The #ReclaimSocial campaign started two years ago to encourage charities and individuals to be more positive on social media. We all need more positivity on our news feeds and we think it’s time to focus on the people who inspire us on a daily basis as doing so can be beneficial to both or professional and personal mental wellbeing.
#ReclaimSocial is returning on February 6 and it’s the perfect time to look at the different ways we can improve our social media habits as communicators and practice digital self care. So here’s some tips to get you started:
1. Filter your news feeds
Look at the news feeds of the channels you personally use most. How do they make you feel? If they make you feel stressed, upset or overwhelmed, then you can mute or unfollow the topics and accounts that don’t contribute anything to your scrolling experience.
This can help you find a balance between the negative (but possibly important) stories and the inspiring news that can help you feel both informed and motivated.
2. See warning signs and switch off, if needed
Being constantly online can be exhausting, so it’s important to switch off from time to time.
There may be mental or even physical signs it’s time to switch off. Check in with yourself and your feelings and learn to spot the warning signs. If you are tired, stressed or burned out, make sure you address it sooner rather than later.
3. Be conscious of your posting and your feelings
Do you use Twitter to complain about train delays? Are you tempted to reply to Facebook trolls? Does seeing hateful messages disappoint you?
Be conscious of your posting and how it may affect your feelings. It’s okay to vent if it helps you feel better but what if it actually leaves you more upset?
Before posting a negative comment, think. ‘How will it affect my mental health?’ And vice versa, do you notice a difference when you’re sharing more positive messages? Start evaluating your posting habits and make the necessary changes to take care of yourself.
4. Set up a crisis plan
A work crisis plan can make it easier for you to deal with unexpected situations. It can make it easier for you to handle difficult situations while also facilitating communication within your team.
There’s no need to feel alone and overwhelmed when you’re dealing with a negative comment or a sensitive topic. A structured crisis approach can reassure you that you are able to work through any issue that might arise. If you haven’t created a social media crisis plan before ask for help from other communicators or look at freely available online templates.
5. Explore what ‘self care’ means to you
We need to take care of ourselves before helping others. Working in social the lines between personal and professional often blur and so It’s good to set up self care rituals that can help you feel better and to model self care approaches for your team.
For example, if you are feeling overwhelmed from using too many screens, setting your phone aside over the weekend can be helpful. If you are spending too many hours at your desk, you might want to go for a walk with your colleagues during lunch. If you feel you’re constantly rushing, then you can explore how to slow down in between busy periods to help yourself.
Define what ‘self care’ means to you and add it to your weekly schedule.
6. Build a support networks
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. A support network can be a group of friends or colleagues or even other charity communicators and whether it’s a meet-up, a conference, or an online conversation, finding people who relate to your problems can be very helpful. You can also exchange ideas and celebrate achievements.
We know that the power of community can be vital in campaigns and social change, in general so try embracing this solidarity when forming networks.
7. Re-evaluate your definition of social media success
Another way to #ReclaimSocial for good is to think of your professional objectives and how they can be more meaningful. Looking at the number of likes and followers as your main goals is not enough anymore in social media marketing. It can also create a mindset of chasing likes and followers that don’t add anything to your actual objectives.
Aim for authentic and engaging stories that inspire your followers to support your cause. You can even take screenshots of inspiring messages and share them with your team. It’s not just the metrics that prove success and these can also make you feel better for the work that you’re doing.
8. Be the best champion of the causes that you’re passionate about
You want to be the best version of yourself to become the best champion of the causes that you’re passionate about. Working for an organisation that inspires you can be very rewarding. Despite the challenges, it is still great sharing stories of impact.
Don’t be afraid to celebrate your work through personal accounts. Share your success, your failures, the lessons that you’ve learned. Be open to new ideas and collaborations. Encourage more communicators to be inspiring.
9. Amplify positive stories
People crave positive news. We may be used to hearing sad stories and upsetting news but this doesn’t mean that we can’t uplift each other with stories of hope.
There are many examples of stories of hope that worked extremely well for organisations of all sizes. Not everything is perfect but this doesn’t mean we can’t improve our experience on social media by sharing more positive news and inspiring ideas.
Social media is also giving us the opportunity to amplify voices that we don’t always hear in traditional media. We are all working in a sector that’s full of amazing people doing great things all over the world. These are the people we need to focus more on every day.
Want to personally #ReclaimSocial?
A good way we can #ReclaimSocial is to look at our own personal habits and be more mindful with our social media usage.
On February 6, we want to celebrate the inspiring stories that remind us of the positive side of social media and how it can connect us to people we might never have otherwise known so why not join in. It’s a great opportunity for the sector to come together to celebrate the stories that matter.
Share a story that made your day, thank supporters, nominate your heroes of positivity, and follow people who can make your feeds more inspiring.
It’s up to us to start with small acts of positivity to create a ripple effect that improves our social media experience.
For more about #ReclaimSocial, download the social media toolkit.