If you struggle with boundaries on social media whether that's spending too much time scrolling, feeling bad for not responding fast enough or the dreaded post-regret, this episode is for you!
I share some ideas about how to set your boundaries and stick to them!
I hang out on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexisbushnell/
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Join the club to learn more about ethical and effective social media marketing: https://socialmediaforhumans.club/
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:
Hello, hello, I'm Alexis, my pronouns are she her. Welcome to a little quick tip episode of the Social Media for Humans podcast, today I want to chat a little bit about how you can set boundaries with your social media, especially if you're running a business because it is something that I know a lot of people find really difficult. One of the big things that I know people struggle with around boundaries and social media is the engagement side of it and, for me, I am really big on engagement. I believe engagement is the most important thing on social media, outreach engagement, actively being a part of the communities that you're in. chatting to people. The clue is in the name "social media!" But it can also take a lot of time, it's very easy to get lost scrolling, doing the scroll, getting chatting with people can be really fun. So there are a few ways you can do this, one is set a timer, this is kind of like generic advice, set a timer when you go to hop on and do your engagement, five minutes, ten minutes, 15 minutes, half an hour, whatever. I tend to say as well don't be doing engagement while you're doing something else, so don't put on like a half hour show on the TV to do your engagement while you're sort of watching it because unless you, I mean if you are somebody who can focus on the show and also like leave thoughtful comments how about it you do you, I am definitely not that person okay, if I've got a show on I'm watching the show and then I'm just sort of scrolling and liking, I'm not actually doing kind of useful engagement, I'm definitely not leaving thoughtful comments, so I tend to say try to not be doing other stuff so that you can actually focus for that amount of time and it is time better spent, shall we say. So yeah try setting a timer. Another thing you can do if you are worried about the speed with which you are replying to DMs, comments, stuff like that, is to actually include the information of when you will be checking in on those things in your bio or even in as almost a signature on the bottom of your posts. So if you are conscious that you are not on social media every day, maybe you check in on a Monday and a Friday, maybe you check in on a Tuesday and a Thursday, maybe you never check in at the weekends, maybe you only check in at the weekends. If you're somebody who feels conscious about that and who feels like "well people are going to send me a DM and they're just not going to get anything back or they're going to reply, they're going to leave a comment on my post and I'm not going to reply for a couple of days and they're going to think that I don't care about their comment," if that is your thought process it is absolutely fine to put just a little note automatically even on the bottom of all your posts, if you're using a scheduling system you should be able to do this really easily, or you can just have a thing that you copy and paste and whack on the end of any captions that says "I check in and reply to comments and DMs on this day, or between these hours," or whatever it is, or put it in your bio and set up an auto responder for your DMs and messages that says that, because that tends to be the sticking point for a lot of people is like people don't know and if people don't know when you're checking in it can feel really scary to just not reply to those comments, but if they know, if there's a note that says like "hey, I only scroll on Instagram on Tuesdays between seven and half seven," then they know, so now you don't need to stress out about it, you don't need to feel bad about it. You don't need to feel bad about it anyway but I am also aware a lot of people do, so that is another way that you can do that around engagement. Another place that I recommend you having boundaries around social media is what you post, especially with Stories and a lot of behind the scenes content becoming really really popular, the push for authenticity, which is great, I am team authenticity. Authentic authenticity, not like Instagram authenticity, that's a whole other discussion! It can be really easy to get swept up and to think "oh everybody is sharing their family holiday photos, maybe I should do that. Everybody's sharing their trip to the beach, everybody is talking about their mental health, everybody's talking about their physical health, everybody is sharing their political views." If you are not comfortable sharing those things, you need to decide in advance, and this is something I say to every client I work with, before you start posting anything figure out what you are and are not comfortable sharing, and that can also mean talking to the people in your life because maybe you are comfortable sharing stories about your kids or your partner or your friends but maybe they're not comfortable with it and you have to respect their boundaries as well, so it is really helpful to have those chats with the people who might be featuring on your social media and also with yourself and make a list, if you are a list person, put it in your content planner if you have one. Have something somewhere where you can refer to so that when a something becomes really popular or you start feeling pressured to post about that because people are asking you about it, or because everybody else is doing it, or it's in the news, or it's whatever, you can refer to that and go "no, this is not something that I am prepared to post about, this is not something that I feel comfortable sharing so I'm not going to do it," because once it's out there the internet is forever, even if you delete it somebody could have screenshot it, it might be somewhere so it is much much much much better to err on the side of less. So if you are not sure how much of your mental health story you want to share, err on the side of not sharing much at all because you can't take it back. You can always open up more as you maybe start to feel more confident, as you start to feel more able and happy and comfortable sharing those things you can always share more but you can't, there is no like undo button on the putting stuff out there! So please please please have an idea of what you are and are not happy sharing and make it a list, make it a tangible thing that you can check in with so that when you feel that pressure you can look and go "look now, I committed to not posting about these things because it is not comfortable for me," because there are so many times that people get swept up in the moment, they get swept up in maybe it's a really important thing that's going on, that's trending, that there's a hashtag, everybody's getting involved talking about it, maybe it's something that you recognize is a really really important conversation that really really needs to happen, and then people post about it and then a day later, a week later, they feel so vulnerable and so upset and so scared and just so not happy that they did that, it really is not worth it, it is much much better to not post that thing. If you want to you can write the post and maybe future you will feel in a better place and be able to talk about that, great! You don't have to post it, and it can be really helpful to have a list of some descriptions so you can check in with your previous selves and go "okay, but we arranged not to talk about this stuff because it makes us feel not great, it doesn't feel good for us so we're not going to mention that." So they are sort of three little quick tips for you with setting boundaries around your social media. I would love to know what boundaries you have around social media so do let me know. If you would like help figuring out what your boundaries are around social media or indeed just sticking to them, because it can be tough, I would love to see you in Social Media for Humans Club which is a membership for small business owners helping you do social media in a way that works for you. You can also support the podcast on Patreon where you will get early access to the episodes. Follow me on social media for more tips and stuff, all the links will be in the show notes, and take care of yourself.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.