Working in social media has many benefits, however, people who work in the industry know what a balancing act it can be. Many social media managers handle the ads, customer service, analytics, the reputation of the business and more, all on a day to day basis. Thus, burnout is a reality for many.
In order to create a healthy relationship with work, it is important to practice a few things to ensure that you don't feel perpetually drained by your work.
Setting boundaries is a continual practice throughout a person's life. Especially with work. While social media is open 24/7, that doesn't mean that social media managers have to work 24/7. That is not a sustainable model for good work. The boundaries will vary from person to person however, some ideas are:
- Set times when you are not engaging with your work or monitoring the client's social media pages. Have a strategy for your weekends or these downtimes, for example, automated replies or working with a colleague to alternate monitoring.
- having a work phone and a personal phone
- discuss with your manager and colleagues about boundaries for everyone in the social media department, for example, some employees prefer to discuss matters on email or Slack and not Whatsapp.
- Dedicate time for your joy: whether it is walking, reading a book or watching a film, ensure to make time for it and do not neglect those moments for restoration. These times should also be "phone-free".
With so many varying responsibilities it is important to have a strategy that helps you manage your work and time. For example, some freelancers are more creative early in the morning before 8 am or late at night and if that works for you then you can plan out your sleep, work and other responsibilities during your week to accommodate this.
This can also include:
- A Response Protocol: this is a document that has standard answers to the page's most frequent Q&A's. This can help with any anxiety or feelings that come up when the page gets difficult questions as there is an approved document with how to respond to a variety of situations.
- Use social media management tools: these will help you with scheduling, automated replies and analytic reports.
- Use organizational methods that work for you like "Time blocking" (a time management method that divides your day into blocks of time, which are each dedicated to accomplishing a specific task)
When It All is A Bit Too Much
Sometimes life and work can all be extremely stressful and it is important to know when your body and mind need a break. Whether that is taking a day off or talking to your therapist, do what helps you feel better overall.
If it does feel like you can't seem to get a grasp on your work you should, if you are a freelancer, find how you can outsource certain tasks like graphic design to other local freelancers or on apps like Fiverr.
If you work at a company don't hesitate to discuss with your manager or colleagues about your need for some assistance to get your job done better.
Burnout is a reality for many social media marketers, especially, during the pandemic however, setting your boundaries, finding ways to make your job easier and knowing when you need help are some ways to avoid it happening in the future.