Responding to the "digital detox" trend: Your Mental Health As A Social Media Marketer
We live in an age where taking breaks from your computer or phone aren’t just common, they’re celebrated. What does that mean for people who work in an industry reliant on people using their devices?
Here at Vult Lab, we know how important it is to step away every once in awhile from your screens. There are numerous benefits such as breaking the ‘social comparison’ cycle, improving your overall mood, gaining more free time, and reconnecting with the real world. Then, we can come back feeling refreshed and happy when we use our social media again, remembering the good things about it and how it improves our lives!
Here are some practical ways you, as a social media marketer, can help those who are considering detoxing because of the anxiety social media is bringing people today:
Don’t force your audience into information overload.
One of the most influential aspects of social media which is driving away users (especially the generations which grew up with social media to begin with), is feeling like they are constantly ingesting branding. A social media user choosing to go through a digital detox is equivalent to older generations channel-surfing during commercials; humans get intolerant of advertising if advertisers come off as relentless, uncaring, and aggressive.
Our tip for you: Make your brand or company’s social media a space for something other than your product or service. Nobody wants to be bombarded with ads. Find ways to post about topics related to your brand that aren’t your money-making source with a focus on empathy, personability, and humor.
Also, don’t post incessantly. Nobody likes it when they see five posts in a row from the same account because they have no patience to schedule ahead!
Make your socials positive and optimistic.
In an article entitled “Why we millennials are happy to be free of social media tyranny”, Rupen G. Kalsi writes on how the “tech entrepreneur Sean Parker, one of the pioneers of Facebook, admitted the site was designed to keep people hooked in a ‘social validation feedback loop’ that consumes ‘as much of your time and conscious energy as possible’.”
Who wants to feel like social media has that effect on us? Nobody. We need to focus on the positives such as boosting confidence and connections (see image).
Our tip for you: It is our job and duty as social media marketers to highlight the good social media does for the world. It has so much power for positive influence and change and we need to remind our audiences of that. So, we have to make our socials a place of positivity, a space free of social obligation, pressure, anxiety, or unhappiness. Curate those posts with these intentions!
Realize the true nature of detoxes.
There are two inherent facets of a detox: temporariness and opportunism.
These social media detoxes are not going to be permanent—social media marketers, have no fear! You will still have a job influencing the world in a positive way! People take breaks from social media because it is healthy for their mind. It does not mean people are going to stop using the social internet because, deep down, everyone knows how great it is; sometimes we just need some time away to remind ourselves of that.
Our tip for you: Take a deep breath! Your audience isn’t going to fly away into space because of this boost in mental health awareness. Be happy your audience has agency over their internet and phone usage and give them a virtual high five! Use this time instead to reflect on your brand and company—if people are stepping away from their phones and computers, how can you use this as an opportunity to be with audiences IRL!?
We know, crazy thought, right!?
Consider hosting an event or meet-and-greet in your area or signing up to speak or table at a conference. Meet up for coffee with those influencers on Twitter you’ve been meaning to actually meet face-to-face for the past year. Make those pixels a reality!
Ultimately, we need to remind ourselves as social media marketers that our audiences are people too—they are not just likes and follows on the other side of the digital void.
We live in a new age of the internet and social media. We have to adapt, for the sake of our followers! Consider the digital detox trend as a wake up call to your social channels and advertising strategies. Change them for the better.