The events of 2020 continue to keep us all on our toes. We are battling a pandemic that seems to have no end and is one of the greatest social uprisings in modern history.
To marketers, it looks like we’ve been in crisis management mode since March. We are writing a drama book to overcome crises as we go.
But as tired as I can feel, I know my social team and other social marketers around the world are feeling it tenfold. They are on the receiving end of hateful comments in response to brands’ public endorsement of Black Lives Matter. They are about to answer the never-ending stream of questions related to the pandemic. In the wake of the public boycott, this social team is negotiating with angry customers who often forget that there are real humans behind branded social accounts.
Want to know how COVID-19 is affecting your industry? Or what are consumers saying about your brand and why is there a drop in sentiment towards your business? Your social team probably already knows the answer.
And when they’re not dealing with crisis communications, social teams are expected to engage in a never-ending news cycle and scroll doom to do their job.
The need to be constantly connected puts social managers at risk of extreme burnout. While these complaints are nothing new, the events of 2020 have escalated these issues to such an extent that social manager inquiry How much more can they take? In higher education, for example, 88% of social marketers say the pandemic has made their job too difficult and almost half do not have enough support or resources to manage their mental health. Some social media managers depend on each other to manage burn out while others are ask lead To help unplug their social teams.
But for those of us looking after social teams, we have to do more than just reduce the burnout our teams are facing today. We also need to reevaluate how our culture perpetuates burnout and develop solutions to protect the mental health of our social teams in the long run.
First: Solve the problem immediately
There are many signs that your social manager is in trouble. A drop in productivity or lack of engagement at work should raise a red flag immediately. Equally worrying is the inability to focus on big picture projects due to excessive time spent responding to messages or monitoring social emotions.
If you find your social manager close to their breaking point, focus on getting them the help they need to get through this difficult patch with a few key tasks:
- Give priority to ruthlessly. Ask your social manager to list everything you have on your plate, from publishing and reporting to content creation and dealing with online trolls. Work through the list together and trim any unnecessary tasks, determining what can be saved for later or reassigning items to someone else. Prioritize work that has an impact on your business goals and, wherever possible, automate tasks to create a workload that doesn’t overwhelm your social team.
- get perspective. It’s all too easy for social managers to get lost in their work and to be silenced by the rest of your team. Help your social team break out of their social void by showing how their work impacts the wider organization. Remind your team that what they say on behalf of a brand is not a reflection of who they are and that their job at Social is just that – work.
Remember, providing short-term relief is the first step towards supporting the mental health of your social team. Burnout is just a symptom; You also need to deal with the root cause of the burnout to prevent these situations from happening again.
Then: Develop a long-term solution
Creating an environment where social managers truly feel supported begins with addressing the internal cultural issues that have contributed to our dealings and working with social teams.
Consider how some organizations still view social managers as request factories to churn out memes and viral tweets. Or how others worship him as a guru or magician, as if his work is done with a simple push of a button. In fact, social managers are much more than content creators; He is also a data analyst, crisis communicator and brand strategist. But when we continually devalue their work, or do it as an intern, we are essentially telling social managers they are replaceable. Feelings of being underestimated lead to apathy, anger, or exhaustion.
One way to combat these misconceptions is to create opportunities for social managers to share their insights upwards. Don’t just ask your social manager to report on numbers; Give them a seat at the table to present their findings and their recommendations to the wider organization. When you treat your social manager like their valued partners, it can help to address the feelings of inadequacy or cheater syndrome that feed into burnout.
Equally important is creating a space where your social team is comfortable sharing with you when they feel overwhelmed. Are you checking in regularly with your social manager to talk about their workload and clarify roles and expectations? And don’t be afraid to share with your team when you’re feeling overwhelmed too. Leading with vulnerability and transparency can help remove some of the barriers that previously prevented your social team from having these conversations.
Finally, make it a habit to regularly recognize the efforts of your social team. Much of the work they do is believed to be behind the scenes that the real impact a social manager can have on business goals is often overlooked. In addition to recognizing their individual acts, take a moment to highlight how their work impacts the brand as a whole. 2020 has proved how valuable social is to any business. Now is the time for us to tell the people in charge of our brand accounts how influential their work really is.
A much needed change for the social
Healing social media burnout is all about providing immediate relief. It also requires management to pay close attention to how their internal culture encourages and sustains burnout. Our social teams need a working environment that supports their well-being, that addresses their immediate burning concerns and provides a roadmap for a sustainable future.