The Counterintuitive Way Social Media Can Reduce Stress
It’s no secret that staying off of social media can be good for you — personally, professionally and even physically. We need some time away from our devices to succeed in both our personal and professional lives.
The adverse impacts of social media have been widely discussed. So why does it remain such an important aspect of the way we do business?
A 2019 study from Lancaster University shows that people who are frequent users of social media might even be addicted to it. This remains true even when it causes them stress and creates obvious adverse effects.
Work-related social media use
This is particularly relevant to work-related social media use. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more have become indispensable tools for business, especially with the rise in remote work due to the current health crisis. Entrepreneurs continue to invest in the system, considering it a necessary evil. And in one sense that’s correct: Consistent online engagement is essential for running a business, marketing yourself and staying current in your field.
Of course, you don’t want to become addicted to social media, so it’s crucial to know when to log off. Still, social media use may actually help reduce its negative effects. When one aspect of a social media platform causes stress for a user, the user often attempts to de-stress by going to a different part of the platform.
In short, our psychological instinct to simply switch gears within a social media platform may be the key to staying engaged while simultaneously mitigating stress levels. When one activity is stressing you out, trust your instinct and simply switch to another.
If implemented correctly, this strategy has the potential to make your social media use more productive and efficient, and in the long term can help grow your company. Here are the two ways that you can shift your use of a social media platform so you don’t burn out.
Switch from business to personal, and from personal to business
One of the best ways to use social media consistently and avoid burnout is to switch off between business-related activity and more personal use. Time spent chatting with personal connections or even looking at silly memes may not only give you a much-needed break from the workday, but it can also surprisingly make you more productive.
Here’s why: A constant, dogged pursuit of work tasks without a break may feel productive, but at some point, it’s just “busy.” For enhanced productivity, especially in deep work that requires extended focus, you need to take a break every now and again. A short social connection or a bit of levity can do wonders for both your attitude and your ability to focus.
Taking a bit of time throughout the day to unwind on a social media platform can turbocharge your networking skills and connection-building. Forming those personal connections online could also be a first step to finding new employees, independent contractors and even potential partners.
Personal use of social media on an intermittent basis between business exchanges also helps you to maintain connections you might otherwise lose. Even without in-depth direct communication, you can get a sense of what your peers are doing and whether or not it could relate to your business merely by sharing casual posts and information and responding to their content.
Maintaining connections is important on any social media platform, but it’s especially effective on LinkedIn. Maintain a personal approach and connect with anybody you know, whether it be an old boss, a college professor or even a childhood friend, no matter what their field or profession.
In fact, connections outside of your industry might have different perspectives that can provide invaluable ideas and insights. An acquaintance or follower might be involved with something relevant to your business that you might never have known about otherwise. If so, you have the basis of a connection that will help you reach out directly.
Switch off between advertising and networking
Taking time for personal social media can have surprising business-related benefits, but sometimes you need to stay focused on what will help your company grow.
One of the predominant ways social media helps you in this mission is through paid social advertising, but perhaps not strictly in the traditional sense. Although direct outreach might help you procure new clients or customers, it can quickly become exhausting. Sometimes, it is actually more effective to build and maintain connections with people who already support you. If you’re feeling burnt out on creating content to build your brand, try private messaging with followers or chatting with them in the comments section.
Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing
Direct public contact on social media transforms networking into advertising. That’s true whether you’re adding commentary to a mass post or publicly tweeting a response to somebody who has reached out to you. When communicating with loyal clients on a public platform, all interaction is visible and can attract new clientele if executed properly.
While it is certainly not ideal to spend too much time on social media platforms, you can use these strategies and other ways of moving within a platform to stay productive without getting overwhelmed. If you find yourself feeling truly addicted, it might be time to log off and seek help.
However, in moderation, social media is an effective way to grow and expand your reach. And especially now during the health crisis and shelter-in-place/remote work restrictions, social media can help you and your remote team feel more connected — with each other and the rest of the world.