Social Media for Personal Branding & Business (do it, don’t, sort of, allocate)
These days, it’s becoming a common knowledge that every business and a person, for that matter, should be his social media. There are people like Gary Vaynerchuk who argue that having a good following with an engaging audience is one of the most important things for any business.
There are, however, other opinions that we have to consider. Namely, from people like Cal Newport or Seth Godin, who don’t have a self-managed social media accounts and yet have great businesses.
Having been experimenting with various social media for a while and having considered both sides of the argument, the short answer to this title is: sort of or allocate.
Breaking It Down: Social Media Pros and Cons
In order to make our own educated decision whether using social media is a good thing for business, we have to consider all the advantages and disadvantages. The following list is not only coming from me but also from many advocates and opponents of social media usage.
- website traffic
- promotions (products, ads, affiliate marketing)
- a way of reaching a new audience
- a means of communication with customers
- content distribution
- time consuming
- keeping from the actual work that has to be done
- reducing focus and attention span in the long run
- dopamine spikes addiction
- instant gratification addiction
Pros & Cons Discussion
Undeniably, we live in a world of social media. If you ask anyone from online business, what’s the next big thing, they will tell you this has been the next big thing since 1998. Everyone’s attention is on their mobile phones and so you can see that the pros like website traffic which can be generated from a simple link on your Instagram is real and it works.
Nevertheless, the cons are as real as the pros. Seth Godin, who is one of the most known marketers and authors, believes that the downside is worse than the upside. His blog has been continuously ranking as one of the most read worldwide. “I could have jumped on Twitter very early and be good at it, but I realized that I have to say “No” to a lot of things if I want to do my chosen work properly.” He said in an interview.
If you are a fan of Cal Newport, you must have read his book called Deep Work. He argues that nowadays people are unable to do deep work. For example, they are not able to sit and write for even an hour without looking at their phone. Further, in his book, he presents studies which conclude that always checking up on notifications or replying to emails all the time, damages our ability to focus. We are becoming more and more monkeys addicted to phone-notification dopamine spikes and instant gratification.
What should we do?
Obviously, there are enormous benefits to be on social media. Whether it’s because we build our personal brand, business or just chatting with friends.
On the other hand, we should not disregard the science-proven side effect.
I’ve been on social media for a while now and tested a lot of things. And it’s true that my website has 40% traffic from Instagram and FB (16.9.2017). And it’s true too that I’ve gained a lot of new readers from Reddit or LinkedIn. But man (sorry if you are a girl), you know what I have observed too? At the very beginning, I’d write a 1 article every 2 days. When I got to some of the social media platforms, I’d spent more than 70% of my time promoting, getting followers, and interacting with my existing audience.
Writing good informative content, dropped to about an article per week. I even noticed that I was just randomly checking my social media for no reason. Well, the reason was that I became f***** addicted and also checking my Instagram was much easier than actually writing a good piece of work.
I’ve already said that the answer was: sort of, or allocate.
By allocation, I mean hiring someone who would manage your social media account in your best interest. In this way, you can focus on your work which is content creation without any distraction. The already mentioned Seth Godin has made it work.
The drawback to allocation is that your social media account will no longer be that authentic and people might miss the personal touch which they had with you when you were engaging with them personally. It’s also good to point out that it costs money to get someone manage your social media account.
Another approach which I like the most is to “sort of” manage your social media account by yourself.
Let me explain, I recognized that I had to say “No” to check on my social media every few minutes. It was disrupting to my main work and so I turned the notifications off for all except messenger and phone.
Also, I chose very carefully who I interact with on social media. I have my circle of friends whose stuff I like and read, and I have a group of “influencers” (people I admire and respect their opinions) who I follow.
No longer do I interact with random followers. It’s not like I don’t want to talk to them, but in order for me to create a good content, I have to say “No” to some distractions. I am still replying to blog comments, but I made a rule to do all my correspondence only once a week.
All this might change in the future based on circumstances.
What’s the best thing for you?
I suggest studying different point of views on this topic and after that testing and experimenting how it works for you. Finally, alter it and see. DO YOURSELF. Self-awareness of your particular situation is key. Meditation is proven to help with awareness besides other things.