Social media presents great opportunities for all aspects of a business. These platforms allow you to speak directly to your customers, increase brand awareness and drive sales. Indeed, organisations that don’t engage on social media could run the risk of losing relevance among their market.
Most businesses now recognise the many benefits of having an active social media presence. However, as the industry has grown, we’re becoming more aware that excessive use also carries some inherent risks. Studies have found links between heavy social media use and an increased risk of depression, anxiety, loneliness, and even suicidal thoughts.
If your business is driving your social media use, it’s even trickier. You need it to build your brand, but it can make it even harder to switch off after a long day. At Octima, we advocate the use of social media as a positive tool, but want to encourage everyone to do so in a way that isn’t harmful to anyone’s mental health.
We’ve rounded up our top tips to help you set boundaries to help you use social media to its full potential – but safely too.
1. Set limits for your scroll time
Do you know how long you spend on social media sites each day? On average, most people use them for almost 2.5 hours every day. That’s a lot of scrolling.
Track your social media use with an app and look at the numbers to see how you’re engaging with the platforms. Identify which apps you need to use, why and when you should use them. This will help you define a social media routine that allows you to effectively engage with your customers at a time that’s suitable for both parties.
2. Turn off social media notifications on your phone
Do you really need to know the moment someone likes your picture, or that an account you follow has posted to their feed? If you’re a compulsive phone checker, it might be an idea for you to turn off social media notifications.
Notifications and alerts are designed to pull your attention away from whatever you’re doing in real life and get you to grab your phone again. Remember, you’re in control. Be the one to decide when you want to check in – not the other way around.
3. Don’t check your phone before 10am
Who here wakes up (via the alarm on their phone), and immediately scrolls through Instagram like it’s the morning papers? Or who’s been known to be up into the small hours of the morning because they’ve fallen down a TikTok rabbit hole?
Checking social media first or last thing can start or end your day with a focus on what other people are doing in their lives, rather than what you’re wanting to achieve in yours. Monotonous browsing or ‘Doomscrolling’ is also – largely – completely unproductive.
4. Out of sight, out of mind.
Whether you’re focusing on a work task, or taking some time out for yourself, you don’t need your phone by your side, begging to be picked up. Try leaving your phone in your bag, desk drawer or another room (Feeling wildly confident? Try leaving it at home when you go for a walk).
Whilst it might seem scary (we get it, our phones have become our wallet, keys, phone, camera, and MP3 player all rolled into one), it might just be helpful for cutting unnecessary social media use and encouraging you to be fully present in the moment.
5. Step away entirely.
For many, the idea of managing or limiting the amount of time they spend on their phone is just too difficult, and a full ‘cold turkey’ approach is all that will work. Try removing the social media applications from your phone, so you can only check them when you sit down on a tablet or computer.
You’ll probably find in the initial hours after deletion, you’ll habitually pick up your phone. You’ll realise how often you subconsciously engage with the platforms. Give it a couple of days though, and we’re sure your neural pathways will be well on their way to being rewired.
Whichever route you choose, once you’ve retrained your brain and regained your time, you’ll be able to spend your time on things that are way more productive and valuable to you.
“But I need social media for work”.
If you’re not ready to take the leap completely, let someone else bear the strain and do the work for you. Delegate your social media marketing management to an outsourced marketing partner. Our business will help ensure your company is actively and appropriately engaging on all your platforms, while you don’t have to.