Social Media Burnout is real, it’s a thing, and I’m just coming out the other side of it.
I don’t want to make it seem like a big deal, it’s truly not. In the list of all the things that you “get through”, Social Media burnout is right at the bottom of the list!
However, for folk like you and I who use Social Media to market our businesses or build a personal brand, the burnout is real and a lot of us go through it.
What Do I Mean By Social Media Burnout?
For me, it’s a drop in motivation and a disconnection from all things social. I can’t muster the enthusiasm to think about social media topics, about writing blogs and when I hope Instagram my brain hurts (not literally, of course!)
“I’m Taking A Break From Social Media”
I’ve seen people say this before and at the time I remember thinking “what is this BS?”.
I enjoy social media, it’s as much an interest or hobby as it is something I do as a business.
I remember looking at those people who were telling their social followers about the break they were planning to take and thinking, “Why do you need that? This shouldn’t be hard work, it should be fun – relax, enjoy it!”.
They Had The Right Idea
Now I see that they had the right idea. They were pro-actively deciding to step back and rest from the relentless pursuit of creating content in order to avoid burnout.
In life we know it is generally better to plan for something and mitigate it, rather than react when it hits us in the face.
I haven’t planned, it’s hit me in the face…again.
It Creeps Up On You
I’ve had it before. It follows the same path for me.
Usually, there’s some big outside life event. This life event results in taking a step back from normal content creation activities. Two days not creating content turns into five days, five days into seven days, a week with no content – “I need to create content”…..”I don’t have the energy or enthusiasm to create content”.
When it first happened I thought I’d lost all motivation for my business. “Am I good enough to do this?”, “Am I just wasting time?”.
I dropped away for a bit. I lacked inspiration and ideas.
After a while the spark re-ignited and I was back to normal.
This current “burnout” is probably the third time I’ve experienced it since I started my business in January 2016.
Acknowledge it, be patient, it’ll pass.
Even this time I thought it was something else. The motivation issue…I thought I was losing faith in my business. That was the first feeling. Then I realised it wasn’t that, it was just that I needed a break.
Creating content doesn’t always feel difficult, I enjoy it.
However, just because I enjoy it doesn’t mean it’s not effort. Generating ideas, consuming content, learning, creating videos, blogs, tweeting, Facebook, Instagram, watching others videos – time & effort, time & effort, time & effort.
It’s not surprising it takes its toll on some of us, is it?
I tweeted about it…
I’ve gone in to what I used to call a social media slump. In time I’ve recognised that I cannot sustain a pace, I seem to be all in or all out. This is why Insta/Twitter activity has slowed. I just need to recharge and then I’ll be back to normal.
— Simon Godfrey (@SimonSocialMM) August 9, 2018
17 replies, almost all acknowledging that they have this as well. It’s not uncommon at all.
Claire Williams summarised it nicely.
Totally normal.. there so much pressure on us to be always on and delivering value. I’ve taken a step back for a bit too.. come back stronger!
— Clare Williams (@LoxleyBiz) August 12, 2018
I’ve recognised that I need to be better aware of this going forward, I need to plan breaks and be pro-active.
This has come at a bad time. I’m in the middle of a 90-day-blogging-challenge and I’d committed to creating one blog per week for 13 weeks. I got 5 weeks in and then burnout strikes and I’ve now missed two weeks. This is week 8 – this is my content for this week.
If I’d planned better I’d have taken a break before I started rather than risk burnout halfway through. Would that have worked? I don’t know.
I don’t know how I’m going to plan it in, maybe I need a bigger plan whereby I focus on content for 4 weeks then have a week off. Maybe it’s 8 weeks and a week off? Can you plan for this? I don’t know.
It’s Common And It’s Ok
I feel guilty when I get a bit worn out and take a step back from creating content and doing social media, especially given the nature of my business (the irony!).
However, the response to my tweet shows that this is common – a lot of people who are using social media regularly for business and branding purposes are experiencing this burnout and I guess it’s not surprising when it’s just one part of our otherwise very busy lives.
Coming Out The Other Side
I’ve had a couple of weeks of downtime (well, at least in terms of social) and I’m now getting back to normal. I had the headspace to write this blog and my brain doesn’t groan when I open Instagram.
Perhaps for me, it’ll always be triggered by big outside life events, maybe I need to plan more breaks or maybe I just need to step off the peddle a bit rather than being either full-on or at standstill.
Whatever it is, I’ll figure it out but for you, how are you managing yourself and avoiding burnout?