ep28 - How to Take a Break Without Abandoning Your Audience

show Nov 17, 2021

Previously recorded from an Instagram Live.

I think you deserve a break and I'm going to tell you how to do it!

The holidays are coming at that means a lot of us are going to want to take a break from social media. Heck, even if you want to, you may not think you have a choice.

During this training, I'll cover:

  • Ways to save time in content creation, posting, and engaging
  • Tips for repurposing or recycling your posts
  • The biggest mistake I see people making when they take a break


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Megan: Hello and welcome today we're going to be talking about how to take a break without abandoning your audience. Now we, Femalepreneurs Mompreneurs all the preeners that could be here and listening to this today, the holiday times are difficult, especially if you have a product-based business, because that means that you have to do double duty.

You have to plan for the holidays personally, for your family, for yourself, for everyone else. And then you also have to prep all your products and your services and get your offers together. And you're hustling in both arenas. So social media is probably falling down to the bottom of the list for some of you.

Now, when you heard how to take a break without abandoning your audience, you could have thought one of three things, maybe like, how could I possibly take a break? I've worked so hard to get this social media mojo up and running that I don't want to abandon it. So I'm just going to out of fear, keep posting.

Or you could have thought the flip side of that, like, why wouldn't I take a break? Of course, I always take a break during the holidays. What do you mean? This will ruin my engagement and all my algorithm juice. 

Or the third option is you could have said, well, your plan will be, not to plan. It will be just to, just keep going. I'll just keep posting as I normally have. And then inevitably something comes up and something goes wrong and you just  don't get to posting. So no matter which one of those you are, I'm here to tell you that. Number one. Yes, you totally should take a break. I think you should take a break. You deserve a break.

We all, as humans need to rest and social media is not excluded from that, but I also understand how it feels like a machine. And if we stop inputting, it will stop returning it to us, which unfortunately I have to tell you is somewhat the case. If you just stop posting, then your engagement, definitely people who, the amount of people who start following you, all of that will fall by the wayside temporarily.

I'm not saying that's horrible and never, and not to do it. I mean, sometimes it's just the fact of the matter we can't escape it. Which isn't that third person, like, sometimes you just can't escape it and you try and then you just couldn't get to it. 

So here are the ways that you could help set yourself up well for taking a break over the holidays. No matter where you fall on that spectrum. Now, how I coach my clients on this is I encourage them to think about their social media rhythms, the things that we do habitually over and over. And those are, you got to create your content, right? That's your first rhythm, your first thing you do.

Then you have to schedule or post your content. That's your second rhythm. 

And then your third is engagement. It is you getting on the app and responding to people and talking to them. So those are our three rhythms. Those are the three things that we do over and over and over again on this app or all the other social media platforms.

And let me tell you how to save time and how to take a break and each aspect of those. So content creation is the big one, right? But this is the one that takes the time, the effort, the brain power. You've got to stop what you're doing to really focus on content creation. Now I'm a big believer in batch creating, meaning sitting down and creating multiple posts at once, maybe a whole week worth of post.But I know that’s a big chunk of time. It's not possible for all of us. So even I find myself in situations where I'm like, oh no, I have to post something tonight. So you have to have at least 15 minutes to do that. So saving yourself time here in the content creation is huge. And I'm going to tell you the secret sauce.

This is like, if you like lean in, because if you only listen to one thing, I want you to hear this. Your secret weapon is to repurpose. Maybe this isn't a new concept to you. But when I say repurposing, I am talking about reposting things that you've already posted, and that can be in the form of there's two forms, recycling and repurposing.

Recycling means you literally take a post, you have already posted or a video or Reel, whatever format  and repost the same exact thing.  Repurposing is a little different, it means that you take the same concept. Maybe it's a caption. Maybe it is a graphic and you repackage it to look a little different.

Maybe you take that carousel post that had five tips on it and you create a Reel where you're verbally speaking out those five tips, or maybe it started as a picture with a long caption and you repurpose it to take out a pull quote and you use that as the graphic, instead of the picture that you used beforehand, it could look like a lot of different things.

But hopefully from those examples, you get what I'm talking about. And so here's what you do for December. You can do this, like right now, go into your Instagram app or whatever app that you're repurposing content in. All of them have stats. All of them tell you insights on how well things did then.

Search the previous year, look at 2021 and see which ones performed the best. Take the top 30 posts, and however, often you usually post and repurpose them. You can even couch it as, Hey, I'm going to do a best of series for December. So you're going to be seeing the best performing post. Over the last year, the things that resonated with you the most, because really it is a service to them.

Everything we do is a service to others on this platform, or hopefully if you're doing it mindfully or thoughtfully and you're trying to serve your audience. So what you're doing is you're creating like a power packed month of all these things that they really, really need to hear and really resonate with them.

So I actually did this in July, because I wanted to take a month from content creation, a month break from content creation in July and enjoy my summer and enjoy my kids. I didn't stop working completely, but I didn't want to have to put in the thought work. So what I did is I took all the videos from my previous podcast episodes. And I posted them one per each, per each day of the week. So it was power packed July for the people who were on my feed. They saw new videos every single day, and I got so much wonderful engagement. So many conversations happen from that. My July actually looked better than a lot of my previous months.

So when, what I thought was like, I'm taking a break I'm out of here, guys. They saw as, oh my goodness, there is so much good information here. I need to continue to dig into this and, you know, build a deeper relationship, so that worked out really well. And I think you can absolutely do that for the month of December.

And I want to reassure you that even if you decide to recycle and literally just repost the same thing, people are not going to look at it like, she’s not working hard enough. I mean, at the worst, they're going to be like, oh yeah, I've seen that. Really, usually the feedback that I get is, oh, thank you for the reminder. Yes. I saw this before, but thank you for the reminder. So they will actually thank you for showing it to them again. 

Okay. So that's content creation and how you're going to say a huge amount of time in content creation and also serve them really, really well in the process. Okay. Scheduling scheduling is your second rhythm.

Remember we have content creation. We have scheduling and we have engagement. 

Scheduling and posting. In other words, this is where you're going to, again, save yourself some time, because if you do not already do this, you may already, but you're going to get yourself a social media scheduler. This is a piece of software that is internet based. There are so many of them. Actually Instagram can be posted the post and the videos, not Reels or stories yet, but for free Facebook offers, what's called Creator Studio, just Google it. And you could post to your Instagram. You could schedule out everything ahead of time. So it's like having a little robot person do your work for you.

It's wonderful. Or there's so many other options. I really enjoy Meet Edgar. That is one of my favorite schedulers. But like I said, there's all kind of them, there's Later. There's Buffer. There's so many of them and often they have a free level that you can try it out. Get yourself a scheduler.

Look at first. What performed really well in 2021, pool those and reschedule them or repurpose them a little bit. Maybe you want to add new graphics, what have you, and schedule it. So then you saved yourself a bunch of time because you're not like the day of going, oh, what am I going to schedule today? Or you're realizing, oh, I got to go post that thing. And then you're scrolling and 15 minutes later, you're like, oh, I forgot to post the thing, which I don't know, that never happens to me. Maybe it happens to you. 

Okay. So we had our content creation. We had our scheduling and now our third rhythm is engagement. So this is how you can save time with engagement.

And I, I really don't think this is most of our issues. There are people with very large platforms that have that spend a hours and hours a day answering DMS and answering comments and all that. But I know most of you aren't there yet. You would love to be there, but you're not. So usually the engagement category is an issue because what we do is we open the app and then more scrolling we're instantly distracted.

And we don't feel like we've really connected with anyone after the end of that scroll session. When we got on it to check our own posts and to see how things were performing and to start conversations and to answer our DMs. I've been there a million times. Trust me as a social media marketer this is my biggest issue. So it's the hardest thing about my job. 

So, this is how you save time with engagement. It really is being just intentional about it. And I don't have great tricks because like I said, this is where I struggle the most, but one thing you can do is actually literally have a checklist. Open up your notes app, wherever you keep your to-do list, write it on a sheet of paper, if you need to. And write out the things that you're going to do when you get on that app. So I am going to check my DMs and answer them. I'm going to look at my last post from yesterday and I'm going to respond to any comments and like, and engaged. I'm going to post three stories. And then I am going to comment on five other people posts. So just even having a basic list like that can help focus your attention while you're on the app. I love setting a timer to 15 minutes. Depending on how much time you got, you might not get through that whole list of 15 minutes, but it's been done before. Believe me, it takes us much less time than we think it does because we're so distracted and we're looking at other things.

So you could probably, maybe even that's a challenge for yourself, you start the timer, you had a list in front of you, you check off the list and then you get off the app and you are done. And I know that some of you are going to say, well, I don't even want to do that because I don't. I want my, I want to enjoy where I am.

I want to be present. I don't want to be opening my phone. I really want that break mentally for myself during the holidays. And I totally understand that. And I mean, well, while I really hope that you could find at least five minutes to get on and just respond to the people that commented on your things.

So that they know that you're, you cared that they did that. If you don't have to do that, then engagement could be something that you just let go and you don't respond to those things. 

So we had our content creation. We had our scheduling and we have our engagement on rhythms. I give you some tips for how to really save some time and each of those areas.

And before I wrap up, I just wanted to give you one, just answer one FAQ that I get all the time. Or that I see all the time and I wish people would ask me this question and it's do I need to announce that I am taking a break? Do you need to say literally, hi, Hey, I'm going to be gone. See you in January.

I'm going to be gone for a full month, enjoying my family, blah, blah, blah, blah. Do you need to do that? And I say, I don't think you need to, it is not necessary because the, we may think people are waiting on pins and needles next post. They are not honestly, I don't think they will feel abandoned. However your engagement, your stats, all the amount of time that you, you just worked so hard to build over the last months will have plummeted in that time. 

So it's kind of like you're abandoning yourself and your hard work too, so you don't have to announce. And I absolute, I actually recommend that you don't because then it, it, you know, you can find a good, a good way to do it, even just to tell them like, so for example if you gonna run a best of series, you can announce, Hey, over the month of December, I'm going to be showing you all the amazing messages that you really resonated with over this year. And we can remember together while I take this time to have fun, you know, engage with my kids and enjoy my holidays, blah, blah, blah. You know, you could do something like that, but I, I just, maybe this is only my pet peeve, but it rubs me the wrong way when people who own businesses and I'm here and I need help with whatever they're doing over the holidays.

And I'd be like, peace. See ya. Buh-bye. You know, so I think it can be done in a really lovely way that makes your audience like, oh, well there, they're still, they thought about me and they're still in a post during this whole time. Uh, and so it it'll make them, you'll be endeared to them versus. Hey bye now.

I respect everybody who has boundaries and who takes a break because obviously we all need to, but I think you can do it in a really lovely way. That is a win for everyone. It's a win for them. It's a win for you. Everybody feels great about it. The algorithm and feels great about it. And you can come back in January and start back up wherever you left off.

So I hope this was very helpful for you. We're going to save time, creating content by recycling or repurposing your best performing content from 2021. 

Then we're going to schedule it ahead of time. So you don't have to be physically on the app posting. 

And then we're going to focus on engaging with your post and DMs only. And not get distracted scrolling. 

So I wish you the best in this endeavor, please reach out to me. I'm on Instagram @ MeganEricson. Tell me how these worked for you. I really, really want to hear about it. Thanks so much for being here today.