By Alyssa Gregory

In the past 6-ish years since I first began using social media, I have found that my enthusiasm has been cyclical. I go from excited to dedicated to bored to burnt out, and back again. It’s almost like clockwork.

I’ve started to take note of these cycles to see if I could pinpoint the cause in order to revise my strategy. Here is a look at what I’ve pinpointed as common causes of the low points in my social media activity, as well  as some tips on how I minimize the negative and work on beating social media fatigue.

Cause: New Platforms

Just when you think you have it all figured out, a new network appears. And every single time a new platform pops up, I cringe just a little bit.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the social media scene and exploring everything this medium has to offer. But at the same time, social media is only one part of my marketing approach. And marketing is only one of my business activities. Like almost everyone I know, I am already over scheduled, so the thought of yet another network to add to my social media strategy can make me slightly nauseous.

Remedy: Go Slow

Sure, there may be bragging rights that come with being one of the first on a new network, but how many new networks actually stick around? Definitely not all of them, and it definitely doesn’t happen instantaneously.

I always recommend grabbing up your name and/or your brand on new social networks that show promise, but unless being the first in the door is part of your business, there isn’t much of a reason to put all of your eggs into any social media basket, especially a new one.

Start by watching what others are doing, and if it supports your goals, begin working on a marketing plan that integrates the new network into your strategy (yes, you need to have a plan FIRST). Watching and listening first is a great way to learn, protect your time, and avoid common mistakes.

Cause: Burnout

If you’ve been posting on every network several times a day, and doing it all manually, you are probably going to hit a wall at some point. It’s simply a lot of work. I have been there, and there are actually a few different remedies for this one.

Remedy: Review Your Goals Often

Like any other marketing activity, successful social media marketing requires a solid marketing plan that includes goals and metrics. If you’re feeling burnt out, sometimes the simple solution is taking a step back and fine-tuning your business goals if they’re not realistic or if they’re too aggressive.

Remedy: Automate (Wisely)

I am definitely not a fan of 100% automated social activity, but there is a place for it in moderation. Using tools like HootSuite can help you schedule tweets in advance, for example, so you’re not on the hook for posts 24/7. You can also expand your team to include a social media manager or virtual assistant who can streamline the process even further (be careful what you outsource, though, and make sure their voice supports your brand!).

Remedy: Take a Break

Consistency is important in social media, but if you’re burnt out and don’t do anything about it, it’s only going to get worse. If a few social media-free days will help you refocus, then by all means, take a break.

Cause: Lack of Success

Notice I didn’t say failure. That’s because not finding your sweet spot in social media does not mean that you’re failing. It means you’re still learning (and we all are!). So much of finding marketing success is about trial and error because what works for one business may not work for the next. Heck, what works one month, may not work the next. So you need to stay on your toes.

Remedy: Arm Yourself with Knowledge

The best solution for slow progress in social media is bulking up on your know-how. There are many classes out there that review the basics, offer case studies, show you new techniques, and give you access to peer support are usually well worth the investment.

Just like in any other part of your business, learning should be a continuous process that expands your knowledge and gives you the tools you need to aim for and reach success.

Have you experienced social media fatigue? What was your remedy?