms. Having everything in one place saves both time and sanity. Like the platforms themselves, each app has pluses and minuses; we’re happy to discuss what apps can work best for you.
Set Boundaries… and Stick to Them
When it comes to your business presence, consider keeping your social media time within business hours. Yes, the internet never sleeps… but you need to! Just as you schedule time for meetings and events, consider scheduling time to follow and respond on social media. You might allot a large block of time (say, one hour), or schedule smaller check-ins throughout your work day. You can further loosen the web’s tug by turning off notifications, eliminating distractions and breaking the habit of immediate response.
Another swell aspect of scheduling your social media time: it frees you up to create! Do you tend to scroll mindlessly when you really should be dialed into your work? (It’s okay to admit it — I definitely distracted myself with Instagram and the NBA app at least three times while writing this post!) Note the places of resistance when it’s time to put nose to grindstone, and notice if you sabotage your own efforts with distractions.
Your social media should reflect who you are and what your business has to offer, but it doesn’t need to run (or ruin) your life. If you could use an assist in finding that perfect balance online, reach out and let’s talk (IRL even!).