Social media can be overwhelming. Social media can be daunting. And I often hear 'it's too much for me right now and I'm taking a break from it'.
I get it. And I get why people are saying it as I've said it myself even though my whole business and brand revolves around social media. But with any situation where you gain a lot of experience which in then turns to expertise, you pick up a few ways to combat the issues and manage the problems before the problems start to rear their ugly heads. You also learn to identify the good and ways to make more of the good and lessen the bad.
I am here to tell you that you have the power to change the bad. You are in charge of moderating your online feed. You are in control of how much or how little you see. You are the one who creates your algorithm. No two people will have the same feed. So what you are seeing is definitely not what someone else is seeing. And you are the one that controls the narrative online across all your social media platforms so let's make it a positive one that brings you joy and not one that overwhelms you or injects negativity into your moments and days.
Here are 10 Social Media Hacks for Positive Mental Health so you can stay on top of your socials but also on top form!
1. Switch off Notifications 🤫
Notifications are like being part of that Whats App Group that you never wanted to join and you are having to listen to and be pulled into conversations you don’t want to be apart of or contribute to but feel obligated to due to peer pressure. Luckily every single social media platform allows you to switch off notifications. This means you won’t be tempted to click on them to check out what’s going on but you can decide when you want to check-in and stay updated from your feed. You have the control to switch them off and if you are in a role where you need to keep the notifications on - then read further down on how you can manage the notifications so they don't end up managing you.
2. Control the positive narrative 🤩
The whole idea is that it’s ‘social’ so we should strive for ‘discussion’ and conversation with every post. That’s what leads to engagement. But healthy debate is different from toxic conversations. So if someone says something negative to something you’ve posted – don’t give them the satisfaction of getting into the ring for the fight. Thank them for their comment and move along or just ignore. People will have differing opinions and that's ok. It's not your responsibility to change their opinion or strive to win them over. As Arianna said, 'Thank You, Next'.
3. You don’t have to be everywhere 🙅🏽♀️
This is often the reason why people get overwhelmed and end up not being able to maintain and sustain their online activity and visibility. You don’t have to be on every single social media platform. Be where you need to be professionally – so if you think Instagram and LinkedIn will help you generate opportunities, leads and income – then focus on that and put your efforts into one OR both of those platforms in a way that works for you. My advice is to secure your handle on every platform so you have access to that free online real-estate BUT be selectively active. Be where you want to because you enjoy it and because if you enjoy being on the platform, it won’t feel like ‘work’ or stressful. And if you’re going to be on at least 2 then the next point is essential.
4. Plan Ahead and Schedule Your Posts 👩🏽💻
The number one reason people get stressed about ‘social media’ is that they think they don’t have time to post frequently and they don’t know what to post about and the culmination of those two things can be detrimental to ones’ mental health. Define your purpose and objectives for the platforms. Define the content. Then get into the habit of allocating a set time every month to plan, create and schedule your posts in advance. You can plan to be flexible and change some posts around if you need to react to 'happenings' but at least it’s all ‘done’ and you won’t have that ‘stress’ and pressure. Invest in a free or paid social media scheduler based on the needs of which platforms you are using.
5. Set Aside Time to be Social 🙋🏽♀️
This might sound strange but what I mean is that you should put aside set times during the day where you check your notifications across your selected platforms. This could be 1-3 times a day for say 15-30 minutes where you check-in, respond to your messages, respond to comments and tags. You can also use this time to scroll and engage with your community online, make comments, drop some likes and emojis and spread positive vibes all round. If are like me and a lot of your time is spent on social media platforms then find ways to time-block for specific social media tasks per platform so that you are productive and strategic with those sessions. Time blocking is a great way to really structure your day and get the most out of it.
6. Don't Take It Personal 😣
If someone blocks you or unfollows you on social media, don't take it personally. That's a good thing because it means your followers consist of people that want to follow you for all the awesome content and value that you are providing to them. Acknowledge the block and move on because everyone has their reasons for blocking or unfollowing and it's not your responsibility to manage that or their feelings. They've actually done you a favour by not spreading their negativity in your positive space. And on this point, don't be hesitant about blocking or unfollowing someone yourself. Remember that this is your space so have people in this space that you want to have and for the rest, cue Arianna..
7. Purpose Your Socials 💪🏽
Set a purpose for why you are on a platform and intentionally create content on that platform for that purpose. If you have a reason to be there and doing something, stick to that and use your platform to engage in activities that serve that purpose for yourself and your online community. When you don't have a purpose, it can be very easy to get lost, distracted and be overwhelmed so find your why and nurture your presence around it.
8. Don't Be Vain 👀
Yes it's great to have a ton of followers and we all love gaining new followers BUT don't base your 'success' and 'goals' on vanity metrics. It's not about the number of followers, it's about the content. If you have a purpose and are creating valuable content then you will grow organically with more engaged and relevant followers. Don't let numbers or figures define you. Think of it as an event that you're organising. You know who you want coming to the event and the more of your target attendee that come to your event, the better your event will be! You don't want to open it up to just anybody so think about your following the same way.
9. Align Offline With Online 🙆🏽♀️
Sometimes and especially in the last year so much has been happening online that we might have spent more time online than offline and this definitely impacts your mental health because the virtual world isn't the real world. Make sure to have a schedule that combines activities offline be it telephone calls, wellness in the way of workouts or walks, reading or indulging in some great Netflix series and spending time with your family and friends. Planning your joy is as important as planning your social media content and whilst you can find a lot of joy online, there is nothing quite like the joy of offline real experiences.
10. Find Your Community 🥰
I cannot tell you how much a certain group of individuals have kept me sane, motivated me and inspired me throughout these difficult months. We all found 'each other' in the pandemic and countless lockdowns and I know that one of the most amazing opportunities and blessings of social media can be finding your online tribe. If you have found them, show up for them and they will show up for you. They will keep you grounded and remind you of all the good that can come from social media communities and why you should continue to keep doing what you're doing.
Social media isn't the enemy and at the heart of it, it's about bringing people together. I hope you find the 10 hacks above useful and they allow you to treat social media as a tool that can be used for positivity, growth and opportunity and not as a chore, a distraction and a negative space. And most importantly remember that you are in control and with power comes responsibility (ok I'll stop with the popular culture references). Reach out to me if you want to talk about how to manage your social media or for any questions you might have on the topic and I hope to be able to continue sharing positive vibes on this space!
Eventwell is the event industry’s official charitable social enterprise dedicated to mental health campaigns, education and support for event professionals. They are there to provide a go-to for the event industry centred on their charitable values of empathy, culture and self-care, advocating the wellbeing of all professionals working in events. For more information, head to their website here.