Many small business owners are worried to take social media breaks or feel, if they do, the algorithm penalises them. In this episode I share my tips for returning to social media after a break successfully.
Spoilers, the answer is engagement. Always.
Join the club to learn more about ethical and effective social media marketing: https://socialmediaforhumans.club/
I hang out on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexisbushnell/
Find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SocialMediaForHumans
Voice over by Hawke Wood: https://www.spotlight.com/3490-9081-8844
Hello and welcome to Social Media for Humans, the podcast that empowers you to do social differently. Your host, Alexis Bushnell, and her guests discuss their experience of social media as business owners, users and, ultimately, humans. With insights and advice to help you find an effective and ethical strategy that works for you. Grab yourself a drink and join the conversation.Alexis:
Hi, hello, hello, how are we? I'm Alexis, my pronouns are she her. Welcome. This is a tip episode of the Social Media for Humans podcast. Today my tip is really just about like, if you have not been posting a lot on social media, if you've maybe been MIA for a little while, which is understandable, there is rather a lot going on, if you have been sort of feeling overwhelmed and you've massively reduced how much you're posting, if you're just feeling like "oooohhh urgh!" A You're not alone. And B here are some ideas to help. So if you have been not very active on social media, focus on engagement. This is always my advice whether you're active on social media or not but if you have not been posting for a while, getting engagement focused content out there is key. That's content that people want to comment on preferably, it doesn't even have to be shareable, it has to be stuff that is going to get people commenting on your content. This is largely gonna be kind of get to know you posts, asking your audience questions, and they can be just chill questions, they don't have to be about even what you do, but they can be things like "are you a tea or a coffee person?" Are you a night owl or whatever the thing that gets up in the morning is. I am not one of those, can you tell? A lark! A lark! "Are you a night owl or a lark?" It can be stuff like that that is really just aimed at you getting to know your audience, your audience getting to know you, and just getting them talking on your posts, because that is going to massively help to get you back out there. Also it tends to give people a little bit of a boost when they put out content that is engagement focused, especially when they've not been around for a while and people do respond and they're like "oh, I've not seen your posts. I've missed you, how have you been? Oh this is a really interesting idea that you've shared, this is great." Or "oh yeah, I'm like this too, I didn't realise we were so similar," because it reminds people that like, it's social media. Like that they're humans out there commenting on your posts, like that's who you're sort of creating the content for is actual real people who are then actually like "hey, you're amazing, I appreciate your content." And that can really help to give you a little boost to be like "okay, yeah, okay, I'm in the swing of things now, let's do this!" The other thing is to allow yourself to be realistic with whatever it is that you are aiming to do. So if you have not posted at all for months it is probably unrealistic, I could be wrong, but it is probably unrealistic for you to say "I am going to post seven days a week on all three of the networks that I'm on." I mean that feels like a lot of content that you have gotta sort of pull out of your ass. And even if you are into repurposing, I'm sure we'll cover that in a tip at some point, then it's still a lot of content to tweak, to schedule, to find, it's a huge huge outlay of energy when you are, I assume, have been struggling or have had stuff going on and are just feeling like overwhelmed, so don't do it to yourself. Have a think about "what can I feasibly do?" You know. "What can I actually commit to?" Can you commit to one post a week? Because one post a week is amazing. If you can do that every week, one post a week is fabulous. You don't need seven posts a week, you don't need multiple posts a day, you don't need that stuff, you can ease back into it. Another thing that has come up around this in the Social Media for Humans Club especially lately has been people sort of taking time off to take care of their mental health because they've had life stuff happen, because they're just generally overwhelmed, and when they they want to come back to social media they're like "this is really awkward." And a lot of that I think comes from just having been away from that community for a while, because ultimately your sort of social media followers are a community, they're your community, they're your people and when you've been away from any community for a little while it can be really awkward to sort of walk back in and be like "hi, yeah, so that's a thing!" It can feel quite weird and squiffy, is squiffy a word? I use a lot anyway! So it can feel like that and I think again this comes back to engagement posts. And if you are not up to creating posts and putting posts out there, yeah, if you're like "no, I feel really weird to create content and put it out there. I've not posted at all, I've not really been on social media for like three months and it just feels really horrible to show up and suddenly be like, hey here's my content again," you can get back into social media just by engaging yourself on other people's content. By gradually dipping your toe back in and commenting on people whose content you really enjoy, by finding some new hashtags, by getting back involved with the the Facebook groups that you are in, the Twitter chats that you were previously took part in, and stuff like that. Just spending a little bit of time actually talking to people, just checking in with how they are on their own posts, supporting what they're doing on their own content. And if you feel able to, if this is sort of not a boundary for you, making your first post back be "this is why I've been away." And again, this is going to come down to where your boundaries are about what you share, and you don't have to share everything about why you're away, but it can really really help both you and your audience to connect to you to put out a post that's like "hey, so I have been MIA for three months and actually it's because I moved house and moved countries and, you know, setting everything up is kind of stressful," this is both my story and the story of someone in the club, definitely not a unique experience! "and it's been a lot." You can put a post up like that, you can put a post up that says "I have been away, I haven't been posting" and if you've had people messaging you to see how you are you can put up a post that says like "thank you so much to people who are messaging me, I really appreciated you checking in and now I feel like I'm ready to come back but it might be slow, and I'm feeling this kind of way, how are you doing at the moment? How has life been for you? Tell me what's happened with you." And if you don't feel like you want to share that, if that is not something that you want to put out there, that's something that you have decided no, I don't talk about this stuff on my work social media, that's fine, you can also just do a post that's like "hey, I'm back, what's been going on for you? Tell me your biggest win in the past three months, in the past week, in the past however long you've been away." And open it up to your audience for them to tell you what's been going on with them so you can celebrate with them, you can cheer them on, you can support them. Or you can say like just "how are you? How are you holding up out there?" and allow them to open up to you because then that also gives you the space in the comments to reply to them and build that that connection and have that that community come around you again. So that was I feel like that was a super quick tip! But yes, that's something that has been coming up quite a lot in the Social Media for Humans Club lately, is people taking time off and feeling weird and not knowing how to get back into social media. So I hope that's given you a few ideas if you have been off social media for a while. I also want to take this opportunity to say if you need to take time off social media, or you just want to take time off social media, please do it. Please don't feel like you absolutely have to be on social media all the time in order to please the quote algorithm. I don't know why I put.. the algorithm is a thing but it's not... that's going to be a whole other tip! Oh it'll be a very long tip! So yeah, please don't feel like you can't take time off because the algorithm will punish you, because your business will suffer or whatever whatever. Actually I have a whole guest episode from season one with Eleanor Snare where they talk about how they are not really on social media. They are on LinkedIn but they're mostly not on any other social media at all, and how that's been for their business. So it is definitely possible, and you don't have to go completely cold turkey, you can stick around on social media but just give yourself breaks, that's fine. If you want some support more sort of in a group setting with some other business owners who are just like "wow social media can be really really stressful, help!" The Social Media for Humans Club is there for you. It is £30 a month, you can either have that rolling every month so you are always a member, or you can buy one month at a time so you don't get any accidental fees when you forgot to cancel, we are not here for those! So yeah, come and join us, I would absolutely love to see you there. Have a lovely weekend slash week slash whatever whenever wherever you are watching this and take care of yourselves.Hawke:
If you want more regular reminders to find your own way to use social media, follow Alexis on your social platform of choice, all the links will be in the show notes. Until next time, be a human.