What happens when you stop using social media?
You may or may not have noticed that I have not posted much on my social media channels lately. It’s been a little experiment to see what would happen if I stopped using social media. I have done this on both my personal and business accounts to see whether anyone would notice? Would I miss it? Is it worth it?
I am not going to lie I did check my messages, occasionally scrolled through the activity feeds, and liked a few posts or placed a comment here or there, but my experiment was not about going cold turkey. I wanted to see whether the time I put into updating my personal profile for my friends and my business profile for potential customers was worth it and what effect did it have on me personally and my business.
While this was an experiment, I did not measure everything and I used it as some time to focus my time and efforts on other things, so these are just some observations I made:
People notice. Even as a marketing professional who manages social media marketing I did not think people would ask why have I stopped posting. It turns out you and your business posts do matter. The people who notice, many do not like your posts, rarely comment on your updates, but when you stop engaging with them they ask after you. For me this demonstrates the value of building your brands online presence, if people notice when you are not posting they are also likely to think of you when they are looking for your product or service.
You are not important. Despite people asking why you or your business isn’t posting the world doesn’t miss you. There are other people posting about the same topics as your business and there are other friends posting photos of their adventures, food and coffees on their social media accounts. This is not to say you aren’t important to somebody or even a group of people, but it’s okay to take a break from social media.
Posting is attention seeking. I found that when you do not actively post, you spend less time staring at your phone, awaiting superficial validation that someone likes your pictures or what you have to say. Your use of social media is very much about your ego. That being said, I think posting regularly is essential for your business, drawing attention to our products and services is exactly why we use social media marketing, and the likes and comments are validation that the content you are putting out there is engaging with your target audience.
Regular posts make a difference. I found that for both my business pages and personal accounts the number of inbound messages, connection requests, pages likes, followers, and tagged posts all decreased with my lack of consistent posting. I have won clients through social media conversations so for my business it really does pay dividends to dedicate the time to having a social media presence.
Although this has been a personal experiment, and one that has as much to do with my hectic lifestyle and busy work as the outcomes of the business experiment, I have found that social media isn’t essential to our personal lives or to our business, yet it is an effective marketing channel and it initiates conversations between businesses, people, and friends.
In summary, I believe businesses should use social media to interact with their target audience, and posting regular content is necessary to see its true value. From a personal perspective, put down your phone and tablet more. Have dinner at the dining table and have conversations. Do not worry about telling the online world about every dish, dog or coffee shop you happen upon. Share those things with real people in real life.