Underlying Causes Of Social Media Burn-Out

Showing up on social media is feeling exhausting? I feel you! I’ve been you, I am you. It’s not uncommon to have periods of social media burnout. Sometimes it just takes having a little break, and coming back rejuvenated. But if you’re finding yourself stuck in the loop of hiding, coming back, posting a little, then quickly feeling overwhelmed and anxious to show up again… aaaand then you go back into hiding? Maybe you scroll a little and silently watch everyone else killing it on social. Which causes you to further spiral into self-doubt and blame yourself for just not being cut out for it. This is a sign of a deeper problem. 

And it’s not going to be fixed by just taking a little break. This loop needs to be broken. Because life and the time you have to spend working in your business is far too precious to be wasting it doom-scrolling. And posting whatever just to please the gods of the algorithm. 

Here are some places to look for the root of your problem and the ways to solve it:

Your marketing strategy is misaligned.

Let me address one of the most common issues that plague creatives and business owners these days. And that’s the weight we place on social media in the first place. I know that between Instagram, TikTok, Threads… and whatever other app gets thrown our way by the tech giants, it feels like there’s this huge pressure to be on social media, or we’ll miss out on all these potential clients and customers who could see our work. 

But is social media actually where you get most of your leads? Do you naturally enjoy creating content for it? Is it actually a space you like to use to connect with people? Because if it’s not ticking these boxes, perhaps it’s time to put more of your marketing eggs in a different basket and either reduce your social media goals or ditch it alltogether? Social media is definitely not the only way to get business, and there are plenty of successful creatives and entrepreneurs building their audience and getting sales without relying on it.

You’re lacking clarity in your brand strategy.

If you’re not really sure of who you are, what you stand for, the purpose and mission of your brand overall, then of course you’re going to struggle showing up on social media. Plenty of people will tell you to just show up and “be authentic.” But authenticity is not a brand strategy. To be authentic you still need to know who you actually are and what your brand is here to do. You also need to know who the people are you’re trying to attract and connect with. And maybe the issue is that you’ve grown and changed, and so has your brand. But it’s not translating into the way you’re showing up on social media, and so you’re struggling to get the results you actually want. And quickly end up disheartened. 

Go back to your brand foundations, such as your brand story, your why, your own personality and vibe, your values and mission, your ideal client avatar, market positioning, your unique selling point. Get really clear on these and use them to guide what you create and how you show up on social media.

You’re creating content without a strategy to support it.

You’re not sure when and how to show up. You’re running out of time, busy with other work, so you just end up skipping social media for the day. When you finally make time to post the next day, you find yourself staring at a blinking cursor, unsure of what to say. So you don’t post again. And every time you sit down to create content ahead of time, you end up questioning all the ideas you have, and just getting nowhere. So you skip posting and end up scrolling instead. Or have another unintentional two month break. This is where you need to work on creating a structure and content plan that works for you and gives you a clear purpose for showing up. It doesn’t have to mean showing up every day. Be realistic with your capacity and energy, create a structure that supports you, rather than restricts you. 

If you’re struggling with ideas, then go back to your brand strategy and get really clear on who you’re trying to speak to on your social media. Think of your social media as a tasting menu of all that you and your work are about. What is the overall message of your brand? What are the common experiences and values you and your ICA share? What benefits do your products, services or art bring to your people? What are your own personal interests or passions? Pull common themes that help your ICA understand and connect with you and your work better. And start creating content around these.

You don’t have enough consistent and aligned brand visuals.

I do not believe that you need a perfectly curated social media account to do well. But it’s really hard to create content consistently, especially content you’re both proud of and excited by without having some visual guidelines and on-brand assets at your disposal. You don’t have to be extremely skilled at design or photography, although if this is really not something you’re good at or enjoy then it’s definitely worth starting to save up and invest in some help. It will save you so much time and money than trying to figure this out on your own in the long run. If you really can’t make hiring a pro designer, photographer or videographer a priority in you budget right now – that’s OK. Don’t let that stop you from creating something yourself or finding some low budget, or even free resources to pull from. 

First, you need to nail down a clear visual style. Then make some time to create simple graphics you can repurpose time and time again (you can use Canva – it’s free). Or buy a pack of graphics that fit your vibe on Creative Marketplace, or Etsy. And as you go about your days, start taking some some lifestyle, behind the scenes images and videos. Or pull some content from free stock image sites. And if you need more talking to camera style content, then schedule in time for batch creating these. Having a pool of content regularly updated and ready to pull from will really help you when you need something for your insta stories, reels or tiktok. 

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These are the main issues that tend to lead to a difficult relationship with social media. But if you feel like you’ve got your brand and marketing strategy nailed down. You know exactly who you are, what you have to offer and you can talk about it for days. If you’ve also got some incredible visuals and a solid plan to put them to use, but you’re still finding social media overwhelming and exhausting. Then maybe what you need is a simpler tweak in your approach to social media. 

You’re creating for the algorithm.

If you’re feeling deflated by how your content performs after you’ve put so much effort into it – you’re thinking too much about numbers. And not enough about the humans on the other side of the screen. Put the social back in your social media. Start engaging more and creating for your people, not the numbers. It doesn’t matter if a post doesn’t “perform” well in numeral metrics, the metrics that really matter should be whether the content you share was from the heart, and impacted at least one person today in some way. It can be as simple as making them smile or feel seen. The algorithm doesn’t care, but your people do. Show up for them.

You need to create healthier social media boundaries.

Unfollow everyone that doesn’t make you feel good, inspired, empowered and excited. Remove those random people from your past or personal life from your following, the one you feel really weird having there. If the thought of what that girl you were friends with in high school, or your aunt watching will think of you, is what’s holding you back from sharing your work – they don’t need to be there.

Set times for your social media engagement and content creation. And stop the scroll outside of that. If you’re blaming lack of time for why you’re not posting more, but you’re sat there scrolling – time isn’t your issue. It’s how you’re using your time. Stop scrolling. Start creating. No shame in that – I’m guilty of this too! It’s how these apps are built, but we can take back out personal power when we notice this. And leave your phone out of your bedroom – it will do your mental health wonders, when it’s not there to reach for first thing in the morning. I also love to put it in a drawer and always keep it on silent so I can focus on my work without the temptation to have a little scroll break.

You’re looking for inspiration in the wrong places.

Scrolling your feed isn’t going to inspire your most original ideas. Living your life, immersing yourself in your work will. As will actually speaking to fellow creatives, business owners or your ideal clients. So if you’re looking for inspiration on social, pay attention to the conversations you’re having. Or the conversations that aren’t being had, but should be! And if you’re stuck for ideas, go for a walk, get outside, start moving, allow for some blank space in your life and let your mind wander. My best ideas come when I’m moving my body, not when I’m starting at my phone. Maybe you get yours in the shower, or whilst you’re watching a movie. Start paying attention to that and keep a handy notepad or pull your phone up on the go to jot your ideas down. So you can pull from a list of drafts and notes whenever you’re stuck for what to post.

If you want to feel confident and excited when you show up on social media. If you want a strategy that helps you create content and engage with your community, in ways that work for you, your business and your life. Then The Aligned Brand Course is for you. I don’t do cookie-cutter strategies, so through this course you’ll learn how to create an aligned social media strategy that helps you tap into your natural gifts and connect more deeply with your audience. So you can bring the passion and purpose back into your social sphere.