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It’s happened to all of us. You open up Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok to do a little post for work. You fall down the rabbit hole, and by the time you reemerge, you feel bad about yourself, bad about your posts, and bad about your business. With a few small changes to the way we use and think about social media, you can have a much healthier relationship with your feed.

Untitled 6 05Don’t believe everything you see: Nearly everyone shows an alternate version of reality on social media. Sometimes by only showing the good stuff going on, sometimes by using filters that alter reality. How many times have you shoved something out of the way so nobody could see it in a zoom meeting? We all know these things logically, but it’s easy to forget that everyone else is doing the same thing.

Untitled 6 04Likes and followers don’t determine your success in business: Likes and follows don’t even determine your success on social media! In fact, metrics such as shares, saves and comments seem to currently be more valuable to the algorithm than likes and follows. It’s much better to have a small but dedicated following than a million casual followers who will never spend money with you.

Untitled 6 03Figure out what ways you can show up while still feeling safe: You get to decide how much you share that is personal. You also get to decide who has access to you. People can ring your doorbell, but you don’t have to let them in your house! It’s the same online. If someone is consistently bothering you online (even if it’s just that seeing their posts makes you feel bad), you can unfollow them, mute them, block them, or report them as the case calls for. It might sound cruel, but one of my clients blocked her own father on her work accounts. He was derailing the conversation and making it more difficult for her to interact with customers. When he didn’t take her requests to stop seriously, she blocked him.

Untitled 6 01Define your time limits: Use the time limit features that are available in the apps or on your phone to stop yourself from endless scrolling. Some people also find it useful to restrict their social media usage to certain times of day. Maybe that’s right after lunch when you’re feeling a little sleepy, or while dinner is in the oven. One of my main rules is I don’t look at my work accounts after 7 pm. When I do, it disturbs my sleep.

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Untitled 6 02Be a scientist: If you can approach your social media feed with the right amount of curiosity and detachment, you’ll find it much easier to show up without hurt feelings and make changes that will improve your posts each time. When you see a competitor with what seems like a lot of success, ask yourself “I wonder if they are only successful online or if their business is actually successful. What can I learn from their social media account? People seem to like this post. How would I talk about that topic in my own way to reach my audience?” When one of your posts doesn’t perform well, ask yourself “I wonder why? Was it what I was talking about? Was it how I said it? Was it the time of day I posted?” Approach each post like a science experiment. Create a hypothesis and test it in your next posts. 

These are just a few of the topics we touch on in my (Kate Gilbert) Social Media Group Therapy sessions as part of my 30-Day Sprint Program to make effective content consistently, while maintaining your mental health. If you want to make sure you are getting the absolute most out of every piece of content you create, download your free Content Creation Roadmap at kategilbert.com. For more no-fluff social media tips, follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Instagram: @kategi LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katefgilbert/