Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Nowadays, it seems like you can’t start a business without having a social media presence. Indeed, 77% of marketers feel that social media marketing is an effective practice for their business. While that’s all well and good for the company as a whole, there is no denying that for entrepreneurs who often take on social media in addition to other responsibilities, it can be a lot to handle.
After all, there is a lot that goes into managing your social media profiles, and that time commitment can easily get overwhelming — especially with so much negativity online. If you’re not careful, you could soon get burned out on social media. The good news is that there are some simple practices every entrepreneur can use to become more effective and avoid burnout.
Related: 7 Proven Ways to Beat Burnout
1. Set clear boundaries
One of the first important things you should do is set clear boundaries for how you will use social media as an entrepreneur. Internet users spend an average of 147 minutes — nearly two and a half hours — per day on social media. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’ll log in for five minutes to check your notifications, and then mindlessly scroll for half an hour.
Entrepreneurs can’t afford to waste their time like this. You should have a clear plan to ensure you don’t spend more time on social media than necessary. Whether that involves setting a five-minute alarm for each time you check your notifications or determining certain times of day as “off limits” for social media use, a well-defined plan is a must.
2. Limit how many social networks you use
As part of the process of setting clear boundaries for social media use, it may be wise to limit your focus to a select number of social media networks for your business — at least until you have more team members to help you out.
Consider what you want to accomplish with your social media use, being especially mindful of the platforms that see the highest level of engagement from your target audience. By focusing your efforts on two or three platforms rather than a half dozen, you can create higher-quality content without overreaching yourself.
3. Align strategy with your goals
One way to avoid social media burnout is to consider how to align your marketing strategy with your personal goals. For example, in a case study from The Coach and Grow Co, entrepreneur Stephanie Latawiec was directed to have social media content go to her program’s sales page instead of sales calls so she could have more time in her day for other interests and needs.
By adjusting her social media marketing strategy, Latawiec was able to grow her revenue to reach $16,000 over a two-month period by automating certain social media practices and ensuring that her marketing was focused on generating passive income.
This resulted in more time to focus on what mattered most to her in her business and personal life — directly countering the burnout she had previously experienced.
Related: Social Media’s Dark Side: Learning to Set Boundaries
4. Curate your social media feed
Social media can be an undeniably negative place — especially for entrepreneurs. This doesn’t just come from people who might maliciously attack your business or troll your account.
Toxic conversations in your field can be emotionally draining, even when they don’t directly involve you. Sometimes, even seeing the successes others in your niche are experiencing can be emotionally draining as you try to figure out what you’re “missing” that’s keeping you from having similar results.
In this sense, curating your social media feed can be valuable for protecting your mental health. Strategically unfollowing certain people on social media or leaving groups that aren’t actually beneficial can help clear out the “clutter” that distracts you and leaves you feeling worse.
Find accounts that provide useful insights or simply inspire and uplift. Do what you can so that scrolling through your feed helps you feel energized and motivated, rather than drained and depressed.
5. Learn to repurpose content
One potential contributor to burnout is the pressure entrepreneurs will often feel to post every single day — and for some platforms, even posting multiple times a day. And even though posting at regular intervals is probably a good idea, trying to come up with ideas for new posts can become mentally exhausting in and of itself.
One way to work around this is to repurpose the content you’ve already created for your social media posts. Share highlights from blog posts, showcase a testimonial from a satisfied customer, or simply rework an older social media post! You’ll spend less time stressing over post ideas and more time focused on higher-level activities.
And remember, you don’t necessarily have to post every single day on every single platform. Your audience isn’t going to forget you exist after a one-day break.
Related: 5 Reasons You Should Try a Social Media Fast
Maximize your social media potential by avoiding burnout
It doesn’t matter what kind of products or services you offer to your clients — a strong social media presence can make a big impact. At the same time, however, there is no denying that social media can become a source of stress that leads to burnout.
By following a few best practices to improve how you use social media in your business, you can ensure that it becomes an asset and not a hindrance as you navigate your many responsibilities as an entrepreneur.