In 2023, if you’re not using social media for your business, you’re missing out on opportunities for community, connection, and ultimately, conversion. It’s a cheap and powerful way to directly connect with your customers. But it’s also time-consuming, ever-changing, and can be detrimental to mental health. So, how can we harness the benefits and mitigate the risk?
Let’s dive in.
Social media has a way of shining a magnifying glass on the things we feel vulnerable about. I’ve had my social media agency, Citrine Marketing, for more than 7 years and for the better part of a decade, I’ve watched my clients—incredibly capable, intelligent, talented individuals—struggle with showing up in these spaces when they’re normally highly confident.
Scrolling Instagram or Facebook can easily kick our brains into comparison mode, even though we KNOW they are curated as a “highlight reel” with exactly what someone wants to see.
Social media is built to activate the reward center in our brains and release dopamine. Every time we get a like or a share that receptor is hit and our brains naturally want more of the good stuff. It’s literally built to be addictive. Add onto that algorithms that have gotten increasingly good at knowing what we want to see and it’s no wonder we are spending so much time on social media.
In order to show up in these spaces strategically and consistently without burning out, I’ve compiled a list of tips for preserving your mental health while using social media for business.
1. Only follow accounts that inspire you or make you feel good
Content from accounts you follow will largely be the content you’re consuming on social media. Even when you’re in an explore feed, the algorithm is feeding you content based on what you follow, watch, and engage with. This is why it’s vital that you unfollow or mute things that don’t make you feel good about yourself or your business. The content you consume should educate, entertain, or engage you in conversation. If it’s not doing any of these things, UNFOLLOW!
2. Set boundaries—and enforce them
Spending time intentionally on social media is easier said than done. So much so that if you hear “mindless scrolling” you know exactly what that means. Given the addictive nature of social media, it’s very important to not only set boundaries on the time you spend on social media but to also make sure to use it intentionally when you are on it.
3. Create the art and release it
As business owners and founders, we are often the “faces” of our business. People connect to people, which is why content with you almost always outperforms content without you. But showing up on camera is extremely uncomfortable and vulnerable for many of us. The only way to make it feel better is to keep doing it—and also to loosen (or ideally, release) your expectations of it.
4. Be uncomfortable—and show up anyway
As mentioned in the previous point, it can feel very uncomfortable showing up in photos—let alone video. We all have insecurities and watching them back on a screen isn’t something many of us are in love with.
First, find solace in knowing that almost everyone feels this way. Second, know that the more you exercise this muscle, the better you’ll feel doing it. Third, and most importantly, make it your goal to create from a place of service. When we are very intentional with creating content with a goal of serving our clients and audience, it can change our relationship with what we’re creating.
5. Don’t do it in a “vacuum”
Social media is beyond powerful—so much so that you could have a very successful business on Instagram or TikTok alone. But you shouldn’t. And here’s why: you don’t own your audience(s) here and if you get hacked (like we just did) or something happens to the platforms themselves (cough *Twitter* cough), you still have a way to reach your people and sell your things. Prioritize a website and your email marketing efforts in addition to having a presence on a couple different social media networks.
Article written by Shayna Marks, the pro behind the BRA Network IG account, as well as an entrepreneur herself. You can follow her on Instagram and check out her website to gain access to more of her excellent content.