How to Avoid Social Media Overwhelm
18 October 2022
female small business owner frustrated by time-consuming social media marketing, anxiously looking at a clock

Small business life is always a work-in-progress, you’re never done and dusted. So overwhelm can creep in any time.
Even if you weren’t finding social media overwhelming before, it doesn’t take much to tip you over the edge. I get it.

Social media marketing is quite often the first thing to drop off your list – sometimes even you struggle to make a decent start at it.

So what is marketing overwhelm and how will you recognise it?

The dictionary definition of overwhelm is ‘(v) To overpower in thought or feeling’.
Which we’d interpret as having too many ideas or tasks for the limit of capacity, whether that’s limit of your time and/or maybe knowledge or skillset.
It definitely applies to many, many different elements of small business ownership, since we’re often spinning many plates at once, not just marketing ones. They all add up to an overwhelming picture.

Yet… we’re all in the same place with the number of hours in the day. And the facts that none of us is born a small business or a marketing pro.

So let’s see where this pressure comes from, in order to tackle it more effectively.
I give overwhelm a different interpretation that makes more sense to me. Not about a lack of time, or skill; it’s more about this:
An inability to prioritise effectively.

In a state of overwhelm, you have too many priorities, so may even lead to prioritising the ‘wrong’ things and/ or entering paralysis. The survival-focused brain kicks in, due to confusion.
Hence, social media is very commonly a ‘priority’ that completely drops off, or you don’t even get towards starting it.
Nothing gets done.

A confused brain puts this down to ‘lacking time’. A factor which quickly becomes magnified by fear-driven, self-justification reasons that weigh us down even more. Like a tape player stuck on loop.
Those extra reasons add fuel to the fire, downgrading the importance of social media in our own heads.
DE-prioritisation reasons such as,
“I’ll only have time to fit it in late at night, which I don’t want to do.”
“Making loads of videos won’t work for me anyway.”
“Besides, the algorithm is fighting against me.”

Most of which are absolute fibs.

Let’s reframe and reset your priorities more truthfully. (You can do this for every priority, not just social media marketing, to get a better grip on your entire pecking order, but let’s start small for now.)
Recalibrate the priority – ask yourself these questions:
– What if you didn’t have to spend hours on social media marketing?
– What if you could cultivate an audience, maybe only a small one, but one that is very engaged?
– What if you could use social media on your terms and only in ways that work for you, no need for dancing or showing your face if you don’t want to?
– What if you could feel the genuine value of using social media; the way it can bring your products/ services in front of new people every day, and on your own terms?

Can you answer these? Try it.
(When I work with clients, often these questions are tricky to answer. That’s ok, because re-training your outlook isn’t easy!)
Even having no answer or an incomplete one, still helps the re-prioritisation process.
In my experience, quite often the answers sound like this: “Well, that’d be ok.”

Asking (and maybe answering) these questions, to reassess the importance of social media marketing based on facts… that’s the first key step in being less overwhelmed.

You can choose to prioritise more effectively OR
you can let overwhelm set the priorities for you.

Be more productive with limited social media marketing time

Here are some pointers to help verify the way you CAN go forward using social media purposefully and see it as a more valuable priority.
I’m not saying it has to be top priority, just a more deserving one!

These tips all relate to allocating more ‘user-friendly’ time boundaries.
Multitasking interrupts your focus. It’s another (half-)truth that humans are good at this. (A half-truth, that’s been blown out of proportion.)
I’ve seen that business owners who are juggling lots of stuff find their to-do list much less overwhelming by breaking it down further. Beyond bite-sized, into sub-tasks.

You’ve heard of bite-sized chunks? Think nibble-sized for your social media!
Smaller tasks within the broader task of “doing social media”… Separate it down more, say:
📝 Brainstorm lots of post ideas at once, while you’re creative. Ditching the pressure of trying to come up with one really good post idea that’ll do better than the last one you had. Come up with a few ideas, without pressure of ranking them. No prioritisation for now.
📸 Another nibble-size chunk… take all your social media photos as a different sub-task from the idea generation…
👩🏻‍💻 Another: do all the writing of posts, it’s the one nibble that’ll make the biggest difference to do as a sub-task…
#️⃣ What else; try gathering the hashtags for each post as yet another sub-task…
⏱ Then, take separate time to schedule all the posts. Doesn’t matter what order they go in, if you’re not sure of how to prioritise them. Just feel comfortable posting them. Prioritising is a strategy, and that can come later once you’ve started beating the initial overwhelm factor. Just posting something positively moves you towards less overwhelm, since the sub-task of publishing frees the mind up…
🗣 Now, allocate a different time for meaningful engagement, so you can be focused and efficient when you do that.

Those ideas ⬆️ are all about breaking down the process of ‘doing social media’ to make it work for you. Batching is one simple way to relieve pressure and allows you to feel like you’re getting somewhere, nibbling more quickly at each sub-task.
It positively reinforces the “anti-overwhelm” vibe.

Chopping-n-changing the brain process for all different sub-tasks, within the task of ‘create a post’ actually slows you down. It’s not quicker! Multi-tasking becomes counter-productive, here’s how…
Getting in the right headspace for one single post – the idea, sorting an image, the writing, the posting – all those sub-tasks need different focus, and your flow is interrupted.
Which means your marketing takes you longer, and you get more frustrated. The falsehoods start creeping in again.
INSTEAD: Batch each of your nibble-sized tasks, to block the lies and be more productive.

Giving sub-tasks separate priority is my go-to for managing to get my social media marketing done without weighing me down.
I swear by this method, so much so that I now teach it to my clients.
Anyone looking to improve their content strategy and stepping up towards more meaningful marketing, and social media growth without overwhelm can benefit from this process.

Those tricky-to-answer questions I mentioned before ⬆️⬆️⬆️ ?
More realistic truths will defeat overwhelm, like this…
🌟 You DON’T have to spend hours on social media. You could, but for most busy business owners, it’s more helpful not to.
🌟  You CAN make significant sales from a small audience, by permitting yourself to prioritise a manageable amount of time towards that goal.
🌟  You CAN allow social media usage to come free of negative connotations, and can feel excited to use it, keen to apply it as a tool that works for you.

Overwhelm (fuelled by lies-on-loop) pushes growth priorities down the list and persuades us to do things that feel safe. Most commonly, doing safe = doing nothing.

I invite you to go away with one last thought.
What would less overwhelm and more productive use of the time you spend on social media let you achieve?
Ruthx


Don’t forget!
You can book a Powerhour coaching session with me today ­– great for brainstorming and mapping out exact content ideas and formats that ‘d be right for your brand.
Let’s have a conversation to see if that’d be a useful option for you. Just ask for a no-obligation chat:

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