I’ve struggled for years to use social media for my business in a way that feels productive to me and like I’m not just playing and calling it “work”.
Can you relate? I can’t be alone, right?
Earlier this year I decided to take a 60 day break from social media and I didn’t even last the full 60 days. I blogged about that.
I don’t want to quit social media. I just want to use it in a way that’s NOT addictive feeling, NOT obsessive.
And so I’m getting to work on that.
I think it’s important for me to understand why it is I want to STAY on social media and what it is that makes me want to leave. So I created a list of pros and cons basically…
Reasons to Stay on Social Media:
- I love connecting with other people
- I want to keep up with what my friends are doing
- I see my customers engage with me and then engage with my offers via email
- I can get quick feedback on topics to find out what’s of greater interest to my audience
- Instagram is FUN!
- In theory I can build my list and make sales on social (it’s not total theory, people do it but it’s not something I do – yet).
Reasons to Leave Social Media:
- I scroll and waste time, too often
- I get sucked into random posts and I read the comments that bring me into this negative fascination of reading people arguing on the internet. I never feel good after this.
- It isn’t trackable right through to the return on investment. I’m an email marketer. I can see whenever I sent an email exactly how many people open, clicked and then as a result bought from that email. My software can even track the conversion.
- It distracts me from my time with family. This is the BIGGEST one. Wasting time scrolling instead of playing a board game with my daughter is NOT ok.
I’ve really thought about leaving social media for good. My 60 day trial was a test to see if I could and it’s not the first time I’ve done that. I just don’t like leaving. I just don’t want to and ultimately if I can use it without the negative effects I think social is a good and beneficial thing for my life and my business.
Add to that here in Ontario we ARE in total lockdown still and social media is literally the only social connection many of us have. We NEED social as humans, it’s part of our nature and at the moment the online version is the only kind we can acceptably have. It’s a bummer but it is life at the moment.
So – I’m staying. I LOVE social media that’s obvious. So much so that I do get obsessed with just being on there without any real goals or plans, just being with the group was enough for me.
However I’m making a plan and I’m putting it into action. I’ve already started, actually. So I thought I’d share with you the actions I’ve been doing to use social media in a healthy and good for business way that allows me to both enjoy and benefit from it.
What I’m Doing to Keep Social Media Addiction at Bay:
I’m becoming a person who PLANS things:
The first thing I’m doing, immediately, is to stop flying by the seat of my pants in business. I think this act of never planning ahead that I have used most of my business career is contributing to my going onto social media and calling it work. If I have no other things planned into my schedule it’s easy to think “oh, I’ll go do a post!”. Social media is FUN and so it’s easy to just hop on over there and make a post, respond to stuff, scroll the feed.
I reactivated an Instagram account and website that I had deactivated late last year (or maybe earlier this year). ChasingVegan.com is live again and so is @PlantBasedAngela (formerly @iamchasingvegan) on Instagram. There are a couple of reasons for this: 1) I LOVE posting pictures of my food to keep me accountable to eat better and it works! I’ve just realized that from the time I deactivated my account my eating got a LOT worse. Posting my food publically makes me want to eat better – who knew! and 2) I will be talking more about my Juice Plus products and the Tower Garden on this platform than the others – it’s where it fits and I’m excited to go into lots of detail with challenges, details on improving nutrition and more.
I bring up the Chasing Vegan because as I was planning yesterday in Trello I started pre-planning my social media posts in a fun way! I intend to just pop in this kind of planning anytime I think of a new post for ANY of my social media and websites. Here’s a screenshot of the Trello list of post ideas (and my monthly planning of content):
When it’s time for me to plan my social media I’ll go back to all my post ideas and I’ll create a post and save. Then I’ll go into Cinchshare and I’ll schedule the post. When the time comes to post it Cinchshare loads it up on my phone and pings me to post it, it’s a cool process for Instagram. My Facebook posts I’ll schedule in Facebook through the program.
My aim is to have these month by month content tabs in Trello that I can then pull up in a year to reuse or duplicate as much content as possible.
This kind of planning and content creation is going to leave me little time for just perusing Facebook but should I get the urge to do so here’s what else I’ll be doing to protect myself from getting down the social media rabbit hole…
Blocking off social media for times I don’t intend to be working or playing on it:
I’ve been thinking about how I want to do this.
My friend Cindy Bidar and I were laughing about how she wants social media blocked during the week (because she doesn’t use it for business) and I want mine blocked during the weekend (because I want to focus on my family, my home and preparing for the week ahead).
Cindy recommended I try this app and website blocker: Freedom
I’ve played with it and I like it. I have it set to block me from social media on Monday to Friday from 1am to 1pm and then from 2pm to 9pm. So I’m allowed to be on it for an hour during the day for work, which should be enough to socialize on there as I’ll be planning and scheduling my posts in Cinchshare.
Then weekends are really the most critical time so I may block entire weekends off. We’ll see! I’m thinking we may make Saturday a “family day” moving forward and Sunday the “planning and do what you choose day”. So if I get my work done in the morning on Sundays I might “play” on social media in the afternoon.
This is how I plan to use social media moving forward in a way that feels the most healthy and productive to me and my business.
Will this help you, too? Is there anything you could add that works for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!