Relief for Social Media Managers Amid Social Unrest
By Briana Mitchell, Marketing Communications Specialist
I believe that I can speak for all social media managers when I say, we’re exhausted. Our jobs require us to be knowledgeable of current events while remaining active across social media platforms for a large portion of our days. Over the last year, news headlines and current events related to police misconduct, mass shootings, and politics have made it difficult to carry out the daily tasks related to social media management and digital marketing. I’ve discovered a few measures that provide some relief during these emotionally overwhelming times.
Mute the keywords and phrases
Many social media platforms allow users to mute words and phrases. I’ve found that muting keywords related to current events and sometimes the names of the victims of police misconduct provide some relief. Muting words gives managers the power to actively seek information and control their timelines instead of being overwhelmed with emotionally triggering headlines and content.
Turn off comments
In my experience, not everyone will respond positively to your social awareness content. You’re encouraged by your leader to post a black square in support of Black Lives Matter, but what happens when people who don’t agree with your content react negatively? Often, social media managers and digital marketers are left to respond to negative comments placing them in uncomfortable situations. Consider posting your social awareness content and disabling users to comment. This simple measure can prevent internet trolls from providing unsavory and unwanted feedback.
Prepare responses in advance of posting
If turning off comments isn’t an option, consider preparing emergency responses. It’s become easy to predict the type of content that will attract a heated debate or opposing opinion. Take the pressure off yourself by planning statements that reiterate your brand’s stance and address the issue. I encourage you to include the contact information of a member in an executive leadership role that can be contacted directly to take the responsibility off of your plate. Here’s an example:
“While we acknowledge your right to freedom of speech and belief, we stand strong in our belief that everyone is entitled to social justice and will continue to advocate for a more equitable and inclusive society for all. If you have any additional comments or concerns, we encourage you to contact our CEO directly at…”
Set the tone for your day
We’re all guilty of doing it—we wake up and the first thing we do is reach for our phones and before we’ve had a glass of water, we’re scrolling through never-ending timelines. According to a 2016 survey by Deloitte, 43% of global consumers look at their phone within the first 5 minutes of waking up. Starting your day with the wrong content can negatively impact your day. I’ve developed the habit of being intentional with my mornings by setting boundaries around social media. I make it my goal to not engage with social media until I’ve had my breakfast and dressed for the day. Maybe you set a time limit or wait until you get into the office. Setting healthy boundaries with social media can help relieve some of the stress that can come with your role as a social media manager.
Ask your leaders for help
This one seems simple, but we often don’t think to utilize our leaders for help. There have been times when I have become so emotionally overwhelmed with current events that I was moved to tears in my office. In those moments, I pushed myself to move past the pain and continued completing tasks. Looking back, I wish I’d been vulnerable with my leaders to ask for their help. Ask your leaders to take responsibility for monitoring your social platforms if you need a break.
Protecting our mental health is critical. For my fellow social media managers and digital marketing, I encourage you to stay strong and continue setting healthy boundaries with social media and be empowered to take a break when needed.
If you or your team need counsel in regard to your social media strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today!