Being social media marketers, we understand the importance of staying active in the digital world, but there comes a point where work becomes overwhelming. With so many platforms emerging and an avalanche of new content being produced every day, there’s no doubt that social media has the capacity to be demanding and all-consuming.
So, how do we ensure that we don’t become enslaved by social media? We, as digital marketers, should challenge ourselves to go through a healthy social media detox. It refers to a period when a person refrains from using electronic gadgets to reduce stress and focus more on social activities in the physical world.
While the idea is not widely discussed in our industry (we are social media marketers after all!), we are pretty sure some of us have considered going through it. We know we have!
Signs You Need A Break From Social Media
If you’ve been posting consistently and it’s been sapping your efficiency and creativity, that’s already a clear sign you need a break. Taking a vacation from social media is helpful occasionally. It will take your mind off things. You can always decide when to resume if things feel better.
Unplugging from the digital world has been proven to be effective in improving one’s productivity. In a study conducted by eConsultancy, a huge number of social media users go through a detox every now and then:
- 65% of Google+ users are inactive each month
- 64% of Twitter users are inactive each month
- 32% of Facebook users are not logged in every day
Statistically speaking, this leads us to believe that on Facebook, over 400 million users are already taking a bit of a social media detox on a monthly basis, and on Twitter and Google+, there is more of the same with more than 1 billion unused accounts each and every month. Pretty amazing.
It’s because they’ve reached their tipping point!
If you search for "why I left social media" or "why I left Facebook", you'll get hundreds of millions of results on Google. The reasons will vary, but Elite Daily came up with 7 reasons why a break might be in order:
- Social media causes you to focus on others more than yourself
- Social media distorts your version of reality
- Social media causes your happiness to depend on others
- Social media reduces the ways you interact with your friends
- Social media distracts you from what's happening in the moment
- Social media is making your life too public
- Social media is making it difficult for you to move forward with your life
Do any of those apply to you? Have you considered taking a break from social media and doing a detox, or even leaving altogether? No doubt social media plays an important role in culture today, but for some, it simply becomes all consuming and too much to handle.
When they realize that their audience is elsewhere.
Social media users tend to leave social media altogether, however, brands are a different story. They tend to hold on to their accounts as much as possible (having a social media presence is critical from a customer service and sales perspective) and choose to slow things down and not update their social media channels as often.
Why do many brands try this tactic? It’s for them to re-evaluate their strategy and audience. They want to know where their customers and target demographic are. In this sense, that’s when they decide to take a social media cleanse or leave the social media world temporarily.
When brands are determining whether to take a break from social media, they often take a look at their numbers for each network and base their decision off them. Here are a few to consider:
- Referral traffic from that social media network
- Engagement rate and the number of followers on that network
- Conversions generated through content posted on that network
Prioritizing Social Media Marketing Goals
What would you do if you were only given a limited amount of time to work on your skills on social media marketing?
Your answer will likely determine your marketing goals and reveal your priorities. The limited time given is best spent on investing in an active audience. It would also be best spent on creating quality content that can trigger a lot of engagement from users and a working on a best-performing social media profile.
A social media break might be just the boost we’re looking for when prioritizing our marketing goals. This is to ensure that our precious time and efforts are not wasted.
Building A Social Presence With A Lean Mindset
When many startups are building from the ground up, they will do so with a lean mindset. What that boils down to is beginning with a product, running with it, measuring results, gathering feedback and then changing your approach accordingly. This runs in contrast to the expression "go big or go home", but with a lean mindset, you don't have an incredible amount of resources invested in the event the results aren't measuring up and you need to move in another direction based on feedback.
This same approach can be applied to a social media setting - work on growing your following, measure the results, see if they're working, and if not, move onto another idea and rinse and repeat until you do get results worth truly investing in.
Here’s a helpful graphic that lays out the principles behind building with a lean mindset:
Ways To Gradually Detach Yourself From Social Media
- Stop checking updates compulsively
- Deactivate and plan how long your social media detox will last
- Permanently delete your account
- Schedule your posts using a social media scheduling tool
Stop Checking Updates Compulsively
While it’s normal to check social media on a regular basis, it should not hinder your productivity. If you find it hard to get through the hour without being tempted to scroll through your news feed, then you know it’s time to take a step back from social media.
First, you need to identify which social media platforms you spend the most time on. These are major distractions that disrupt your performance. You should disable the notifications and updates by managing your preferences. This way, you can filter useless information appearing in your news feed so you can stay focused on work.
Deactivate & Plan How Long Your Social Media Detox Will Last
Going cold turkey on social media is not the healthy way to unplug yourself from the digital world. That’s because there’s a chance you will find yourself craving for it more. You should do it gradually by planning how long you will be away from social media. Deactivating your account will put your social media accounts out of sight for the duration. This will not remove your information permanently. So when you do come back to social media, your saved data and information will reappear when you choose to reactivate.
Permanently Delete Your Account
Only do this when you have completely decided on deleting your account permanently. If you are set on removing your presence online on the social media platforms below, then take a big step forward and do the following:
Facebook - the option is hidden and cannot be found within account settings. Click this link to delete your account. Again, only if you are sure because there’s no turning back!
Twitter - there is no option to do this per se. Instead, you need to deactivate your account by going into your Account settings and clicking Deactivate my account. After 30 days, Twitter will begin the process of deleting your account.
Instagram - click here to go to the Delete Your Account page (you'll be asked to log in if you already aren't). You will have to enter a reason for why you're deleting your account and re-enter your password before being able to permanently delete it.
Google+ - click here to go to the Downgrade page and follow all instructions. You'll need to create a new Google+ profile should you wish to return, there is no way to restore a deleted profile.
Pinterest - on your profile, click on the bolt button, then at the bottom of Account Basics, click Deactivate Account, and at the bottom of the options, choose Permanently close my account and go through the confirmation process.
Schedule Your Posts Using A Social Media Scheduling Tool
It’s important to keep social media networks active especially if you are a social media manager or a marketer who wants to undergo a social media detox. Of course, you need to keep updates going so your audience sees some activity on your company pages. You can utilize a powerful social media scheduling tool that can schedule all your posts in advance. Finding the perfect publishing interface that gives you the ability to customize each publication and reuses your best content (evergreen content) to bring in more views is your best bet.
Keep in mind if you are taking a social media detox, you likely won't be hopping on to engage with your audience if they comment on the content you're posting, so take that into consideration when choosing which posts to schedule in advance.
Is A Social Media Detox Right For You?
By now you must have a pretty good idea why it is important and if this activity suits you.
Has this been going through your mind for quite some time? Have you already done this in the past? Were you successful in doing so?
If it’s something you’ve thought about before, chances are you are already evaluating your options. If so, please consider some of the ideas shared here – signs you need a break, prioritizing social media marketing goals and building products with a lean mindset. When social media is applied in the right way, it will give you tons of benefits and advantages.