With today's proliferation of social media platforms, it's easy for ambitious online business owners to get in over their heads fast. Here are some things to keep in mind to avoid social media burnout:
Know what you're signing up for.
Social media management requires a bigger time investment than most other forms of online marketing. Don't make the critical mistake of lumping social media marketing in with passive forms of marketing, thinking you can just throw up some photos, walk away, and expect it to work for you. Good social media strategy comes down to an ongoing relationship with a living, breathing customer base. If you aren't prepared to muster up the resources necessary to engage your customers on a regular basis, then your social media campaign will ultimately do you more harm than good. Social media can yield incredible results, but you get out of it what you put into it.
Focus on the big fish.
Don't overdo it and burn yourself out by trying to maintain a presence on every single social media platform. This is likely to lead to disappointment when you find you simply don't have the time or energy to manage 10 or more different customer bases, all vying for answers to their questions. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram – start with one or two of these heavy hitters. Unless you've been in business for a long time and you have your social media campaign under serious control, it's best to curb your ambition and remember that less is more and certain social media platforms will almost certainly be irrelevant for your own business. Eliminate these and don't look back.
Set a social media maintenance routine.
If you're going back and forth between all of your accounts willy-nilly, making status updates at random, you're at high risk for social media burnout, at which point you might be tempted to abandon your social media campaign forever to rot in the black holes of cyberspace. Set aside a regular schedule for social media upkeep and stick to it, just like you would with any other serious marketing strategy.
It's easy to fall into the bad habit of obsessively checking your accounts multiple times an hour from your mobile phone when you're supposed to be off the clock. Caution: When the novelty wears off and you don't feel like you're getting out of it what you're putting in, you're going to question whether this social media thing is all it's cracked up to be. Hang in there and don't neglect your sanity.
Create a content development plan.
It can take a lot of pressure off if you know your game plan ahead of time and don't have to generate ideas on the spur of the moment. Having a plan also ensures that you're generating fresh and relevant content on a regular basis and preventing your accounts from falling into a state of neglect.
The most successful social media campaigns aren't one-man operations. As your campaign (hopefully) experiences exponential growth, there are certain tasks that can and should be outsourced. If you're on a shoestring, consider hiring a student as an intern to perform certain tasks. Don't be too self-sufficient to ask for help when you need it.
If you still find yourself unable to manage the social media monster you've created, you might need to re-examine your methods. If you're posting status updates every five minutes, it might be time to pull in the reins a little bit.
Finally, if a certain platform isn't working for you, ditch it and focus on the ones that are. It's better to have one or two top-performing accounts than 10 accounts with mediocre results. When it comes to social media marketing, you have to be all in where it counts.