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Life in the digital age has its benefits, but one of the side effects is the constant bombardment of information. Particularly over the last two years, all the updates about new Covid variants and lockdown restrictions have wearied even avid phone users of looking at their screens. While as individuals we may put away our devices whenever we please, the calculus is different for a business seeking to grow its online brand through a steady flow of content. It’s essential, therefore, to recognise when merely temporary boredom has transitioned into media fatigue.

Media fatigue can be defined as a feeling of anxiety or being overwhelmed at the thought of interacting online. Anyone can experience media fatigue, but it’s especially prevalent among small business owners who are doing the bulk of social media marketing themselves. From reaching out to online influencers to taking courses on how to improve social media presence to constantly tracking analytics, the hours can quickly add up. And for a business working hard to stay afloat in a competitive environment, no amount of effort can seem to be enough.

The problem, moreover, goes beyond just the hours put in online. There is the very real psychological threat of social media comparison. Business owners may see influencers, businesses, celebrities or even their own friends and family sharing glamorous moments and feel like they’re falling short somehow. In addition, changing social media algorithms means that engagement or follower count may change unexpectedly, which brands may interpret as a lack of interest in their content. Such brands, therefore, run the risk of becoming disillusioned with themselves and ceasing to post, under the assumption that ‘no one cares’. And if they stay inactive for too long, it will end up hurting their engagement rates, further reinforcing the vicious cycle of self-doubt.

The truth is that too much social media consumption can be overwhelming (not to mention bad for the eyes), and it’s acceptable and even desirable to step away for a while. Many business owners might feel like they can’t afford to switch off – here are some ways to overcome this mindset.

  • Remember that social media isn’t ‘the whole story’ – On-camera, everyone is portraying the best sides of their life. Behind the scenes, they have the same struggles and low moments as you or anyone else. So when you see other brands sharing posts about a new deal cracked or a new milestone hit, remember that
  • Give yourself permission to take a break – Don’t feel compelled to post once every twelve hours, or even once a day. Even as a business, you are allowed to step back from your online presence. People who truly care about your brand won’t mind if you switch off for a bit. And you’ll come back refreshed and readier to invest time in creating exciting new content.
  • Revise your posting schedule – While erratic drops in your posting frequency may not be ideal, a calculated decision to post less often may be a good idea. Just be sure to choose a frequency you can be reasonably consistent with.
  • Prioritise one or two channels – All too often, brands scramble to be equally successful across every single social media platform and end up diluting their efforts.A smarter move would be to prioritise the one or two channels that your customers are most active on and developing a distinct brand personality there.
  • Focus on your product – Rather than chasing social media stats, take a step back and concentrate on what your brand is all about. What is your mission? What excites you about what you do? What do your customers love about you? Not only will focusing on this help you feel less overwhelmed, but it’ll also remind you of the values that your loyal followers want to see in your content. Trust in what you do and you will always find takers – even if your social media numbers take the occasional hit.

Whether you’re a seasoned corporate with a strong Instagram profile or a start-up eager to boost its numbers, it’s perfectly valid to take a break from media fatigue. Relax, reset and remember what really matters to you as a brand – the numbers will follow. And if you do need some assistance with maintaining the ideal online image, get in touch with us at StarSquared PR. We’d be happy to help.