Being low on spoons, or mental energy to function, is real, especially right now with the stress of the political environment. And yet, you still need to run your social media accounts!
Here are some ways to keep things going, even when you’re not really up for it.
Social Media Scheduling: Buffer, Later, IFTTT, and Edgar
While there’s no true “set it and forget it” scheduling tool for Instagram, there is stuff for pretty much everything else, depending on your needs.
IFTTT: If This Then That, or IFTTT, is a recipe-based scheduler. It’s the epitome of “What You See Is What You Get” in that you can plug and chug scheduling based on If this, then that style recipes.
- “If a post is published on WordPress, post a tweet in this style on Twitter”
- “If an Instagram post is published, post a Pin on Pinterest”
As long as you’re fine with the base recipe, you can set it and forget it. (I recommend checking in every few months to make sure you still like them – and to remember what they are.)
You can schedule Instagram posts on both, but you’ll still have to go in and post, you’ll just have things ready for you. (I don’t use this part of Buffer because I write on the fly.)
I personally use Buffer, and Later also does a great job, so pick whichever feels right to you.
Edgar: Edgar is super neat for companies out to showcase older content regularly. Basically you set two things: groups of content, and when those groups go out. They’ll loop indefinitely, and you can even get a preview of how content will look each week so you can tweak it before it’s live. It’s amazing for content you’d forget otherwise, making more of your blog closer to evergreen.
Between Buffer and Edgar, I could create a pretty full, constantly changing base content on Twitter, with updates/posting when I had time. It was a lot of yelling into the void, but that’s Twitter for you.
At $49/month, it may be too expensive for your business, especially since it only covers Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I’d definitely consider it if you need to be present on Twitter regularly and have the money to support it.
Batch Processing Days
Most Mondays I plan out my Buffer feed and update the Instagram schedule. I try to plan at least 8-10 days out so that if I need a Monday off it doesn’t mess things up too much.
I have a paper (yes, paper) calendar of the current month for drafting plans, and an electronic version on Google Spreadsheets. I’ve found that my plans can change a lot from my initial year-long schedule, so having both means I can plan ahead for the year/months and week to week. It also lets me glance down and see quickly where gaps might be so I can plan ahead.
Pick a day that’s your scheduling day, and set aside an hour for scheduling at a minimum so you’re not rushing things.
Twitter chats, if you’re on Twitter, are one hour discussions led by a host. They usually include 6-8 questions and a hashtag, with the goal of having the group answer/discuss each question.
They’re high engagement for 1-2 hours of your time a week, and can both help boost your Twitter presence and promote you as an expert. There’s no real penalty for leaving early, so you do you. Though I do recommend sticking around for at least 3-4 questions, and saying at the start if you think you’ll need to bow out.
The caveat is that they are intense. I mean, it’s usually an hour of solid work. And side discussions are a Thing that can take over your feed. (Think of it like an intense water cooler time where everyone is out to show off how helpful they are.) But if you’re not able to be on Twitter every day, maybe you can take an hour out of your week (or less) to chat.
A bonus: if you pick one that’s on the silly side, you might get to watch a lot of cat gifs scroll by. (I still find those to be super involved, but hey, cat gifs. I’ll take it.)
Pick 1-2 you like that match your work, and join in when you can.
Become okay with taking days off social media
I still feel like this is the biggest thing you can do.
You need breaks from social media. Period. Without them, you’re going to burn out.
I do recommend scheduling them so you actually follow through. Otherwise you’ll just get on whenever and not take actual breaks. If you can’t take a full day off, even a few hours to walk/read a book/whatever that gets you off the computer or phone will work.
And if you really can’t get fully away, I’d schedule time where you get away from everything. I try to spend ~2 hours a week in a local day spa where I can’t even look at my cell phone, and it’s wonderful. It also helps me from stressing out over stats, which I’m totally doing right now with the new YouTube channel.
So those are some of my tips! What do you do during low spoons time? I’d love to hear your techniques!