I’ve started and stopped this blog about twenty times this past week. There has been so much going through my confused mind in those precious few moments between waking – home-school – work – eternal covid nonsense – bed (repeat daily). Examples of fleeting thoughts:

  • TikTok was the social media success story of 2020 – should I be doing more on there?
  • More legal peeps are on Instagram these days – same question.
  • Why can I not quite get my head round ClubHouse? Should I be hosting a room?
  • How is everyone else being so creative and full of ideas when I am having trouble making a cup of tea?

Coaching on social media is part (but not all) of what I do for legal services businesses. So naturally, I feel a need to be leading the way in understanding and using platforms. It is my professional responsibility to offer the right advice and I am a huge advocate. 

But a confession.

Even for me, a social media enthusiast with a reputation for dragging all and sundry online, I am starting to feel overwhelmed at the moment by the sheer amount of platforms, the speed at which they change, the level and volume of content and one of the worst social media habits – comparisons!

And as Carrie Bradshaw might say: “I find myself thinking, are we reaching social media saturation point?”

The past year of lock-down has played a part in this. With most of our real-life interactions taken away, social media usage has drastically increased. From waking up to going to bed, we spend our time buried multiple digital touch points. If we are lucky enough to have a job which has involved an “online pivot” (yes! I said it!) then we are living our lives through screens. Social media is likely to be playing a bigger role than time of yore when life involved going to meetings, commuting, lunch with people outside your immediate bubble and all the other things we pine for right now.

And whilst social media connects, empowers, raises awareness and creates conversations, as I have written about previously, it also distorts. On a global scale as we know. But also on imperceptible levels that we might not even quite realise, until one day, we find ourselves loathe to open LinkedIn for fear of posts about everyone else winning at life whilst we just want to lie on the bed and eat Ginger Nuts.

Of course, from a strategy point of view, it is quite right to say we should just invest in the platforms where we know we will find our target audiences. Focus on just one platform, maximum two platforms where you know you will reach your audience and nourish them with the right content. But with the speed at which platforms are changing and evolving and demographics in line with that, does that still stand? And what about the opportunities to cross pollinate on platforms, creating content on TikTok and posting on LinkedIn and Twitter, or hosting a Clubhouse Room and advertising on LinkedIn and…..and…*sound of own head exploding.*

The overwhelm is real.

Lockdown fatigue is real.

Platform fatigue is real.

If I am feeling it as someone who loves the world of social media, I know many who are not such ardent fans will be feeling it too.

And it pains me to think of some of the positives of social media and all it achieves for us personally, professionally, being eroded by this fatigue.

So here are my top five tips for managing social media fatigue. All the things you already knew, but it NEVER hurts to hear them again.

(And yes, I am including myself in this as well, as one of the biggest culprits in forgetting much of the below sage advice.)

  • Social media is not real life. Winning on social media does not mean someone is winning at life and it is doubtful someone will be posting their worst days on LinkedIn, even the most authentic amongst us.
  • You ARE in control. Yes, we should expand our networks, seek diversity of thought and not just operate in an echo chamber. But also, if that becomes painful, why not just nourish your soul with the updates and content that work for you in these difficult times? If some updates are not the right tone, if some trigger you, you can step away. Nobody will know.
  • You really don’t need to be on every platform. Find a platform where you know your audience hangs out, focus on that and develop digital habits that work for your unique situation. (My husband’s edit on this bullet was “From a personal point of view you don’t really need to be on any platform, but then I am probably not your audience – lolz. And I guess this is valid too.)
  • Don’t be distracted by the people who seem to be everywhere, all the time, on everything. Chances are that either it is a big part of their job (comme moi) or they have someone helping behind the scenes.
  • And here is the most important one: remember there are some amazing professionals in the legal industry doing incredible work, delighting their customers, innovating, leading at what they do….who are not on social media talking about it.

 And that’s a fact.

We’ll be hosting a She Breaks the Law She Connects on this topic in March to chat about our very real feelings of burn out, how we manage a world where every touchpoint is digital and still stay joyful in our social media usage! Stay tuned for more on this.

Until then, you can find me hanging out on social media in a really managed way taking all of the above points into consideration (honest).

Twitter: @hburness

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