Burnt Out? How to Reignite your Passion for Social Media Strategy

Burnt Out? How to Reignite your Passion for Social Media Strategy

Wesley Mathew
2 July 2019
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The world of technology and digital marketing is ever-changing. And in this chaotic and evolving environment – it can be tough to find the motivation you need to come up with fresh ideas.

The problem

While the landscape hardly ever stays stagnant, the practice of developing and rolling out a strategy can become tedious. And, we all need a little fresh inspiration to keep us coming up with effective ways to connect with our audiences.

In addition, most community managers and social media strategists are working under pressure – putting out weekly content and working with changing objectives. This leaves little room for creativity and thinking “out the box”.

In many ways, our audiences are volatile and keeping up with mentions, trends and topical events takes time and effort, and sometimes that can be difficult to muster. So, with all of these challenges compounding – how do we distill the problem into a working solution and start changing the way we approach doing meaningful work?

There are three ways to stay intrinsically motivated

If we look at what motivates us as humans, we can identify 3 key areas: Purpose, autonomy, and mastery. And, you don’t have to take my word for it. These driving forces have been well documented in Daniel H. Pink’s insightful masterpiece – Drive. They are what really moves us to excel at what we do, and to find a sense of satisfaction in creating methodologies that we are proud of.

So, how do we use this cultural psychology as the driving force behind reigniting our love for social media strategy? Let us count the ways!

Get into the right space

Understand that creativity doesn’t run out, it gets kicked out. For many of us, creativity and mental stamina can feel like a finite resource. Have you ever felt like you’ve just used it all up? Well, in the words of Maya Angelou “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have”. However, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t having a problem accessing it.

Maintain your physical and mental well-being as far as possible. It’s easy to get burnt out in the digital industry and maintaining your health is the most important way to ensure that you can do quality work. Before you start tackling your new-found purpose, make sure you are physically and mentally ready to take on an exciting challenge.

Identify your purpose

The easiest way to create purpose for yourself is to identify the bigger picture.

Ask yourself:

  • what am I trying to achieve with this strategy?
  • Is it simply to complete a task or can I really add value to the life of a consumer?
  • Is there reward in this in terms of business insight or performance?
  • Is there something new we can try to unlock better performance?


By identifying your purpose, you’ll add a whole new meaning to your strategy and set the groundwork for definitive goals.

Get the freedom you need to do your best work

In order for you to successfully formulate strategies and roll them out effectively, you need the room and the power to have your ideas heard. In order to achieve an impact with your ideas, you need to back them up with data. This way, you’re showing that you’ve done the groundwork and you’re able to make a real impact in your team and in the work that you do.

Autonomy comes to those who can identify a problem and find interesting solutions. So make your case with the right backup and, if you don’t already have it, ask for the freedom to broaden the research and concept phase.  

Master your craft

This role requires you to continuously improve, and while that may seem like a burden, it’s actually an effective way to find job satisfaction.

Have you ever heard the phrase “the advanced level is mastery of the basics?”. Well, it rings truer than ever in the social media world. You need a good foundation to build on before you can start to innovate and do your best work.

Your personal development can be driven by coursework and educational videos but any form of mastering a basic or advanced skill can give you the kickstart you need. This also needs to be a daily practice but feel free to celebrate your wins along the way.

Get excited again

Many strategic minds thrive on seeing a pattern. Picking out a problem or an opportunity and meeting the subsequent need can become like a game – that will keep a true strategist enthralled – when they’re in the right head-space. The best way to revive a dying spark for this kind of personality is to present new room for insights.

Use media monitoring software to identify opportunities, learn more about your audience demographics and beliefs, and to visualise potential threats in the way that they react to your content.

In doing so, you’ll have a fresh perspective and the opportunity to do what you love best – finding creative solutions to problems, and planning how it will all roll out.

Avoid knee-jerk reactions

In a recent paper by the Harvard Business Review, the author, Paul Garland, cited a few key reasons why people leave their jobs. In some instances, they didn’t like their bosses, in others “leavers” didn’t see room for growth and millennials and Gen-Z-ers are more likely than any other demographic to move on within the space of a few months. Sometimes, this “moving on” even comes in the form of a career change.

What many of these people don’t realise is that we have more control than we think over how much job satisfaction we get from a career in social media and marketing. There are a number of tools to offer us new avenues, even in a less-than-ideal environment.

By giving in to the imposter monster that all creatives and strategists experience at some point, you give up on the chance to explore new avenues. And, you might be setting yourself up for a world of regret, starting over in a new career when all you needed was a refresh on your ideas or methodologies.

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Focus on harnessing autonomy, purpose and mastery to help reignite your love for social media strategy. And, if you want help finding new insights or getting into the psychology and behaviour of your audiences, you know where to find us.