It’s tempting to try to go into complete overdrive when you need to grow your social media channels isn’t it?
I am a repeat offender of ‘Blank Page Syndrome: The Jekyll and Hyde variant’. Rather than finding a blank page intimidating and overwhelming, as is the case for many creatives, I love nothing more than filling that blank page up with hopes and dreams and plans that end up funnelling every moment of my life into a well-meaning but micro-managed, exhausting array of never ending tasks.
Over and over again, I’ve had to learn that even the most beautifully laid plans are no good to you if they’re unsustainable.
We have to remember we’re only human, and that it’s far more effective – and less likely to burn us out – if we keep things simple and play into habits we’ve already formed.
So let’s make pact right now. Let’s reach our social media goals in sensible, sanity-saving ways by building small but sustainable habits, ok?
Try these to keep on trucking down the road of success:
Make comfortable social media plans
I think you probably know this one but it bears repeating:
Work out what you need to do to reach your goals, but pace and manage the actions you’re going to take. Set yourself a realistic deadline too.
What I mean is, you need to work out all the tasks you need to complete for each action point then plan them over an amount of time that feels comfortable and reasonably easy to achieve. I don’t want to see ANY plans to reach out to 100 people per week for three months or to post using every feature of Instagram five days a week for the rest of the year. Choose a couple of actions to complete and give yourself time to build them up.
This’ll leave you with a manageable to do list and give you an opportunity to take consistent actions that don’t cause you daily anguish.
Use the 1% strategy
If you have trouble judging how long an action takes in real terms (too often I’ve given myself 30 mins to complete a job that easily took four hours… sigh) you might be better off NOT scheduling or time-blocking your daily tasks.
Instead you could take more of a free-flowing approach and simply make a conscious decision to take yourself 1% closer to your goal each day through one small action that feels right. You don’t need to define what 1% looks like, which is strangely comforting and can really help overcome mental blocks or brain fog.
Granted, this strategy isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re a very keen planner. But if you naturally rebel against time management or prefer working with your natural flow of creativity/focus, this low-pressure concept can be really helpful because you haven’t given yourself tight parameters. You just know where you’re going and are going to move that needle a little more every day.
Leave 3-5 outreach comments per day
I’m talking specifically about engaging with other accounts through comments here, which is a key way to grow your social media channels organically.
If you set yourself a goal to leave comments on an outrageous amount of posts every day, it’s not going to work. It’s too time consuming and you’ve got a million other things to do in a day – not least answer the comments on your own posts.
More importantly, if you’re forcing conversations with anyone and everyone you can find in your sector and you’re not genuinely interested in their content, that’s exactly what’s going to come across. It’s wasted time and energy if people are turned off by disingenuous conversation starters, so do everyone a favour and stick to a small but meaningful number of outreach comments per day/week/whatever you’ve decided.
Some days you’ll have way more to talk about and that’s fine. Just put authenticity before arbitrary comment targets.
Stick to your content schedule
It is frigging unbelievable how many times I’ve promised myself I’ll stick to a simple content schedule – like one newsfeed posts and three stories a week, for example – just to be overcome by self doubt and insecurity around my decision and panic-post one month of beautifully planned social content in a week.
Why do we do it?! Why?!
I don’t know yet how to keep that sense of panic at bay, but I do know it doesn’t serve any of us.
Stick to your guns and that sustainable schedule you’ve created – it’ll give you room to build consistency and the content will work harder for you that way.
Set specific social media check-in times
An oldie but a goodie!
I can’t stress enough how social media scrolling and not being mindful about the time you’re spending on social media platforms will suck up all that time you’d put aside for content planning, content creation, networking, etc. But this is a habit you need to build – resisting the temptation to scroll endlessly has to be learnt.
So start today – schedule in a finite amount of time to check your social media channels and be strict with yourself. You won’t believe how much more productive it makes you.