top of page
  • Writer's pictureChloe Brooks

5 Social Media Myths that Contribute to Your Burnout Cycle

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

a woman sitting in bed and working on a laptop in the dark. Beside her is text that reads, "Social media myths that contribute to your burnout cycle."

As business owners, there’s practically nothing more important than our mental health.

But as we sail right past the 1-year mark of an unprecedented global pandemic that upended daily life for the entire world, many of us are hitting a mental wall.

We’ve been operating in crisis mode for the past 12 months, and with the extreme stress of living in isolation, fear, and insecurity for a whole year as the giant cherry on top of the already-stressful entrepreneur sundae, we business owners are burning out right and left.

This is especially true for those of us handling our own social media marketing. With social media professionals at a higher risk of burnout, it’s never been more important to reevaluate the energy you’re spending online.

In this blog post, I’ll share 5 social media myths that contribute to your burnout cycle, plus how to reframe your approach to be more conscious of your precious time and energy.

Myth 1: You have to be on every social media platform.

If you think you need to be on every available social media platform to effectively reach your audience, you’re likely operating from a long-outdated view of social media marketing.

This used to be standard practice in the early days of businesses using social. At the time, the mainstream platforms were Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and most people were active on at least one of the three.

But then came the addition of Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Clubhouse — not to mention these platforms’ additional features like Groups, Stories, IGTV, Facebook Watch, and more. With so many options available, social media users gravitated toward their favorite ones, so each platform began to develop its own personality.

Now, it’s basically impossible for most small-to-medium businesses to maintain an active, healthy, and effective presence everywhere.

Nor should you.

Trying to do all the things all the time spreads you and your team dangerously thin. Pushing yourself to be active on each new platform just for the sake of being there drains your precious time, energy, and resources, yet rarely delivers the results you hoped for. And when that overexertion combines with the disappointment of failed efforts, that’s prime breeding ground for a major burnout.

Fact: You should choose your business’s social media platforms strategically.

The beautiful thing about how many different social media platforms there are is that you get to be choosy about which ones you focus on, based on who you want to reach and how.

For example, if your business serves tech execs, you may want to focus on LinkedIn, a business networking platform, and Twitter, which is super popular with the Silicon Valley crowd.

On the other hand, if you work more with coaches than execs, LinkedIn is still a good place to start — again, it’s for business networking — but you’ll also want to devote a significant amount of your marketing power to Instagram, which is very popular for the coaching space.

Think carefully about who your ideal customer is and where they’re most likely to spend their time based on their age and interests — if your customers are 55+ for example, they’re much more likely to be on Facebook and LinkedIn than on Instagram and Twitter, both of which skew younger.

To start, focus on just the one or two platforms that are most likely to benefit you (if you’re not sure which those are, please reach out to me and I’ll help you!). You can always branch out into a third or even fourth space later, once you’ve found your groove.

Myth 2: You need to post on your feed every single day.

This myth is another one that’s really just an outdated best practice leftover from the days of chronological feeds. Back when our feeds used to show us the newest posts first, posting daily — even multiple times — was the best way to stay in front of your followers.

But the major platforms haven’t had chronological newsfeeds as the default in years. Though each app’s algorithm is different from the next, they pretty much all use each person’s engagement pattern to determine what gets priority in their feed.

For example, If you’ve recently liked several different photos of dogs while scrolling through Instagram, you might find that you start to see more of those photos in your feed than usual. If you Follow a hair salon near you, you might see a few more ads than normal for businesses in your area, or posts from local businesses might appear earlier in your feed.

Because the content you’ve historically enjoyed (based on how you’ve engaged with it) gets first dibs on your eyeballs, it can sometimes take days for other posts to show up in your feed. I frequently see posts from 3-4 days ago in my own Insta feed, even without scrolling far.

Fact: Thoughtful engagement is a better use of your time than posting for posting’s sake.

When you look at which metric drives growth more, and should therefore be a higher priority for your time and energy, the answer isn’t publishing content. It’s engagement.

It doesn’t matter how many posts you hit publish on this month if people don’t like, comment on, share, or save them. Social media is about starting conversations, not shouting into the void.

Think quality over quantity.

The average time it takes to create high-quality, valuable, engaging social media content has increased significantly over the past two years ...

  • Captions are trending longer, which means more time spent writing and editing.

  • Multi-image posts are outperforming single images, which means more time spent taking and editing photos, as well as more time spent in the scheduling and publishing process.

  • Video of all lengths is taking over feeds everywhere, which means even more time spent creating, editing, and publishing — not to mention the time and energy spent learning how to do all of this!

Posting on social media every single day for even 1 brand, using all of the newest platform features and following all of the recommended content best practices, is more than a full-time job.

And as a business owner, there are likely about 12 other urgent matters demanding your attention besides social media.

So convincing yourself that you have to post something every day only creates extra work and unnecessary stress for yourself — two things that we already have plenty of as self-employed people! Trying to keep up this breakneck pace WILL wear you out, especially if social strategy and content creation aren’t your core strengths.

Instead, commit to being active on the platform every day, but not necessarily posting every day. Give yourself permission to cut posting back to only 3 days per week instead of 5 or 7, for example, and intentionally carve out time on the 2 other days for thoughtful engagement.

Because you’re creating fewer posts each week, you’ll be able to improve the quality of the content you put out.

Because you’re deliberately seeking out and engaging with accounts that match your ideal customer, the people who see that better content are actually the people you created it specifically for.

It doesn’t matter how many posts you hit publish on this month if people don’t like, comment on, share, or save them. Social media is about starting conversations, not shouting into the void.

And because you took the time to connect with them individually via comments, messages, and tagged shares, they’ll feel more comfortable engaging with your content when they do see it.

That’s how you start building the kind of trusting relationship that needs to exist before they feel comfortable spending their precious dollars on whatever it is you’re selling.

More importantly, that’s one way to keep from burning yourself out trying to do more than you really have to.

Myth 3: You should always post content that’s new.

This is a misguided belief that I see so many business owners fall victim to. Hey, I’ve even been there myself!

But as with thinking that you need to post content every day, pushing yourself to always come up with something brand new only adds unnecessary stress, depletes your creative energy, and takes up time you could be using to connect more deeply with your audience.

Here’s the problem:

We are each intimately familiar with the details of our own business. We have poured so much of our time, energy, and soul into ideating, building, and perfecting every aspect.

And even though we logically know that everyone else doesn’t have this deep knowledge of our business — of our mission, of our brand story, of our services and products — we kinda forget about that.

When it comes to your marketing message, if it’s worth saying once, then it’s worth repeating.

We feel like we’re repeating ourselves when we share the same information we did two months ago. We hesitate to talk about a topic too often, because we don’t want our followers to get sick of hearing it. We end up running out of ideas because there’s only so much we can reasonably talk about that’s actually relevant to our business.

And then we end up ghosting our followers until inspiration strikes again. 👻

Fact: Most of your followers haven’t seen most of your content.

Studies show that only about 5% of your Facebook followers see any given post. So 95% of them never actually saw it — to say nothing of the folks who don’t even follow you yet!

And that’s just for one platform. The more platforms you’re active on, the less likely it is that people have seen a given post already. Only a small percentage of your followers — your superfans — follow you on multiple social media platforms, and even they started with just one. So if you post something on Instagram, for example, there’s no guarantee that your Twitter followers will have seen it yet.

This means you have much more wiggle room surrounding the content you put out than most of us are willing to give ourselves. Instead of constantly pushing to come up with something new, try this:

  • Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself. The core beliefs and stories that make up your brand lore are what identify you to your followers as THEIR kind of business, person, or service provider. That’s how they see themselves in your ideal client. So when it comes to your marketing message, if it’s worth saying once, then it’s worth repeating. Depending on how frequently you post, you can likely stand to recycle some of your core topics every few months or so.

  • Repurpose your content. If you’re active on multiple social media platforms, repurposing your best material from one platform for another can be an easy way to fill out your content calendar. Try adapting your best tweets for Instagram, as in the example below, or convert your blog posts into PowerPoint-style carousel posts. If you’re using IGTV or Reels on Instagram, be sure to feature them on your feed so they can serve double duty.

  • Take advantage of user-generated content (UGC). Sharing content from other social media users not only alleviates some of the pressure to create, but can also help build community when done correctly. Look for accounts that are relevant to your audience, content that echoes the ideas you frequently post about, and new perspectives that can help your followers understand a given topic better. Remember to get permission from the original poster before sharing!

Myth 4: Following a strategy restricts creativity.

There’s seemingly no end to the creativity brands put into their social media nowadays. As features like Stories and microvideo have become mainstream, we’ve been gifted a nearly unlimited source of inspiration via others’ imagination and originality.

But creativity doesn’t exist in a vacuum. To be creative consistently, you need a supporting framework of predetermined guidelines.

As tiresome and tedious as that may sound, it’s actually way more exhausting to have to come up with a gameplan from scratch every time you sit down to connect with your community. And that exhaustion, over time, can lead to burnout — especially when coupled with discouragement over marketing tactics that failed because you were flying blind.

When you’re not hemorrhaging energy making the same decisions over and over again, you’ll have the extra juice you need to be able to connect with your audience beyond just hitting publish on a post.

It can be tempting to make it up as you go, and you may think you're saving time and energy by winging it. But the old cliché that, “failure to plan is planned failure,” exists for a reason. When you wait to develop a plan, you're opening yourself up to risks, pitfalls and lack of flexibility down the line.

Fact: A documented strategy and content calendar reduce creative drain and decision fatigue.

A carefully planned, documented social media strategy and content calendar are the framework you need if you want a social media presence that’s both creatively authentic AND effective at meeting your marketing goals.

There’s a lot that can go into a social media strategy, but very simply put, it’s an overview of what you want to accomplish, who you want to serve, and how you will make that happen. Typically this includes an overview of your marketing goals, your target audience, which platforms you’ll use, what type of content you’ll post, how often you’ll post it, how you’ll engage with your audience, and more.

Documenting this strategy keeps you from wasting your limited available brainpower trying to decide which steps to take — which ultimately leads to poor decision-making in a phenomenon known as decision fatigue — and keeps important tactics from falling through the cracks in your memory. When in doubt as to what to do next, you and your team can simply consult the plan that’s already in place.

A content calendar takes that strategy a step further and details exactly what you should post each day. For example, let’s say your strategy dictates that one-third of your posts should be videos. Your content calendar, then, might show that you’ll post a Reels video on Monday, a carousel of branded graphics on Wednesday, and a selfie on Friday. The best content calendars also outline what themes you’ll discuss with each post, as well as that post’s intended purpose — should it spark a discussion, drive traffic to your website, or educate about a specific topic?

Coming up with a strategic plan ahead of time (or investing in the help of a social media strategist) gives you the mental space for creativity when it’s time to sit down and write your social media posts. More importantly, when you’re not hemorrhaging energy making the same decisions over and over again, you’ll have the extra juice you need to be able to connect with your audience beyond just hitting publish on a post.

Myth 5: If your competitors are doing it, you have to also.

In some ways, social media can feel like middle school all over again, and thinking you have to fit in to be popular is just one of them.

Sure, your social media marketing should conform to conventional norms to a certain extent. For example, you’re highly unlikely to find success on Instagram by posting horizontal images with itty-bitty captions all the time, or by posting only external links on Facebook and Twitter. Some things are the norm because that’s just how the app is designed to work, and if you want to win, you’ve got to play by the rules.

The problem is when we look at what our competitors are doing and decide that’s another rule we have to abide by.

You shine brighter at the things you enjoy, and that light does more to attract your dream clients and customers than succumbing to peer pressure ever will.

You can’t stand out by blending in. So if you’re doing something just because everyone else is, chances are it’s not really aligned with the specific things you and your biz need to succeed.

Because let’s face it: It’s incredibly stressful to constantly do stuff to please other people regardless of how you feel about it. If you feel like you have to, then most likely you do NOT feel like you want to.

There’s a huge difference between the two. One feels completely icky, the other totally inspired.

And if left unchecked, that icky feeling of unalignment that comes with the people-pleasing territory can and will snowball into full burnout.

Fact: If you’re not excited about your own marketing, your audience sure as hell won’t be, either.

Your audience is smart, and they’ve been on social media long enough to know BS when they smell it. They don’t want “fake it 'til you make it” anymore. They want honesty, imperfection, and relatability.

Zero in on what feels GOOD to you about your social media marketing. What parts of social media do you genuinely enjoy?

For example, maybe you love getting to have important, heartfelt conversations with your followers in the captions and comments, but you’re completely overwhelmed trying to come up with a plan to get your posts in front of them that’s data-backed, not cringey, and actually doable along with everything else.

Or maybe you’re bursting at the seams with great ideas for new content, but day-to-day maintenance tasks practically bore you to tears.

Or maybe you can’t think of one single aspect of social media marketing that you truly enjoy, but you know it’s a crucial part of growing your business, so you struggle through anyway.

If it doesn’t feel GOOD to you, let it go. Outsource the tasks you can’t stand and scrap the tactics that don’t ring true. Lean into what feels exciting and aligned.

You shine brighter at the things you enjoy, and that light does more to attract your dream clients and customers than succumbing to peer pressure ever will.

Ready to stop burning out over your social media marketing? Book a free 30-minute discovery call with me and get back to doing what you love.

An orange banner image with a photo of Chloe wearing a purple sweatshirt and holding a purple phone. Beside her are the words, "Proven strategies. Done-for-you posting," with a green button that reads, "Tell me more!"

bottom of page