Take a break from social media? Is that even allowed? For those of you out there begging for a “yes”, we’ve got one for you…with a few contingencies.
The good news is that you can take a break from social media. Whether you are going on a vacation, overloaded with work or just feel like one more status update will send you over the edge, its OK; everybody needs a break from time to time. With the right efforts put into practice you can take a social media break WITHOUT undoing all of the work that you’ve already done.
Step 1: Talk To Your Audience
The first step to taking a social media break is cluing your audience in. Chances are if you are reading this article it is because you are concerned about losing followers. Have some faith in their following and just be willing to be open and honest; i.e. “Facebook is giving me anxiety so I’ve decided to take a two week break.” Get your audience in on the action by asking them to add to the conversation, i.e.: “How does everyone else deal with anxiety?” or “Any relaxation tips for down time?”
You could do automatic setups like instantly following back a new follower on Twitter or setting up scheduled tweets, but (while this is just an option) no robot is going to replace a you-shaped hole in your audience’s hearts. Instead of trying to put up a facade, test out honesty and get them excited about all that you plan on learning and experiencing while you are gone.
Step 2: Stock Up and Send Invites
While scheduling tweets in advanced feels forced, scheduling blogs in advance feels OK. Why? Because tweets beg for interaction, while blogs offer more than that, they offer take-always that you can prepare in advance. The web is filled with tutorials on how to schedule posts on your WordPress account….See? This break is even teaching you a few things already.
Also, consider offering up some guest post opportunities. Not only will you pay the blogosphere forward by giving someone else a chance to shine, but also you ensure that your blog followers will have an active commenter on board. Be sure to do your research first before you extend an invitation; a guest blogger should not just have a post that speaks to your audience, they should also have a reputation of interacting with followers and following up with the after-effects of their work.
Step 3: Make It Worth The Wait
Chances are that after your break you will return to social media as a refreshed version of yourself. Your audience will get paid back in more energetic, enthusiastic and hopefully engaging posts. While you are away it is a good idea to keep a notepad handy to jot down ideas, that way when you return you will have a jumping off point from which you can dive in.
If you include your audience in on the experience by letting them know the things you reflected on and the new insights you gained during your break, they should be pleased. Include pictures and possible videos to make deeper, visual connections.
As someone who cares about his or her audience, you understand the need to be producing content as the best version of yourself. Allow yourself the freedom to take a break when you need it, test the waters and make adjustments as necessary.
Above all, while your audience is important to you and your social media presence is crucial to your brand, it cannot run your life. Be willing to take the power back by taking a break based on your physical and emotional needs. True followers will stick around, and if you’re smart, you’ll make the wait worth their while.
What do you think about taking a social media break?
Kelly Gregorio writes about topics that affect small businesses and entrepreneurs while working at Advantage Capital Funds, a merchant cash advance provider. You can read her daily business blog here.