Social media managers are the unsung heroes behind the screens, juggling multiple platforms, campaigns, and audience engagements simultaneously. While it’s their job to be the social media champions for their clients or brands, they often forget to champion their own well-being.
I worked in social media before it was even a real job, so I’ve followed trends and the career trajectory of people in my field for a while. Whether a social media manager is marketing directly to consumers or working in B2B, everyone says the same thing: it’s hard. ROI is hard to quantify, trends come and go, budgets are hard to come by, and one thing remains the same: the work never stops!
Here’s your permission to take a break, unplug, and ignore social media periodically. Here’s why.
The Social Media Manager’s Dilemma
Social media managers live and breathe the digital realm, overseeing content creation, monitoring engagement, analyzing metrics, and staying ahead of trends. According to Adweek, this relentless pressure can lead to a concerning issue—burnout. Adweek’s data reveals that many social media professionals experience burnout within one to three months of their roles.
According to a Q1 2023 Sprout pulse survey, more than half of social media professionals are either experiencing burnout or have experienced it within one to three months.
Burnout Is Real
Adweek’s data underscores that burnout among social media managers is a real concern. The ever-increasing demands and the “always-on” nature of the job can result in physical and mental exhaustion. Constantly being “plugged in” can disrupt sleep patterns, impact mental health, and strain personal relationships. Regular breaks are essential for preventing and alleviating this burnout, as the data suggests it can occur alarmingly early in a social media manager’s career.
Declining Creativity and Innovation
Creativity is the lifeblood of social media, and it’s easy for social media managers to feel creatively drained when they’re always online. Over time, this can result in stagnant content, decreased engagement, and a failure to keep up with evolving trends. As Adweek’s findings indicate, social media manager burnout can significantly hinder their ability to innovate and maintain creative excellence. A break from the digital world can reignite their creative spark, leading to fresh ideas and more impactful campaigns.
Maintaining a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Adweek’s data aligns with the assertion that social media managers often find themselves working beyond their official hours. This overextension, as the report highlights, can harm their overall well-being. Taking breaks from social media allows them to reclaim their personal time and maintain a healthier work-life balance, which is crucial for long-term career satisfaction and mental health.
Rediscovering Real-Life Connections
As social media managers immerse themselves in the virtual world, they may inadvertently neglect their real-life connections. Adweek’s findings highlight the importance of this issue, emphasizing that burnout can isolate individuals from their support networks. Stepping away from screens can help rekindle these connections and lead to a more balanced and satisfying existence.
Mental Health Matters
The constant pressure to perform on social media can increase stress and anxiety, especially if your job demands being on top of evolving social trends. Social media managers must prioritize their mental health, and taking breaks is a crucial aspect of self-care. Disconnecting from the online world, even temporarily, can provide a much-needed mental respite and help prevent the alarming rates of burnout. Go for a walk, read a book, just don’t pick up your phone to fill the void. Doomscrolling is a very real thing.
Stepping away from social media can boost productivity when social media managers return to their roles. Regular breaks can clear the mind, reduce decision fatigue, and improve focus, all of which are vital for maintaining high productivity. This renewed mental energy can result in more efficient work, better strategic planning, and tremendous success in your role. Need some inspiration? Here’s how NISM Social Media Strategists take breaks from social and the benefit they get from doing so.
In the fast-paced world of social media management, it’s easy to get caught up in the never-ending stream of content and engagement. However, neglecting your own well-being can have serious consequences. Taking breaks from social media is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. It invests in your mental health, creativity, and overall effectiveness as a social media manager. So, remember to log out, unplug, and recharge. Your career and your well-being depend on it.
If you want to join a community of like-minded industry experts, consider becoming a certified Social Media Strategist! The community is invaluable to any social marketer’s career journey – from experienced to novice.
Author: Patricia Diaz
Patricia Diaz has over sixteen years of B2B and B2C marketing experience and is currently Global LT’s Vice President of Marketing. Her expertise is building marketing systems from scratch that has a positive ROI on the business. Her passions include social media, baking, and raising her children to be kind. She currently resides in Chattanooga, TN, although she will forever consider herself a New Yorker. Patricia holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Wingate University and an Associates Degree from the Restaurant School of Manhattan in Pastry Arts.