I’m a social media person / business / entity. I have been for many years. Yet as the days, months and years grow, so do the number of social media platforms to keep up with. It makes my head spin. I guess the nagging question for me lately is WHY?
Like most of you in small business, or just trying to stay in the know, I spend countless hours tweeting, posting, clicking, drafting, composing, photographing, dictating, responding to…and for what? Sure, I’ve made a lot of ‘friends’ and have garnered a fair number of ‘likes’. I even have a substantial bunch of ‘followers’. But as a frustrated and outraged Tom Cruise blurted in the 1996 film, Jerry Maguire, SHOW ME THE MONEY.
If I was getting paid for all the hours spent on social media marketing, I would be a wealthy woman today. So why aren’t I? What exactly does Twitter, Facebook and Instagram do for me besides allowing me to play well with others, be more popular because I am ‘on’ those ever growing sites and apps? Sure, it gives me a presence that followers can (should) equate to profit of some sort, whether it’s items sold or jobs acquired. But that rarely seems to happen.
In defence of social media, I have made connections with people I never would have met otherwise, and have even done some successful and exciting collaborations with gifted creatives who have helped pave the way for new opportunities. But, as great as those experiences were, none of them actually brought an onslaught of fame or fortune, nor steady interest or income.
I know, it’s not all about the money, but even though I love what I do, I do work to make money. Time is money. My time is valuable. Lately I am really questioning the worth of this thing called social media.
I spoke to someone the other day about my newest blog post, commenting that I only got one ‘like’ on Facebook, which seemed unusual. She replied that yeah, Facebook probably changed their algorithm. They do that sometimes. So, guess who really holds the power and makes all the money, but we knew that, right?
Instagram is not exactly designed for writers but of course I have been told it’s the ‘platform’ to use now, so off I go to Instagram. I get the odd ‘heart’ and the very odd new ‘follower’. Big fucking deal. Again, she says it takes time. She got 33 ‘hearts’ on her recent post. Again, I say big fucking deal. Then what do we get? (By the way, she’s very good at social media. I’m just being the (frustrated) devils advocate here.)
But seriously, think why you are doing it. Is it because everyone else is doing it, because it is an expected part of living in 2016? What does it do for you in the grand scheme of things? I know, many of you are saying ‘give it time…it takes time to build a social media presence’, etc, etc. For me it’s been six years of time. Some of that time was trial and error – a huge learning curve. But the last two or three years have been more focussed and on task with still very little yield.
I am the cynic today. I question the validity of social media marketing and it’s worth. Are we just a bunch of robots, sheep following the herd?
If I were to go off of social media altogether, would I be missed? Probably not. I would disappear along with a billion others, into the ether. ML