Here's the deal: I hate social media. Ok, let me clarify that just a bit. The truth is, I actually love social media. I love what it can do for small business, and I love what it can do for individuals who know how to use it. What I hate about social media is how it's twisted and degraded our ideas about what it means to "be social." That's just a personal point-of-view, so don't hate me for it. 🙂 What I really want to discuss in this post is how, despite my own personal hatred for social media, I've managed to leverage it to help grow our business and how you can do the same...
NOTE: Let me be clear about one thing before we dive in -- I'm addressing this post to my fellow entrepreneurs and business owners, not "civilians."
Why I'm Not A Social Media Type
If you're a regular reader of this blog and a follower of Convert With Content in any way, you've met my lovely wife Stephanie. Thank god for Stephanie. She runs our entire Social Media department. She's so damn good at it, she makes it look super easy.
But the reality is social media is NOT easy... at least not for people like me.
For me, the work of "Marketing" is strategic work done mostly alone behind my laptop. Social Media Marketing is almost an oxymoron in my world. Social Marketing requires constant engagement, listening, and networking to be effective. Yes, it's also strategic, but it's never done in a vacuum. Social Marketing is done in real-time while engaging with real people who expect interaction within specific media channels.
Again, for me, this is not how I approach marketing.
BUT… yes, that's a *big* but. Social Marketing is extremely essential to your Web Marketing success today. Without at least some type of Social Marketing strategy, you're basically doomed to fail. Ok, that's not always true, but for the average small business it definitely is true.
The Problem With Social Media Marketing
My greatest conflict with Social Marketing work is time. I'm literally obsessed with Time Management. I believe you should be working on one thing at a time with as much focus as possible. I also believe it's necessary for entrepreneurs, CEOs, and Small Business Owners to "shut out" the world 80-90% of the time in order to be as productive as possible.
This means turning OFF email, meetings, employees, phone calls, and basically anything else that can pull you away from what you're working on in the moment.
Social Media has single-handedly changed the way we experience reality because it is almost always ON. Just think of all the websites and apps you now log into directly with your Facebook ID or your Twitter ID. You're constantly logged-on and thus constantly connected.
You can see the problem here: I don't believe there's anything SOCIAL about getting work done. That doesn't mesh with my personality type, and I simply do not understand how entrepreneurs & small business owners can ever get anything done if they're constantly responding to every little ping, tweet, and alarm.
Now, don't get me wrong -- I do enjoy being social. I love meeting new people, and I always enjoy a good networking scene. I just don't believe the two should happen simultaneously. If I'm working, then I'm working. If I'm being social, then I'm being social.
I always find it sad & disappointing when I see new entrepreneurs dive into web marketing and ultimately fail because they confuse "doing social media" with actually "doing marketing" and "getting things done." This is exactly what you want to avoid.
Make Social Media Work For You
I firmly believe that social media should work FOR you and FOR your business, not the other way around. The first step to making that happen is to realize that you need to see & understand Social Media Marketing for what it really is -- a tool for growing your business -- and nothing more.
Ok, I realize you have your Facebook account and probably a Twitter account that you might use for personal reasons, but you absolutely must keep these two things separated in your mind.
And to be honest, I think it would serve you well to divorce yourself from even your "personal" social media accounts as much as possible. Look, you and I both know you're wasting TONS of precious time checking Facebook 57890127343 times every single day. Do yourself a favor and log out! Honestly, simply logging out of sites like Facebook and Twitter can go a long way towards helping you stay focused. I also recommend an app (for Mac) called SelfControl if you want to *block* specific websites while you focus on the important work at hand.
Hire A Social Media Marketer
So the reality is today virtually every small business needs a Social Marketing presence. But for most entrepreneurs, it's a huge mistake to try and be that social media person too. You're already wearing too many hats, and the worst part about trying to run the social marketing for your own business is it's like wearing a hat you can never take off!
You need to hire a Social Marketing professional who can get this work done for you. It's really not that hard to do. And stop worrying about whether or not someone else can properly represent you and your business. Yes, there might be a few bumps along the way, but you will simply never grow your business to reach your dreams if you keep trying to control every single detail.
So now that I've given you permission to continue hating social media just like I do, it's time to get back to work on the important stuff! 🙂