Can you run a business without social media?
This past December I made the decision to quit Facebook. I started by deleting the app from my phone. I quickly realized how much I did not miss it. Another thing I noticed was how much I still needed to use it. Being in the field of digital marketing, my clients still use social media. Even if I don’t. I had to ask myself whether quitting Facebook was a good business decision and how I was going to approach my marketing without it.
Why I quit Facebook.
I quit Facebook mainly because I found myself wasting hours a day simply scrolling. Honestly, it was a lot like an addiction. I was ignoring chores, projects and family. My mental health was the worst it’s been in a while. I had to make a change and one more yoga class wasn’t going to cut it.
How I quit Facebook.
Mid-December we were prepping for our annual holiday in Western New York. We’d have limited internet and I figured it was as good a time as any to delete Facebook from my phone. I made sure I’d have something to occupy my mind by filling a bag with library books and my favorite adult coloring books. After two weeks I hadn’t missed Facebook at all.
Did I delete my Facebook account?
No. For a few reasons. First, I belong to a belly dance troupe and their Facebook group is how we communicate. Second, my clients still use Facebook and I’m an admin on several business pages. Third, I also have a business page there that I don’t plan on deleting any time soon.
How do you market online without Facebook?
My business page is still connected to my website. When I publish a new post or project WordPress will push it to Facebook, LinkedIn and a few other social profiles. I’m revamping my Instagram as well to focus more on my photography. No more long, salesy captions. Just well thought out images and a pretty feed (some day).
The big answer, though, is email marketing. I have built a list over the last ten years. I have a pretty well focused set of emails that go out (mostly on schedule) and I get a fair amount of engagement. As social media use starts declining in the wake of all the privacy and mental health concerns, I see email marketing as making a pretty huge comeback.
So, how’s that working for me so far?
I’ve booked a website project, held a consult for one branding project and had a call just this morning about another branding project. So, I’d say it hasn’t really effected much so far.
It’s important to understand what your social media presence actually does for you. When I analyse my Facebook date I notice that non of my hundred-plus clients over the last ten years have come from Facebook. No one has ever said they found me on Facebook or Instagram. How do you know? Ask. I ask people where they found me. You want to guess what the two answers always are?
That’s it. I don’t get business from anywhere else. Never have.
Your business might need social media.
Your business might be really different from mine. Online retail tends to depend a lot on social media marketing and the interaction you get there. Some service based businesses might be able to leverage ads and other types of social media marketing very well with big conversions. I just never found the magic solution for me. I would see a rise in page views and interactions with certain content, but non of it ever resulted in an actual conversion.
So, I guess, I haven’t totally quit social media. I still post images on Instagram for family to see. I still check in on my dance troupe to find out about practice and rehearsal. I use it a lot differently now, though. What I have stopped doing is scrolling mindlessly. I’m not as distracted mid-day anymore. I feel the urge to pull my phone out during idle time a lot less.
All the cool stuff I do without Facebook.
All of this leaves me open to do lots of stuff I hadn’t done in years. I read three books in two weeks over the holiday. I actually sit in the quite some times and freaking enjoy it. I have a bunch of photos to edit from the last few weeks (I hadn’t used my camera in months). I find I don’t absolutely hate doing housework anymore … okay, I still hate it. It’s a lot more tolerable lately. I have been baking. Baking people.
The point is, I’m better. I’m more focused and my mood has been way more even. Will this be the story in another few months or next year? Who knows. All I know is that I feel pretty damn good about it today.
Now, if I could just quit Netflix.