We’ve all said it or felt it before, “I’m spending too much time scrolling, I need to do a social media cleanse.” Especially during varying pandemic-related lockdowns, where reports show the increase of social media use.
As entrepreneurs, marketers, and business owners, it’s even easier for us to burn out because we feel we need to be present and active for our business. The good news is, you don’t have to stay on 24/7 to make the most of your social media marketing.
Quite the contrary, a social media cleanse can help you avoid the exhausting nature of social media while giving you the refresh you need to come back stronger and ready to connect deeper. Give yourself a break with these tips and strategies.
Keep Reading: How to Beat Social Media Fatigue as an Entrepreneur
Understand the Need for a Social Media Cleanse
If you’re a female entrepreneur, you know the toll running a business can take on your mental health. It’s a double-edged sword, your business is your baby; you care about it, but hustling too hard leads to burnout. Unfortunately, research shows that entrepreneurs who are more passionate about their business tend to experience more burnout.
Social media further blends the lines between our personal and professional world, leading to stress and exhaustion. Social feeds ensure that we’re always plugged-in to other people’s successes at work and curated lives at home. Another study found that social media use leads to addiction, envy, and anxiety— all significant predictors of burnout.
Finally, being active on social media, even after work hours, means you’re still working and not even realizing it. Instantaneous notifications encourage you to respond to your followers, share the latest industry news, or even worse, compare yourself to others.
To make matters worse, Pew research on psychological stress due to social media use shows women are more prone to stress than men. Doing a strategic social media cleanse can help you reboot and recharge and avoid burnout.
Establish Your Goals
Get clear on your goals for a social media cleanse. Write them down either in a journal, document, or note on your phone. Don’t ignore this piece. Studies and research show documenting goals makes you more likely to achieve them.
It’s also important to take this step because a recent study found that social media is more addictive when it’s meeting our needs. With documented, concrete reasons for leaving social media platforms for a period of time, you can alleviate that itch. Every time you reach for Instagram, you can remember that you need this time off for X reasons. In this way, returning to your why to keep you on track.
Keep Reading: 10 Instagram Story Ideas to Boost Engagement
Decide on the Cleanse Parameters
How long do you want to stay on your social media cleanse, and what “rules” do you want to follow? Parameters are completely person-dependent. For some, simply establishing a “No-social Sunday” routine might be enough. For others, taking a week offline may be necessary.
To decide, tune into yourself and listen to what your body and mind are calling for. As you do, use the following parameters to develop the framework for your social media cleanse:
- Platforms: Which platforms do you want to stop using? All of them, or just the ones that are most addictive and draining? You may want to look at the screentime settings on your phone to see where you spend the most time.
- Devices: Do you want to delete social apps on your phone but still use desktop versions? Do you want to simply log-off device-wide for your break? Or will there still be temptations?
- Length: How long do you want to be “off” social media? A few days, a week, a month? Just weekends? Deciding on a timeline is essential to sticking with it. You’ll have an endpoint in mind.
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Use Digital Tools
We’re living in the age of apps and digital customization, both of which can make your social media cleanse easier and more effective. Here are a few ways to leverage these tools:
Notifications can still pop up on both your phone and computer even after you log-off. Ensure you turn those settings off on your devices and within each app. For example, on the Google Pixel phone, you can use their “digital well-being” feature to set time limits for various apps and on iPhone you can use their “screen time” feature.
If you need to use social media for work or your business, use a timer on your phone for engagement, posting, or DMing, to ensure you don’t go down a rabbit hole or violate your cleanse rules.
Plan Ahead for Professional Social Media Use
If you need to be on social media for professional or business-related matters, there are ways to stay on track with what’s needed to get done while still giving yourself space. In fact, this is a great way to begin building habits that allow you to have a healthier relationship with social media without needing to take days off at a time.
Here are some tips for finding a better balance both during and after your social media cleanse.
Schedule Evergreen Content
Schedule your posts to go live even while you’re not active. Using platforms like Buffer or Hootsuite, you can plan a few evergreen posts for the duration of your social media cleanse so you’re present but not worrying about posting, timing, and the like.
Consider outsourcing your professional social media to an assistant, freelancer, or agency. If you already work with an EA or have a marketer in your company, they can likely handle posting as you during your cleanse and even after. They can also likely manage questions, comments, and engagement.
Set “Office Hours”
If it’s non-negotiable that you need to use social media for certain aspects of your business, then set dedicated times where you go on necessary platforms and perform only essential tasks.
I explain how to set up social media “office hours” in my article on social media fatigue.
Log-Off After Work
For those in a digital space, you may need to be on social media all day. In that case, consider logging off of every platform (on both your phone and computer) at the end of the day, so you can cleanse during your free time.
Give Yourself Grace, Babe
Remember that everyone’s situation is different. Social media is ingrained in our personal and professional lives, so going cold turkey might not work for you. And that’s okay. A recent Bustle article explained ten women’s journey with social media cleanses.
Some ladies felt the need to tell their network they were going on a cleanse. For example, Alison, a PR and social media professional, posts a “social media sabbath” profile picture to let folks know she’s on a break.
Another entrepreneur, Nikki, explained how she found her balance between personal cleanse and business social media:
“I love to work, so I did find myself on business social media last thing at night! Leaving devices out of the bedroom, so it’s not the first and last thing I read. Turning off notifications—although for business social media, I do use email alerts and will check at intervals during the day instead.”
Start Your Social Media Cleanse
A social media cleanse provides uninterrupted time to focus on business goals, take a vacation, spend time with loved ones, or indulge in self-care. The process will look different for everyone but using the above tactics will ensure you find the right balance for a successful and restful social media cleanse.