Can’t Quit Social? Build Boundaries Instead
Social media was not working for my business so it was easier for me to walk away. You might be in a whole different boat when it comes to social media and your brand. If you’re seeing an ROI with social media, I would be a terrible brand strategist to encourage you to quit it. You need your business to keep running and to be supporting your customers. Instead of a social media detox, it might be time to create some boundaries with social in order to have a healthy personal relationship with it.
Social Media Boundaries
Since we were children we’ve had boundaries in our lives. It started with no t.v. until after homework is done. We then grew up to have a curfew. When we became of age to drink we held out until after 5:00 pm. Boundaries give us structure and help us to move through our days in a productive and healthy way. When social media came into our lives at an older age, we didn’t know to have boundaries with it. After all, it was just a way to connect with old friends and show you’re family what you’re up to. But things have changed, social media is SO much more than that. And as we all know, “with great power, comes great responsibility.” So it’s time to get responsible with our social habits and take control back over our lives and businesses. Here are a few boundaries you can try out when it comes to social media.
Create Time Limites
I can tell you what you care about by what your schedule looks like. You make time for the things that are important to you (whether they align with your values or not.) With that being said, social media is the easiest way to lose time in your day. If you want to get intentional with your time and priorities you’ll need to schedule out your social media time. Start by blocking off one to two 30-minute chunks in your day to post and engage on social.
Turn off ALL notifications on your phone so that you aren’t distracted by what’s going on over there. Add screen time limits for yourself so that your apps will kick you out once you’ve reached your allotted time for the day. And any apps you don’t need on your phone (Anything that can post outside of the app) should be deleted.
Schedule Out Content
Some brands hate scheduling out content because it doesn’t feel authentic to their brand, and that’s okay. Just stick with the time limits. But if you don’t mind using an app like Later, I highly suggest it. By batch creating posts, you’ll save time, and often the creative juices flow more freely once you get started. Later allows you to create content for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and TikTok.
Stick with scheduling out one week’s worth of content at a time. By scheduling content way into the future you risk publishing something that might not be appropriate if a natural disaster or political upset occurs in our society (I’ve lived through this experience and believe me, it’s not worth the time saved!) You’ll also want to check into your posts daily just to make sure it fits with what’s going on in the world today and feels appropriate.
Don’t be Everywhere
Just because you can have an account on every single social media platform doesn’t mean you should. Especially as a small business with limited time and resources, it’s better to choose 1-2 platforms and go deep, than to spread yourself thin across all of them. Figure out where your audience is and spend your time on those platforms.
Figure out what Sparks Joy
Just as important as being on the platforms that your audience is on is being on platforms that spark joy for you. There is a balance of providing your customers exactly what they want and also creating in a way that brings joy to you. I, personally, HATED creating reels for Instagram. I don’t even like watching reels. So I committed to making as few as possible-no more than 1 a week- and tried to come up with creative ways that felt more authentic for me. I also refuse to get on Snapchat or TikTok. Luckily, that’s not where my audience would hang out anyways.
What content do you despise creating? Can you get away with not creating that at all or limiting it to one time a month? Even better, could you outsource it so that you can still add value to your audience but not have to use your precious time to make it? Decide what platforms you need to be on to meet your audience, figure out what content they will find more valuable, and then balance out what they need with what you need to create a more enjoyable experience for everyone.
Outsource your Social Media
If you have the means to hire a social media manager or even outsource a few of the content creation pieces then by all means do it. Your time as a business owner is valuable and should be used with intention. Does it make sense to spend all your time and efforts on social? Are you getting enough ROI to pay for your time on there? Instead, outsource to a college student or high school student who would love to create content for you. You can even have them schedule everything on Later and you go back and make small edits to ensure it has your brand’s voice.
Whenever possible, outsource the tasks that don’t need to be done by you but only if they are proving to be worthwhile to your business. It all comes back to that ROI–Are enough sales coming through social to pay for your time or someone else’s time?
Social media can be an amazing marketing resource for some brands. For others, it becomes a huge time suck that doesn’t balance out the profit made from the time spent on it. The less time you can spend on social while still providing sales and adding value, the higher your ROI will be. Create boundaries with social media so that you don’t lose all your time in the day. Instead can find balance and maybe have time for a new marketing avenue, a lunch with an old friend, or even some time for self-care.
Katie Leigh is a brand strategist and photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. Her experience as a former graphic designer and former marketing director provide a unique perspective when it comes to your brand. Whether you want to get clear in your message and create a brand strategy that supports your work-life balance or need to update your website with photos that tell your story, Katie Leigh will help you get clear in your marketing and create sustainable practices to build the brand (and life!) of your dreams. Get the guide to work-life balance and more marketing resources here.