My relationship with Social Media

OK, full confession: once, at a workshop teaching small business owners how to do social media, I mentioned that I hate social media. Not my finest moment – I’ll admit! What I meant to say is that it’s a complicated relationship.

There are things about my Instagram feed that I just love! I love seeing my friends’ puppy dogs and babies, the travel adventures they’ve worked so hard to go on and the funny moments or quotes that families or friends have together. 

I love that social media can reinforce the connection that I have with my friends face to face.

Connecting is 100% my jam! I’m a PR officer and I love building solid relationships between businesses and their clients. I love connecting the right client with a business and watch it flourish into a beautiful advocate kind of relationship…like watching a beautiful love story!

I get so excited when the focus is connection.

What I hate… the phoniness!

I hate seeing someone post about their “awesome life” when the reality is they are really struggling.

I hate getting a birthday message from someone who I’m sure thinks it means something, but it  feels (for me) quite an empty gesture. I’ve actually hidden my birthday on socials now purely for this reason!

Let me list the ways…

What I loathe about social media, as a small business owner working in PR, marketing, and social media…

…the platform is FOREVER CHANGING! 

If you, as a small business owner, decide to have a small break from Meta Business Suite and – bam! You have missed out on a heap of updates and you’re stuck trying to ask AI or Google how to do effective posts. 

Not to mention how to share someone else’s posts from your page, or how to tag another business’s page. Tasks that used to be somewhat simple and straightforward in Facebook Pages (remember that little orange flag?) now seems like an impossibility. 

Hate the Game, not the players...

Meta is like an enormous old quilt that keeps getting new patches sewn onto it in an attempt to fix. The problem is the new patches are ripping the old, underlying quilt. And Meta keeps adding a new shiny things in to distract us from the underlying problem - nothing works as it should 100% of the time!

For small business owners, the game of social media forever feels like an ongoing game of catch-up in order to appease the “algorithm-powers-that-be”! 

What I mean by this is – in order to increase the focus of particular platforms (especially Facebook and Instagram), Meta developers have attempted to change the game for small businesses. If you make a post that suits Facebook and their purposes, they will increase how much it organically is shared.

While there has been some effort recently to change this, we have found it’s more been an effort in publicity rather than genuine change. Again, this makes my almost 18-year relationship status with Mr Zuckerberg’s baby complicated.

Unfortunately, there’s always a motive. In case you hadn’t guessed, Facebook and Instagram are a business. They want you using their product for as much as possible. So while the “algorithm-powers-that-be” love posts that connect/educate/entertain, even more than this, they want you to be on the platform longer. This is the problem I have. Real, actual connection cannot be achieved purely on social media. While it may look like you can in the form of an “authentic influencer” (isn’t this the biggest oxymoron ever used), you cannot manufacture genuine advocates just by simply generating posts!  There has to be real connection and this is done by thinking outside of the box. 

Why can’t a business  connecting with their clients be an opportunity for doing some good?

Snail mail a handwritten note, take notice of what your client’s favourite biscuit is, look for opportunities to genuinely help them out.

If you are trying to really connect with your clients on social media, put yourself in their shoes and think, “What would make them want to connect with my business?” It could be donating to a charity that aligns with both of your values (yours and your clients). It could be offering a piece of useful industry-related advice. It could be recommending a quality affiliate that your client has been trying to seek out. 

Struggling with the balance between real connection and appeasing the “algorithm-powers-that-be”? Email us – we’d love to shout you a cuppa face to face and chat about how that balance can work for your business. 

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