Your phone rings.
You check the display.
Roll your eyes.
“Urgh, it’s them again, I’d better answer it, otherwise they’ll only keep pestering me.”
It’s that relative, or work colleague, you’re duty bound to speak to. If you don’t, if you evade them, it’s only going raise uncomfortable questions or create unnecessary tension.
We all have those people in our lives.
You just have to smile politely, take the call, get it over with then get on with your life.
No big deal.
Instagram is that for me.
Everyone says I should do it, but the thought of it fills me with dread.
When I do post an image, I don’t get any sense of satisfaction. I’m ambivalent and glad to get back to living my life rather than showing the world some glossy version of it.
Ironically – considering I’m a blogger and in my work mentoring start ups I’m seen as ‘the digital marketing person’ – I have a love hate relationship with Social Media, in general.
On the one hand, it’s fantastic at levelling the communications playing field. It’s the ultimate expression of the fundamental right to freedom of speech.
On the other, it’s an all-encompassing, pervasive force, that feeds our deepest fears, hang ups, vanity, self-obsession and creates a toxic culture of comparison.
Facebook, I get to see what people in my life are doing who I otherwise wouldn’t see. Geographically disparate friends and family, former work colleagues I’m still mates with but don’t generally hang out with, and continuing conversations with contacts from my work.
Linked In is useful for staying in touch with contacts and sharing business intelligence.
Then there’s Instagram…
What exactly is the point of it?
…For me, anyway.
- “Instagram, is the next big thing…”
- “Facebook is for old people, you should be on Instagram…”
- “Instagram’s great, I get so much engagement…” (I don’t think 17 hearts on a picture of some sky counts as ‘engagement’).
These were the messages I was hearing when I set up an account last year.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not arbitrarily dismissing Instagram entirely, but here are my own personal reasons for disliking it:
Firstly, as a writer, my go to is a device that has a keyboard, so a phone only Social platform was uncharted territory for me. That was the first alarm bell, being forced to spend more time on a damn phone, when we could all do with spending less time on our phones!
Secondly, I just don’t care about seeing pictures of people’s breakfast, or an artful arrangement of coffee mug and laptop. I’ve posted those pictures myself – doing what everyone else does – now, I look back and cringe.
Thirdly, what’s the return on investment?
Imagine ‘investment’ as a 3-legged stool…
Leg 1: Money – investing your cash
Leg 2: Time – investing your time
Leg 3: Energy – investing your energy
Every investment you make needs all three legs to stand on, unless you have enough cash to pay for some else’s time and energy. It needs to be worth it.
- If it takes time, but you enjoy it (positive energy) and see a cash return, it’s worth doing.
- If you enjoy doing it, and it saves you money, it’s worth doing.
- If you enjoy doing it, and it doesn’t take much time, it’s worth doing.
- If it costs you too much of any of these things, it’s not worth doing.
- Costing me time (as a self-employed person that = money).
- Making me no discernible income.
- Costing me energy: I hate wasting time on it. I hate trying to do it for seemingly the sake of it. I hate agonising over creating images for something that isn’t a visual product or service (all negative energies).
My stool is looking pretty wobbly right now!
Why Waste Time and Energy?
Social Media needs to be worth the investment.
- It’s far better to be consistent and engaging on one or two Social Media platforms, than to spread yourself too thinly across all of them.
- Quality over quantity, every time
- If you can’t be consistent, it’s better not to be there
- A poorly managed Social Media account does your business more harm than not having it
- Focus on the platforms you like (or at least, don’t hate) and your marketing will come more naturally
- Choose what works for you, not what people say you ‘should do’
- Pick a platform that fits your work and your audience – if it’s not a visual business, why try to force it? Square-pegs-round-holes!
If I’m going to do it, I need to do it properly, otherwise, what’s the point?
I’ve not deleted my account. I’ve just disabled it.
I’ll see how I feel in a few month’s time.
I’ll see if I’ve missed it.
I’ll see if I find a way it can inspire me.
I’ll wait and see…
But right now, all I know is, I’m relieved to have made a decision!
Do you have a favourite Social Media Channel?
Or, one you hate?