Guest Post by: Nicolina McHugh
Sometimes being told what we should do just sucks. Pizza isn’t good for you: you should eat less pizza. Caffeine isn’t great for you: you should stop drinking coffee.
Um, no. I’ll fight you for my caffeine and pizza!
“Should” is a word that we hear all the time and in business, it’s no different. We should be doing #allthethings. We should be posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, hopping on Periscope and pinning everything we possibly can. Well, I don’t agree with that at all. In fact, I think that is probably one of the worst strategies you can possibly use when your business is just starting out.
Let’s be real.
Are you able to keep up with all of those platforms? Maybe.
Are all of those platforms helping you? Maybe.
But don’t you think that all the things you have going on could be better if you were doing what you wanted to do rather than what “they” (whoever they are) says you should be doing? I do.
I don’t like Facebook.
I know. It doesn’t sound right. I know it’s weird to read.
But I really don’t like Facebook.
I have a Facebook account for the following reasons:
- I live over 1,000 miles from where a large portion of my friends are and where I grew up;
- These friends have kids that I NEVER get to see and they post great videos and photos of;
- I have siblings in nearly every continental U.S. time zone, and
- I enjoy being part of Facebook groups that I am in.
I don’t like promoting myself on Facebook. I use Facebook to keep up with my family and friends who I don’t live anywhere near.
Should I be on Facebook for my business? “They” say I should.
But I don’t want to. And I’m not going to, at least not right now.
Do You, Sweets
You struck out into your own business for a reason. You have the gumption to say, “I am not going to do it your way, I’m going to do it mine.”
So why are you on social platforms you don’t like and that give you no joy?
I can give you five reasons right now why you should only be doing social media you actually like to do:
- You’re more likely to actually post. What is the point of social media promotion if you’re not posting? There isn’t one. By doing something you actually like, you are far more likely to use the platform;
- You’re more likely to engage. Social media isn’t a soapbox or a bullhorn. Social media is all about building genuine relationships. If you aren’t enjoying your platform, you’re not going to engage with people that matter to your business (influencers, your potential customers, even your biggest fans;)
- You’ll put in more effort. Humans are tricky this way. We work harder at what we actually want rather than what we are supposed to do. (I see you posting on Twitter during business hours : ) );
- It won’t feel like work. Social media is supposed to be a fun and engaging platform full of personality and personal connection. If you’re having fun, it won’t feel like work, and
- It’s your decision, boss. Yeah. You’re the boss. Make the decision to do what you want rather than what “they” say. It’s your prerogative, boss.
Well, How Does This Work?
Like most things, the “theys” of the world aren’t always entirely wrong. “They” suggest certain social platforms based on how the platforms work for brands and how high engagement is. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, Pinterest, and even sites like Bloglovin’ can all work for you in just about any industry.
What I want to see you do is make a list of all of the social platforms that you are on right now. Is it scary to see them all written out? Are they actually just a couple? Great either way, boss, because you may or may not stick with everything that you have in front of you right now.
Think of this as KonMari for your social media.
Take a moment (as long as you need) and hold that social media platform in your mental hands and ask yourself:
- How do I feel when I’m creating content for this platform?
- Do I enjoy engaging with people on this platform?
- Is this platform benefitting my business or blog?
- Am I having fun?
Answer honestly, give yourself grace, and most importantly, be cool with the outcome one way or another. This kind of evaluation may stink at first because you’ve put a lot of work into your platform and your following.
It’s incredibly liberating to no longer be bound to something that you don’t want to be doing in the first place.
One little tidbit about this process:
Don’t stress about your following. There’s a good chance that they are already on your favorite social platforms. If you have the right kind of following (number is irrelevant here) they will be on Instagram with you if you decide that Twitter just isn’t your jam. Talk to your people. They are with you for a reason and if you just have a conversation with them, they’ll be cool.
It’s a Season
I love cheesy headlines.
Everything has seasons. You’re going to change and grow and your business and social media are going to change and grow too.
This may not be the season for Twitter. It may be the season for Facebook. Your needs and preferences are going to change, but you may never go back to the platforms you didn’t like to begin with. And that’s okay.
Just remember that you’re the boss. “They” may be “experts”, but you know what you like, what you need, where your audience is, and what you are capable of. “They” can like it or not. Decide what you want and go for it.
About the Author
I’m Nicolina McHugh, and I’m a graphic designer and marketer.
I help small creative business owners and bloggers who want design and marketing peace of mind to brand, develop branding, and market successfully. I know that with the right tools, you and your business can accomplish truly incredible things.
Based in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, I blog, design, and social media my way through the internet, sharing what I can about marketing and design to help amazing people start (or continue) doing the amazing things that they do.
You can find me at nicolinamchugh.com or on Twitter and Instagram, where I share updates to the blog, musings, content I love from around the web, and the occasional picture of my fur baby playing forts in Trader Joe's bags or just being too fabulous to care.
Nicolina McHugh, Nicolina McHugh