I’m going to start at the beginning and this means dealing with the statement ‘social media is the answer.’
It’s time to bust this myth wide open.
Social media is not the answer. [I bet you’re thinking the answer to what.]
Social media is not the answer to growing your business. What’s more … it’s actually a threat to it. Why do I say this?
Well before I go into this, I want to ask you something. Do you refresh Facebook 10-15 times an hour to track likes, messages and general interaction? Do you check Twitter and do the same? I’m expecting a yes. Some of you may even go further and check YouTube, Pinterest Instagram and Linkedin! Some of you may even be having more interaction with fans and followers online than with those immediately around you.
Hands up if that’s you?
I know I’ve been guilty of doing this. Yes, I’m fessing up!
Now I bet you’ve been told that social media is essential for your business. Well there’s truth to this but only if it’s used strategically. This is not my bug bear. This is what is….social media addiction!
Social media addiction
In some way or another many of you (including me) have become slightly obsessed with social media and the interaction and engagement it demands. Unlike email it’s a tool that expects a very instant response. If you’ve implemented the advice of the “experts” that’s what you’ll have been taught along the way.
However, it’s wrong.
What’s happened is that many of you have become dependent on it, and habits (including bad habits) have formed. While it may seem like an innocent and essential tool to market your business, unintentionally it’s reinforcing some deep rooted fears. You see there’s a dark side to social media. Used incorrectly it nurtures insecurity – feelings of being liked and good enough.
Think about it. The more likes and interaction you get, the better you feel. Right?
Yes, and stroke that ego whilst you’re at it!
Social media as a threat to your business
So what happens when you don’t get the Likes, ReTweets or interaction? What happens when you’re not feeling the social love? For most of you you’ll genuinely feel unloved, unheard and rejected. Some of you may become depressed. Then you’ll pick yourself up and work harder to obtain the “love” through subsequent posts, Tweets and so on.
And this is where the threat actually lies.
It’s the feeling of inadequacy it brings up. And the feeling of dependency. A co dependent relationship with a tool – nice!
But there’s more….
A recent study by Harvard University on social media addiction shows evidence as to why social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are so popular and highly addictive for many people. The study aimed to dig into the psyche of why people are eager to self disclose i.e. post their thoughts and actions on social media.
Through a series of experiments, the study revealed that the act of disclosing personal or opinionated information activates the same part of the brain that’s associated with the sensation of pleasure – the same pleasure that you get from eating food, getting money or even having sex!
Oh la la!
Ok so where’s this all going. Well here’s my story to illustrate the point I’m making. As you know by now, I too have struggled with the social media “love” loop. In all honesty I didn’t actually realise I had a problem with it until the other day.
I became aware when I decided to get super focused and complete an online course. I knew it was time to get this course to you. 18 years worth of complex sales experience coupled with growing a 7-figure business had to be turned into IP and transferred into course format if I was going to help you.
I could also hear my mentor’s words ringing in my head, “Jane if you don’t have a product, then you don’t have a business.”
Anyway, to do this meant hours of work and I knew that the only way I could achieve this was through mega discipline. I knew I had to switch off my social media networks for the bulk of the day. I had to get targeted and even more strategic with it.
I had to go on a social media detox!
I was a little scared. That sounds silly but I’m being honest.
I knew social media was the most powerful way to get exposure, increase my leads and deliver my message to the world. I’d worked hard on it and was seeing results. What if my likes, fans and followers didn’t grow as much? What if my engagement levels fell? My business would surely suffer and all the hard work I’d done would be to no avail.
Well surprisingly none of this happened! My social media likes, re-tweets, fans and followers kept on growing. And what’s more, I felt a lot better.
What’s the alternative to social media?
There’s no alternative to social media if you want to grow your business. You need to do it. However, you need to protect yourself and reduce your risk exposure to the threat of social media addiction. When it comes to entrepreneurship, mindset and mental health is so important.
So the only way you’re going to crack this is not through avoidance, but by having a social media strategy devised and implemented. You need to know how it fits in to your overall marketing and sales plan and therefore what you want to achieve from it from the get-go. You need to be able to measure results. You need a schedule in place for posting, tweeting and interacting. And as if that’s not enough, you’re going to have to be disciplined. Super discipline in fact. You need to decide how much time you’re going to spend on it. 30 minutes each day should do the trick.
Now I want to hear from you…
Tell me your story. Have you gone on a social media detox at any point in your business? If you did, what results did you see? Are you concerned about social media addiction or the feelings it brings up when you’re on it? Share your stories and experience here.
Thanks for participating!
With love and gratitude – as always,
Finally, if you know someone who’d LOVE the insight from this post, please send them a link. You’ll find solo entrepreneurs, consultants and yes, even sales and marketing managers who manage people who’ll be interested to hear about this.
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