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How to Use Social Media for Work and Play Without it Ruining Your Life

Image of Abigail Gleason
Abigail Gleason

A thriving company that doesn’t have an active social media presence is practically unheard of these days. When done well, there’s often a full-blown content strategy complete with keyword research, content clusters, and even mood boards behind a brand’s social media presence. 

While being able to connect with customers, keep up with the latest industry news, and see what other businesses are up to locally and globally all from one central hub is an amazing opportunity, social media can quickly start to feel all-consuming when you throw your personal social media use on top of that. After all, mixing business with pleasure is almost never advisable.

Finding your social media work-life balance

For social marketers, social media isn’t just a distraction from “real life.” It’s a set of tools and a vital set at that. However, it can become quite the time-suck if we’re not careful. Add keeping up on your personal accounts to the mix, and it’s downright overwhelming. Here are a few methods you can incorporate to help you strike the right balance for your personal and professional social media screentime.

Boundaries > Burnout

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sick and tired of hearing about how much time we all spend online and how it’s the reason the sky is falling around us and yada-yada-yada. Here’s the thing, folks: social media isn’t going anywhere, and if we keep fighting it, we’re just sweeping a dirt floor. In fact, some of us have jobs that require us to spend more time online than the average user. Does this mean we’re doomed to become screen-addicted, stuttering zombies who lose all real-life skills? Doubtful. So let’s all simmer down, folks.

Planning ahead.

Think back to a time when you were writing papers as a student. Which was easier? Starting with a blank page and writing the whole thing from scratch or spending time on an outline and filling it in accordingly?

Sure, social media should be authentic, organic, and current, but that doesn’t mean it has to be messy, scattered, or random. Plan a strategy for how often you’d like to post, what you’d like to post about, and how you’d like to engage your audience around those topics ahead of time.

Just say “no,” kids.

It’s so, so hard sometimes. Setting boundaries sounds simple but often proves more difficult to execute than we like to admit. This applies to both your personal social media accounts and business accounts. Social media management can quickly get out of hand if you’re nonchalantly scrolling without keeping an eye on the clock. Consider setting timers or blocking out specific times each day during which you can check in without falling into a total time suck.

Make robots do the work.

But not all of it. Just some of it.

Use tools like Later (a personal favorite if you also need the feature), Hubspot Social, and Buffer (a true OG and a keeper, IMO) to keep track of all of your accounts in one place. Scheduling posts ahead of time, crunching numbers, and finding the best hashtags are just a few of the most useful things you can do with the right social media management software. You can even invest in options that allow you to analyze and engage with mentions, comments, and conversations all from one dashboard.

Now, while I don’t think we’re all doomed to fall into a social media pit of despair, I do believe the research that tells us social media has a pretty significant impact on our mental health, particularly when we spend too much time scrolling, comparing, double-tapping and the like. So, what does this mean for folks who work with social media for professional purposes? It means we need to choose balance over burnout. Making better use of our time on social media reducing the overall amount of time we need to spend managing social media shouldn’t feel too different from the boundaries we set between work and play in the rest of our lives.

At the end of the day, the less time you spend on social media, the more time you have for the other 3,492,384,028 (you know, approximately) things you need to do today.

For more nerdy marketing insights (and mediocre life advice...just kidding...sort of), check out Nu’s marketing blog.

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