Social Media Burnout and How to Avoid it

Over the last few months, there has been a pretty consistent theme arising with my consultancy and mentoring clients – social media burnout. It sparked something in me because I think I have been feeling quite similar myself lately.

So, what is social media burnout?

According to Sprinklr (2024) social media burnout is a condition or syndrome where individuals experience emotional and mental exhaustion due to the prolonged use of social media platforms. 

How do you know you have it? 

Oh, you know….you definitely know! But in case there’s any doubt, here is what you’re most likely feeling:

  • Overwhelmed, drained or completely disconnected from social media activities.
  • Scrolling through feeds without any real interest or joy.
  • Feelings of fatigues, irritability and unproductivity.
Social Media Burnout

These symptoms can often stem from the very nature of social media platforms, which are designed to provide instant gratification through continuous dopamine hits to the brain.  When we become used to these hits, the shine tends to start to wear off (sounds familiar, right?)

Our social media experience can start to feel bland and unrewarding, making us feel increasingly disenchanted with our once-loved social platforms.

But why does social media burnout happen and what can we do prevent it?
CONSTANTLY CHANGING SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

The need to stay up to date with the hundreds of annual updates across the different social media platforms is EXHAUSTING.  And, just when you think you’re there, something changes again….aggggggghhhh.  

And what is it with the constantly changing algorithms? I mean, it’s not broke, just leave it!  This need to constantly adapt content to suit whatever that day’s requirement for visibility and engagement is, is like trying to empty a sinking boat with a teaspoon…it’s hard, right?

Prevention tips: 
  • Conduct regular audits of your social media accounts and website analytics. 
  • Know what works and what doesn’t.  You should see patterns of what’s working best for you in terms of types of posts, timing, days, etc. 
  • Don’t waste your time trying to be everywhere.  Pick 2-4 platforms that work for you and just stick to those.  
  • Create a realistic strategy for posting – 1 to 2 posts a week is perfectly fine for most small businesses, and don’t be afraid to recycle previous posts.  
  • Mostly, don’t put yourself under pressure – social media should be (at least a little bit) enjoyable!!
EXPOSURE TO NEGATIVITY

Social media is very personal, especially when it’s your business.  By building your brand and making yourself visible, you expose yourself to the unfiltered opinions of others.  These can take the form of negative comments, harsh feedback or, in the worst cases, cyber-bullying. 

There’s also the negativity that can be felt when nobody says anything…quite literally.  You post something, and not one person responds or engages.  It can feel like a slap in the face, and it’s hard not to take that personally sometimes.  Because, if we’re honest, deep down we all have a need for validation and social media can be brutal.

There’s also another form of negativity that impacts us through social media too.  It’s what often feels like the constant stream of bad and disturbing news and images.  Especially right now, when we’re living in a word that seems to be tethering at the brink of humanity. 

It can be hard to digest, and very often, just too much.  I think this has been a huge factor in many people turning their backs on social media, that feeling of over-whelm.

Prevention Tips: 
  • Set your boudaries– why are you on social media and what do you want to get from it? 
  • Don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, even if your competitors are doing it (live stories tend to pop-up for most people here!).  
  • Make sure your privacy/security settings are set to what suits you. 
  • Turn off notifications if you need a break. 
  • Have a strategy in place to deal with any negative reviews – this will help you to keep your cool and respond professionally if it does happen. 
  • Don’t be afraid to block people if they deserve it!!
FEAR OF MISSING OUT (THAT’S FOMO TO YOU COOL KIDS)

This refers to the anxiety that arises from the feeling that others are experiencing more fulfilling lives/business journeys than us. It’s a phenomenon that is exacerbated by the constant stream of updates and news shared on social media platforms, most of which is generally very positive. 

It’s easy sometimes to feel like our competitors are nailing it, while we’re sitting around looking at the hammer.  But it’s important to remember that social media reflects a ‘highlights reel’ and is generally edited to be a positive reflection on the person/business. 

Very often, it does not reflect reality. But even if it does, so what. Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t begrudge them their wins.

Prevention Tips:
  • Stay in your own lane (a good friend of mine gave me this advice lately, and it rings through in all areas of life).  Let everyone do what they need to do.  You do you.

And put down the hammer…

Karen Twomey MA BSc works as a freelance Digital Marketing Consultant, Trainer & Mentor. For more information see www.communicationshub.ie

Latest Social Media Stats for Ireland

The latest Ipsos MRBI stats on social media use in Ireland don’t yield many surprises – not least the huge growth that Instagram has enjoyed in Ireland over the last few months.

Instagram is now officially the fastest growing social media platform in Ireland and has grown by a huge 7% from November 2016 to November 2017 – leaving the once ‘Golden Child’ Snapchat in its wake, with a growth of only 3%.

The other big winners of 2017 were Pinterest – which experienced a much-needed boost of 5% to make it the 5th most popular social media platform in Ireland.

Likewise, Twitter has enjoyed a growth of 4% in account ownership, although it has been pushed into 3rd position in terms of daily use of a social media platform, having been overtaken by everyone’s current favourite, Instagram.

The biggest loser of 2017 has been Google+, an increasingly redundant platform save for its ties in terms of its Google/ search engine optimisation association.

Facebook has experienced a drop of 2% in account ownership and a further 2% in daily usage.  Although, with 65% of the population still having accounts and 69% of those using it daily, it’s far from its demise.

Below are the stats for account ownership in Ireland up to November 2017

account ownership nov17
Ipsos MRBI Nov 17

And daily usage up to the same period

Communications Hub

So, what does this mean for Irish businesses in terms of digital marketing going forward?

  • Video is still King
  • Infographics reflect the trend for bite-size info
  • In the moment/Live content is still the most engaging type of content
  • Micro-blogging is going from strength to strength
  • Less is more – and less than that is more again

So there you have it  – social media continues its charge forward and is cementing its place as the most popular and effective marketing tool in Ireland.

Karen Twomey is a freelance Public Relations and Social Media Consultant with Communications Hub  For further information Tel: 087 7642576 or email: Karen@communicationshub.ie

Social Media Training Cork

Due to the success of our last Social Media for Business Course in Fermoy, I’m delighted to be running a further course on Wednesday 7th December from 7 p.m. – 9.00 p.m. in Fermoy Community Youth Centre.

As a business, social media is one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to reach your customers and create awareness around your products and services.  To ensure you are using the right platforms and the right content social media training is essential – your business will thank you!

This 2 hour social media training course will teach you:

  • The best online platforms to use for your business
  • How to create engaging content
  • How to save time by using content calendars and online scheduling
  • An introduction to blogging, email marketing and SEO
  • How to manage your business’s online reputation.

Places are limited and cost €25.00 per person.

Communications Hub will be running further social media training courses, as well as blogging, online reputation management, content marketing and content scheduling courses in the New Year.

For further details or to book your place call Karen Twomey on 0877642575 or email: karen@communicationshub.ie

Why Facebook Marketing Matters

Despite the fact that 70% of Irish businesses are now on Facebook, many still don’t take it seriously as a valuable marketing tool.  

It’s an accepted fact that newspaper readership is on the decrease, yet many businesses are still investing enormous amounts of their marketing budgets on print advertising.  It often seems more acceptable to some marketers to spend hundreds on a one-off advert in a weekly paper, then to invest that money into a long-term Facebook marketing strategy.

Why is that?

Communications Hub
(mudstershop.com)

It’s hard to say.  Some companies still view social media as a ‘kids game’.  That may have been true some years ago, but now, those kids are the very customers these companies are so desperate to reach. So whether we want to accept it or not, from here until eternity, all of those leaving college and entering the workforce will be digital natives.   A generation who live their lives through the world wide web – be it researching products, booking services or purchasing goods – it all happens online.

In Ireland Facebook is still the most popular social media platform, with 60% of the population having accounts. To put that into context – 2.4 million people use Facebook in Ireland each month. That’s a lot of potential customers.  The largest Facebook demographic is 18 – 24-year-olds, who make up 29% of the Irish audience, while women tend to be more active on the platform then men.

Although Facebook has experienced a slight decrease in users over the last year or so, it is still the most used social media platform in the world.  So despite the decrease in popularity, it’s hard to see Facebook becoming any less relevant in marketing terms over the coming few years.   In fact, in Ireland 70% of social media users follow brands and businesses online.  Talk about leading the horse to water….but of course, we all know the next line to that old saying….

So, the simple truth is – If you’re not investing time and money into marketing your business on Facebook, you’re quickly becoming irrelevant.  Call Communications Hub today and let us put together a successful social media strategy for you.  

Stay relevant online

Communications Hub
(insidestudyabroad.com)

 

The Importance of Online Monitoring

The rise in citizen journalism means that organisations need to constantly monitor what is being said about them on-line.  Public relations professionals need to be the ‘ears’ and ‘eyes’ of an organisation and seek out what is being said about the brand.  

Here at Communications Hub we use many free tools to monitor what is being said about our clients online  – Twitter advanced search, Google alerts andsocialmention.com.

And while it is possible to mostly control what appears on a company’s own social media news feeds using word filters and administrative pre-approval of comments, it is impossible to control hashtags associated with an organisation.

McDonalds learned this the hard way when in 2012 they created the hashtag #McDStories in the hope of inspiring people to share their memories and happy experiences associated with the fast food chain.  The company soon discovered that it is the public who control the meaning of hashtags, and theirs was quickly hijacked to become the hashtag for horror stories involving McDonalds.

Burger King suffered a different kind of social media crisis when in 2013 its Twitter account with 82,000 followers was hacked.  The hacker changed their logo and twitter handle to that of McDonalds and tweeted a huge number of tweets containing inappropriate contents and images.  The hack went unnoticed for hours, by which time the incident had gone viral. The company not only learned an important lesson about password security and the need for moderators, it also experienced first-hand what happens when you are not constantly listening on-line.  On the plus side, the food chain gained thousands of new followers because of the incident.

Despite often having ‘expert’ social media teams, some of the biggest and most tech-savvy organisations continue to suffer social media fails.  Last year The Guardian published an article on The top five corporate Twitter fails and it makes for some very uncomfortable reading.

The moral of the story is, it’s no longer just your P’s and Q’s you need to mind, watch your Hashtags too…make sure your company is monitoring its online profile.

What’s the story with content?

Ok I’ll admit it, I’m a little obsessed on content.  And when people hear me rattling on about it, most glaze over or politely smile while steadily reversing.  So what’s the story with content you may ask? Why is it so important?

(calysto.com)

While content has always been important when communicating through the traditional channels, like radio, television and newspapers, it was never really vital.  These ‘old media’ methods of advertising were one-way communications, they were broadcasts and press releases.  People listened to them because they pretty much hadn’t a choice.  These were the days before the World Wide Web, when the channels through which people got their news and entertainment were limited.  They were the days before sky plus and podcasts.  The days before we could pick and choose what information was relevant or interesting to us, and fast forward through the boring ads. Continue reading “What’s the story with content?”