Okay so the title of this post may be a little misleading, however the intention behind it is entirely accurate. I have really struggled in the last few weeks to stay on top of everything, what with work, blogging and trying to maintain my social life, so the pressure of social media has really taken a toll. I do try not to take mine too seriously and still get the enjoyment out of it that it was created for, but it is also my main platform to drive traffic to my blog and market myself. I really love and enjoy using Instagram, but I find it can be very stressful trying to keep up with all the amazing content others are putting out there. Ultimately, it is a very competitive platform and naturally you do compare your work and content to others, no matter how much you try not to. This Christmas has been amazing with all the content put out there, particularly from all the London bloggers.
When it comes to Instagram, you have to be able to find the balance and use others amazing content as inspiration for you own work, as opposed to crumbling and constantly comparing yourself to what another blogger is doing.
Christmas is without a doubt my favourite time of year, as everyone is so happy and there is a real sense of positivity constantly going around. It really is an infectious feeling and a real reminder of how lucky we are here in the UK with the luxuries we do have. I adore spending time with those I love at this time of year, and what I love even more is how many people I get to see and spend time with to celebrate the season. It is the perfect excuse to spend quality time with friends and family and there is always so much to do. Hence, why social media is usually the one thing I leave behind. I love the fact that I am too busy with those I love in order to be online, and it really does sadden me when you see groups of friends or even family, who are so focused on what is going on in their phone that they forget to interact with those actually around them.
So, as bloggers and a generation of Instagram users, how do we get the balance right of being online and prioritising the people in our lives at this time of year?
Well firstly, my advice would be to decide on an Instagram time budget. This month, whenever I have been on Instagram, the majority of the time it has been first thing in the morning. Since I started to take blogging seriously, I have always tried my best to wake up half an hour before I need to in order to get through my Instagram feed. With the increased use of stories, half an hour is definitely a struggle, but to be honest I try to get through these during the day. Having a select time that you know you’re going to be on there can really help, as it eases the pressure off the rest of the day. If I also manage to post my daily photo in that time slot it is even better as I am then done for the day. It seems silly that we have to essentially be so organised for a social media platform, but if like me it is part of your work and you are trying to grow your brand, there really is no alternative.
Another way of staying organised, and something I am still getting to grips with for my personal Instagram is scheduling. For my social media clients, I use Hootsuite, and actually enjoy it. The app is very easy to use, reliable and just generally takes a lot of stress away from me. I don’t use it much for my personal Instagram, as I am not organised with what I am posting like with my clients, however occasionally I have been drawn to it when I know I am going to be having a busy week. Whatever app you use, scheduling at this time of year can be really beneficial. This way, you budget a certain amount of time in one day getting it all done, and then you don’t really have to think about it for the next week.
Also, let’s all be honest, we follow way too many people on Instagram. For me, I need to be able to catch up quickly, so when I used to follow nearly 700 people it just wasn’t working for me. There are certain ‘rules’ when it comes to Instagram, and you do feel pressure to follow people for many other reasons rather than just because you enjoy their feed. I was getting so stressed with keeping up that I decided enough is enough. I had a massive declutter of everyone I was following, getting rid of lots of accounts who were no longer active, rarely used the app, companies I worked with years ago and just generally accounts I didn’t engage with anymore. Like my own content, people change a lot online, and just because you liked their old style, that doesn’t mean you have to carry on following them. Be ruthless and get rid. It will keep you sane!
Ultimately, even by following all the steps above and trying to just about keep your head above water, it is always going to be a challenge at this time of year. We all have so much going on. As with a lot of things in life, all you can do is accept that this is the way things are and just do what you can in order to stay ahead. No one is going to judge you if you fail to keep your social media going!
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