With social media as such a huge part of our lives and business, it can be hard to know when to take a break—especially when social media is part of your job as a racer. You ask questions like, “If I stop posting, will I lose followers?” and “If I don’t engage every day, will the algorithm totally hate me?”
These are fair questions! The social media platform’s major goals are to keep you on the platform for as long as possible. Taking a break is a bold step when you know that the platform will not reward you for taking time away.
But your mental health is more important than any micro increase in followers or engagement. Taking a step back from social media is something I definitely recommend doing between races, and you can do it without totally abandoning your audience or your momentum.
Here are my best suggestions for taking a social media break:
How to Know If You Need a Break
If you’re asking the question, “Do I need a break from social media?” you probably have your answer. Social media can be so fun, but it can also interfere with our thoughts, productivity, and general happiness.
If you’re finding yourself:
- Obsessing about how you look in the post-race pics rather than on the joy of the race.
- Spending more time getting the right shot in the shop than working on the car.
- Scrolling endlessly and comparing yourself to other racers (or anyone, really).
Another thing to think about is if your content is really resonating. If you’re finding that you’re investing a ton of time and energy into posts, stories, and emails that aren’t converting or growing your audience, it might be time to take a break. There’s no shame in needing to re-evaluate and not get bogged down by what everyone else is doing on the platform.
I will say, though, that you don’t always need a whole break when you’re experiencing low seasons or stress due to social media. Simply adjust your usage schedule, content calendar, or mindset first and see if that solves your problem and sparks your creativity.
What Kind of Break Should You Take?
So if you’ve decided to take a break, there are 2 types of breaks for you to consider; a hard break and a soft break.
With a hard break, you can delete ALL the apps from your phone for a set period of time. The point is to not post at all and to not check in on your accounts and see the new posts from your friends and influencers. If you choose to take a hard break, I highly recommend making it clear to yourself, and to your followers, how long you’re breaking for—a week? A month? That way, you won’t feel like every day is a battle, and your audience will know why all of a sudden you’re not posting anymore. Besides, during the holiday season people are spending less time on social media anyways so that’s the best time for you to also get off the ‘gram. Here’s an example of an announcement I did to tell my followers that I’m leaving during the off-season.
If it’s during the middle of race season and you’re feeling that burn out, then a soft break is what you need. With a soft break, you could start scheduling regular small breaks for yourself away from your devices. Maybe once a week you take a whole day off of Twitter, or you consolidate your posts on Instagram. Or, you could start batching your content and limiting your time on social media. This means using a program like Creator Studio to auto post for you and save you time. You avoid the scroll, but your content continues as usual.
How to Stay “Active” While Still Taking a Break
If you’re deciding to take a soft break and want to keep using social media as a major marketing tool for your career, here are some ideas for you.
Choose ONE Platform
If you can commit to just one platform instead of the 3-4 you might be using, you might find greater success while also experiencing less stress. I suggest really digging into an email newsletter, or using Instagram if you were to choose just ONE platform.
Hire a virtual assistant or social media manager
I’ve talked about this before, how hiring sometime to help me manage my engagement and posting on social media was such a game-changer for me. It freed up my mind and schedule in ways I never expected! You can find people willing to support you in your social media efforts and give yourself the break you need. If you’re interested in learning more about what all a social media manager does, I explain the services we offer >>> HERE.
Knowing what to spend your time talking about online is the key to not wasting your time and keeping your audience engaged. Creating content categories for yourself will help guide your posting schedule and give you piece of mind when it comes time to taking pictures and videos for posts in between races.
Taking a social media break isn’t always a bad thing. Knowing that you have some time to reset rhythmically can help you use your time on social media more wisely and bring back the creativity spark that you may be lacking. By letting your followers know when you are planning on taking a hard break from the online space during the off-season it tells them that you’re not ghosting them for no reason, and it can actually increase your engagement when you come back on because they’re excited to hear from you and see what you’ve been up to.