We are a couple decades down the social media rabbit hole now, and I have miles to go before I sleep. (I think that’s how the poem goes?) I want to be the sort of person who makes relatable viral content on social media while simultaneously being the sort of person who throws her phone into the sea and putters around in a dusty old library for the rest of her days. That is to say that I hate social media but need it for business.
Do we actually NEED social media?
I don’t know if there is a correct answer, but this post will attempt to make it clear that maybe the idea we need social media for business is false.
I mean, it has to be. I know very few business owners who have a social media following big enough to sustain the work they do. And honestly, if you’re doing the work, you probably don’t have time for social media. Plus, if you factor in the way algorithms work, it’s almost impossible for people to find you on social media.
That isn’t to say that I don’t have loyal blog readers who found me on social media. But the majority of you have definitely found me on Pinterest, YouTube, through organic search, or by signing up for my newsletter. So, clearly, social media doesn’t do a lot for me.
And I can’t help but wonder if I need to continue to subject myself to it.
I’m Starting to Hate Social Media
Just kidding. I’ve always hated it.
I remember hanging out with some friends in college and how they made me set up a Facebook account. The site had existed for about a year at that point, and I was the only person not on the site. (Or so they said.)
So I used my college email address to create a profile, and then uploaded one picture and added a list of things to my likes, which then sat as clickable links on my profile. I still have a Facebook profile, even though it doesn’t look anything like it did back in the day. I check in maybe once a week, and I clear out my notifications without checking them and mark all the messages as read without reading them.
Why? Well. I hate that platform. And honestly, if what people have to say to me is important, they know how to use my phone number.
Then why don’t I just delete it? Well. Because so many institutions and organizations use Facebook as infrastructure. I don’t want to delete the account only to find out I need it to interact in a stupid private group that could easily be held on a better, more efficient platform, but people would rather see the shadows on Facebook’s cave walls.
What do you call someone who doesn’t use social media? I would argue happy is the best descriptor.
There’s just too much noise on social media for actual communication. Anything someone tells me on social media doesn’t really matter and can be ignored. It’s just another noise to tune out most of the time.
I Hate Social Media But Need It for Business
Now, I also use that Facebook profile to run my Facebook page. Because Facebook won’t let you just have the page. But like I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t do much for me.
So, I hate social media but need it for business is essentiall a myth. I suppose it’s good to have social profiles snagged so no one else can take them. But honestly, I don’t see a lot of value in maintaining a full editorial calendar.
Can business survive without social media? Yep.
Are there companies without social media? Yep.
In fact, a lot of the writers I really admire and respect don’t use it. Alexandra Franzen, for example, does not. She maintains her blog and her newsletter, and arguably has a more engaged following than most writers.
So, couldn’t I do what she does?
I mean, yes. Yes I could. But here’s the thing, friends.
I got onto social media because others pressured me to do it. I made a choice based on what I thought I should do because others were doing it. I don’t want to completely rid myself of social media because someone else did it.
So, right now, is the time to think about what works best for me and what I want overall.
Networking Without Social Media
Before we jump into the idea of networking, I’m going to be serious here and ask if you even have the energy for networking. BECAUSE I REALLY DON’T.
I am writing this during the second week of 2023. The past few years have been a mess. My energy levels are lower than they’ve ever been before, and I’m so out of fucks to give about shit that it’s kind of funny at this point.
So, do I even want to network? Mostly no. Right now, I’m in a phase where I just want to make stuff and chill. So, blogging, videos, books? Hell yeah. Social media posts to promote that stuff? UGH.
I am officially transitioning into non social media marketing. (If that sounds like fun to you, check out some of the free resources Alexandra Franzen has for networking and marketing without social media.)
I’ve been really focusing on my newsletter for the past couple of years and I love writing it. I like having that as my primary channel.
And I spent last year focusing on this blog and creating a strong content marketing foundation for the books I write, so I feel very good about that work.
For me, the key is to remember what I want to do and forget about what I think I should be doing.
And that’s the trick to networking without social media. Know what you want to do and block out all the voices that tell you otherwise.
Life After Twitter
Recently, I deleted my Twitter account. (Then, I logged back in to snag my old handle again, just so no one else could.) I’m functionally off the platform. I no longer create content for Twitter.
That was the hardest Band-aid to rip off. But as you’ll see in this video, it was worth it.
Twitter was a platform that regularly wore me down. I could create and create and create for that platform, and nothing I did would gain any traction. Plus, it was a place where people would like a tweet instead of retweeting it, functionally guaranteeing that any effort you put into that platform to grow your presence was stagnated by the majority of your followers.
And I’m not in the business of creating outrage content, so I never got the benefits of the algorithm.
Now that I’m off, I’m happier now. I don’t waste so much time.
I’m not saying I’m the most productive person in the world now. I don’t think reclaiming time and mental energy has to be about productivity. For me, I’m happier. I’m less anxious.
And I’ve also realized how much other social platforms make me anxious.
For me, 2023 will be the year of figuring out what the hell I want to do and making sure I keep doing it.