How to switch off from social media when your job is to be switched on? 0 3049

When was the last time you heard that, if you truly care about your mental health, you should stay off social media? With Instagram alone commanding 1 Billion users per month, it is easier said than done, of course. And for some people, like content creators, journalists, and digital campaign managers, being ‘in the loop’ is an extension of their daily jobs – even over the weekends – and we all have bills to pay, one way or another.

Take Instagram, for example. Since its launch in 2010 its picture-perfect grids have been linked to anxiety and depression, and the popularity of social networks, as a whole, have been questioned even by those that have a digital DNA. Last year a study conducted by marketing agency Hill Holiday found that 41% of generation Z, the most socially savvy generation made of those born in 1994 and later, were quitting major social media platforms because it is actually making them unhappy.

As a journalist and content creator myself, I have been working with brands and publicationsfor a while now and I have seen how unbalanced that relationship with social media can be. So, I went out there and asked professionals who make a living from being constantly connected and informed, how they find the balance between the content-thirsty online world and staying sane –  and how they manage to, eventually, switch off.

Get yourself organized

“I switch off by setting limits around how much time I am going to spend on my phone. That is not just for social media, but technology in general. I haven’t mindlessly scrolled in a while and I actually rarely engage with people’s accounts or follow them unless they are my closest friends. And yes, there have been times where it has been too much and I have forgotten to prioritize my mental health. That being said, I think social media has the potential to be an amazing platform to learn, to get information and be connected/inspired in ways I could not otherwise. I lacked role models growing up and many of the individuals I follow on social media have significantly impacted my life for the better. The key is just being mindful and aware of HOW and WHAT you engage with. I also switch off from social media and instead connect with REAL people; this will always be better than any online presence.

From a content creator’s perspective, the best thing to avoid social media burnout is to be efficient and produce many photos ahead of time, including shooting and editing, so that you don’t feel under pressure. I always have 25+ photos ready to go as backups so that way I can take breaks and still maintain a consistent presence on social media.”

Caleb Spiro – Influencer, Mental health advocate and creator of the #StrongerSelf podcast

Say bye to notifications

“I found myself getting too caught up in the numbers of likes, numbers, and followers. So sometimes I do take a little break. Right now, I’m not on Instagram too much on Fridays and Saturdays and I think a lot of people are starting to do the same! The weekend is usually centered around family and friends, so I want to be present rather than just staring at a screen. Of course, I have met so many wonderful people online and I love talking to them through IG — it can be such a great source to connect with like-minded people. However, you have to find that balance if you are finding yourself checking your notifications in your real-time.”

I switch off from social media by not allowing notifications to show on my phone — from Instagram to Facebook (which I actually deleted), and recently my email too! I used to have them on because I always felt the need to be “on” and respond right away, but I quickly got overwhelmed by the number of notifications and all the buzzing. The other major thing I do is that I set my phone to “do not disturb” starting at 10:30 pm and ending at 7:30 am! So, I take quite a few precautions because, over the years, I found myself just getting really distracted with my online life when there was an amazing real-life happening in front of me. It also kind of took my creativity and headspace away because I was so distracted.”

Hana Brannigan – Travel and mental health influencer

Put your phone away consciously

My Instagram account has been growing very fast since I started creating and posting content every day. Suddenly I got a lot of attention and, with it, external pressure increases. Because Instagram is almost like a full-time job, you always have to post and be active, so your numbers don’t drop. However, if you are not careful it can definitely influence you mentally. I found that taking time for yourself without your phone and putting it away consciously on a regular basis can be very helpful; enjoy moments with friends and family and have good conversations. The best thing to do is to not look at your phone in the morning, go for a workout and be productive offline first, instead.

Paul Pasytsch – Content creator and fitness model

Know your priorities

“When important deadlines approach academically, I naturally limit my time on social media however, never go cold turkey as I believe it will mess with the Instagram algorithm and stop your momentum. To find a balance I go to the gym and use that break as a time to be plugged only into my favorite music and focus on the present while going through my workout”.

Sergio Wynne – content creator

Be aware of who you follow

“My best tip to avoid social media burnout, especially if you use it as a platform for business growth and networking, is to make sure you set boundaries for when to be consuming and creating content, and to decide ahead of time how much time you will spend doing those activities. One rule I like to try to implement is to never spend more time consuming than I do create content. I also like to take one day off most weeks from creating and consuming content.

I have definitely had moments of feeling overwhelmed from social media. This past winter I deleted Instagram off of my phone for about a week and it was really refreshing. I honestly didn’t miss it and felt much more connected to my emotions and the people I was with. I think it’s an incredibly valuable platform, but it’s also addictive and it’s important to be conscious of that and take breaks when it becomes too much.

Another tip is to unfollow/mute anyone who is not adding positive value to your life. Once you “follow” someone, you really have very limited control of what and when they will pop up on your newsfeed and what emotions that might bring up for you. If you find yourself feeling bad, unhappy, upset, or like you are in a constant competition to someone you follow, it might be time to clean the house”.

Emily Louise – Online Entrepreneur, health and fitness expert.

Temporarily delete social apps

“To switch off from social media I just put my phone away and do something with my friends in the real world. I am studying to be a teacher and once when Instagram got to a point that became too much during my exams and it started to disrupt me, I made the decision to delete the app for a whole month. “

Florian Whitewalker – Model and content creator

Think before posting

“I don’t think I have ever got to a specific point where I have had to absolutely take a day or week off of Instagram or any social media channel. I realized I needed to make a change when I began attending events for bloggers/ influencers and I found myself scrolling through my own Instagram page to see how others were expecting me to be. This was a turning point for me. If I was having to look at my own social media pages to see how I should show up, I needed to make a change with how I used that platform.

So, rather than taking time off social media altogether, I decided to take more time to find myself. Instead of sitting on the couch scrolling, I would go for a walk or write. I needed to find a new way to show up online as myself – not with what would receive the most likes.

To most people’s surprise, I actually don’t spend much time on social media anymore. I always ask myself “why” every time I open an app. Am I posting something I am proud of? Am I getting on to look at content that will inspire and encourage me? If I find that I am only getting on because I am bored, or want to check the performance of a post, I step back.

I try not to check social media within the first hour of waking up. This helps to get my day started without distractions and to keep you focused on the tasks that are ahead. For me, spending that first hour planning out the day, connecting with myself, and easing into it all, truly helped my mental health for the better. And if social media is beginning to make me feel insecure, I immediately exit.”

Hannah Neese – Lifestyle Blogger

Conclusion: The key is to find a balance that works for you that helps clear up your headspace a bit for other things like being in the moment or being able to be creative.

#InfluencerMarketing #SocialMedia #ContentCreators

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Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, speaker and a Content Producer working with brands and publications in the UK and Latin America.

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10 Tested Instagram Engagement Hacks for Your Business 0 73

By now, you probably know the basic rules of Instagram when it comes to posting content that will get seen: pay attention to what time your posts goes live; carefully curate images to grab the attention of those who are scrolling down their overcrowded feed; post often but don’t bombard people with 380 pieces of content over the weekend. Good, we are on the same page, then.

However, as you invest more time and resources into creating a professional and engaging Instagram for your business, you may realise that, very often, you have to do more than simply publish content and expect it to perform at any level.

You then have two choices:

The most popular one is to blame the ever-changing algorithm of the Facebook-owned platform, who are currently boosting over one billion monthly active users – after all, it is hard to keep track of so many changes and to compete with a sea of content being posted every second.

Your second choice is to work hard and not be afraid of using any legal hack that can help your content and your brand to shine.

It could be that you use a little trick, such as adding stickers to your Instagram Stories; 83% of the time Stories which utilise stickers to enhance storytelling outperform those that don’t use stickers. Or maybe what will work better for you is to reach out to between five and 10 micro-influencers, within your niche, and work closely with them by creating a series of tips that can be shared across both channels: your brand and theirs.

It is never too late to learn one or two new social media hacks. Here, 10 professionals share their experience and Instagram tips to help you reach a wider audience and harvest organic engagement.

 

1. Engage before you post

“You can support the spread and reach of your content by warming up your audience. So, just before you post, go on an engagement spree. If you’re planning to put something out at a specific time, before you hit publish, spend some time engaging with other people’s content. They will all then receive notifications saying that you liked their post, commented on their post, or responded to their story.  They’re reminded of you and then it’s likely they’ll visit your profile and see the brand-new content that you’ve just posted.”

Jodie Cook – entrepreneur and author of Instagram Rules.

 

2. Use polls to trigger engagement

“Regardless of whether you have the swipe up feature or not, the most helpful feature for engagement is polls. People want to feel like they’re heard, even if the poll is funny (e.g. settle the argument once and for all – tacos or burritos?). This also gives you more content to post, within stories, by sharing the results.

I have found that, by doing this, regardless of the size of your audience, people are engaged and are more likely to keep watching your stories. IG sees this as engagement and will bump your posts up in their feed.”

Carmen Smith – DIY Home Decor Blogger at www.livingletterhome.com

 

3. Properly curating your Story Highlights 

“Story Highlights are a great way of presenting your brand’s message. They can be accessed any time and, if you’re smart about it, you can curate them so visitors see exactly what you want them to see, in the correct order. For better results, strategize when creating your content. Plan a Highlights album from the very beginning, and upload in the order you want it to be seen, with the most relevant content being uploaded last. That way, anyone viewing the album will get the best content right at the beginning, as it’s often rare for people to go all the way to the end of an album.”

Jennifer Walden – Director of Operations at online marketplace WikiLawn Lawn Care

 

4. Show up on Stories

“You need to prioritise showing up on Stories in 2020. They are the first thing people see when they log into Instagram and they want to know your personality, be you an employee, a content creator or a brand. Stories are also binge-able – meaning you start watching the first one and can easily get carried away and watch them all. Keep in mind that, nowadays, tons of people only watch stories and rarely scroll their Instagram feed – unless they see a feed post shared in Stories. So, don’t forget to share your feed posts to Stories as another way of increasing your reach”

Sílvia Pinho – Social Media Manager and VA Coach

Marcio Delgado – Instagram Hacks for business 2020

Adding stickers to your Instagram Stories will make it perform 83% better

5. Create a customized hashtag

“Besides using relevant hashtags, aligned with a specific niche, businesses need to have their own customized hashtag representative of their brand identity. This hashtag should be used in all their posts. This also enables them and their followers to easily access relevant posts.”

Sandy & Vyjay Rao – travel bloggers at www.imvoyager.com

 

6. Engage with followers of similar brands

“One of the most important parts of your Instagram content strategy should involve building a solid relationship with an online community, and thereby growing that community exponentially. This means spending some time every day connecting with potential customers by liking and commenting on their posts with genuine, thoughtful comments. You can find these future customers by exploring hashtags related to your business as well as engaging with the followers of similar brands. Remember that 80% of Instagram’s 1+ billion active users also follow brands, so be genuine and consistent with your communications and you’ll find your community flourishing.”

Ellie Pritts – Chief Creative Officer at www.supermassivesocial.com

 

7. Be creative while researching topics

“Figure out what your target audience wants to know by researching top viewed videos on Youtube, related to your industry, and make great content around that. At the end of the day, you should produce content for the followers that you want to eventually convert to a customer, so make sure you regularly deliver entertaining and valuable content that your followers will care about”.

Tanner Chidester – Entrepreneur and Founder of Elite CEOs 

 

8. Be consistent during transitions

“To keep an Instagram business account relevant and engaging you to need to be consistent with what people followed you for. For example, someone who followed a business for food-related content does not want to see tech posts. If your business decides to transition to a different niche, expect changes in followers’ behaviour in the short term; engagement will get lower and people may unfollow. New followers will join you for the new niche, as long as you remain consistent with this new niche with what you post. If necessary, have more than one account so you can stay consistent and highly targeted – it is easier to plan posts for two completely different niche accounts than trying to please an audience that is too broad with the same content calendar.”

Raymond Cua – full-time blogger and founder of Travellingfoodie.net

 

9. Leverage your own network first

“I would say one hack when building your brand and audience is to start with your own network. Transition back to the basics and look at your personal network. Ask the individuals of your network to share your brand’s social media page and account with their own followers and network. If you ask 50 people to do this and they share with 50 people each, your reach can grow at an immense rate… The main takeaway from this is consistency. Replicating this process, and then going outside your personal network to embrace new potential followers and community members, will allow you to reach and engage with new audiences organically. The key is to then prove to them why they should come back for more. You can do this successfully by having your network tell you what they want to see and what they find interesting. By implementing this basic step into your strategy you can grow daily, with growth visible right from the start. Stories are a good place to organically find and collect this information too because the responses come directly from your audience. It’s all about giving your audience exactly what they hope to see from you.”

Jessica Armstrong – PR and Social Media Manager at www.cuddlynest.com

 

10. Create audience habits

“To keep your Instagram business accounts relevant and engaging, always use Stories as the behind the scenes of your business. Post multiple slides throughout the day and include one thing that you do everyday repetitive daily feature, so you can maintain consistency (e.g. a morning drink at your office or your to-do list as a story slide). This helps people feel like they are along for the journey with you. Based on this, your followers will often return because they feel more connected to business growth.”

Chelsea Clark – Co-Founder of influencer marketing platform momfluence.co

How to use Instagram’s support small business sticker and Messenger Rooms 0 88

Last month Instagram added a “Support Small Business” sticker to Stories, allowing users to highlight their favourite small businesses – most of them, around the world, is currently closed due to COVID-19 lockdown measures and trading restrictions.

With the newsticker, anyone can mention a small business they are passionate about, specifically through giving their followers a preview of the account. When people use the sticker their story will be added to a shared Instagram story; so, their followers can see it, along with other businesses that people they follow are supporting.

This is a great way to help businesses reach new customers and stay connected to the people they serve.

Businesses and influencers can also use the sticker to support other entrepreneurs in their community but tagging and supporting each other.

Here are the five simple steps you need in order to start using the new “Support Small Business” sticker for Instagram Stories.

Step 1:

Open stories and choose a previously uploaded photo or video, or hit the ‘create’ option, which will give you a colour adjustable blank background to start your post from scratch

Step 2:

Tap the stickers icon and look for the Support Small Business sticker. It is the one featuring a small shopping bag with a heart on it, as an icon, and the words “Support Small Business.” Here is a snapshot of what it looks like:

Step 3:

Start typing the Instagram username of the business you want to support. Note: you can’t tag your own Instagram account while using the Support Small Business sticker.

Step 4:

As soon as you add the name of the business you want to shout out, the Support Small Business sticker will populate your Stories post with three recent images from the establishment’s Feed, as well as their Insta handle. You can tap the text area again to change the format to a handle-only mention if you prefer.

Step 5:

The business you tag will also receive a notification and can choose to repost the content to their own stories or send you a DM to say thanks.

 

Instagram has been busy lately. Besides the Support Small Business sticker, over the last couple of months, the Facebook-owned platform has released two other stickers for the lockdown period. Firstly, the “Stay Home” sticker seeks to encourage social isolating, and a “Thank You” sticker aims to show gratitude and respect for key workers.

The platform also launched its Instagram Live Donations and, since May, started allowing content created during its Live function to be automatically shared on IGTV after you end it (previously you had to download your Instagram Live or record your screen and, only then, start to upload it to the permanent IGTV before it vanished from your stories. And a bonus: Live video replays won’t include any likes or comments from your original live video, keeping it clean for those ones watching in the future.

And these are not all new developments.

Recently, the Facebook-owned platform announced its Messenger Rooms, a feature allowing users to create and join group calls of up to 50 people on the Instagram app.

Following the increased demand for video calls during the lockdown period, in several countries around the world, a free easy-to-create chat room with no time limits should hopefully help people cope with social distancing rules.

Once you create a Messenger Room, a direct link is made available and can be shared with those you want to connect with – and they don’t even need to have a Facebook or Instagram account, as everyone with a direct URL can join the conversation.

To create your very own Messenger Room on Instagram there are two main steps:

Step 1:

Open your Instagram Direct Messages tab and tap the video call icon in the top right corner.

  • Tip: at first, I couldn’t find the video icon to set up a room and thought I had an old version of the Instagram app. Upon updating it still didn’t work. I then imagined that being a very new feature, it potentially wasn’t available in my city yet and I would have to wait a few days to obtain access. Despite this though, I didn’t give up so easily, and, after switching from an Instagram Creator account to an Instagram Business account, the icon magically appeared! By the time you are reading this, hopefully, Instagram will have fixed this apparent bug.

Step 2:

Select Create a Room and invite your Instagram contacts or copy a direct link to your Room and share the link through other channels you prefer – Whatsapp, for example.

To join a video call that you’ve been invited to, select Join Room; then, when prompted as to whether you want to open the room in the Messenger app, simply select Confirm.

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