Updated: May 19
Why Did I Make a Business Page in the First Place?
It's Facebook, everyone has a profile, right?
I've had a personal Facebook profile for years and it seemed like a logical step to create a profile for my business when the time was right.
As my textiles degree course was coming to an end, our tutors suggested that we had more of an online presence to show our skill set, who we are as a person and to connect with an audience. Almost all of the creative business advice that I read involved being present on social media - and to be visible on as many platforms as possible, some even suggested posting 2-3 times a day across Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter etc..
It seemed like a logical thing to do, it's free advertising after all.
Not many people like to admit when they have an addiction but I will fully admit that I was addicted to Facebook and it had a tight grip. It's designed to be addictive.
Of course, when you're logging on to post something business related to your account, you can see your personal account newsfeed.. Oh, Lucy went to Greece - That's a nice photo... Oh, Jenny had a baby, she's cute, oh, there's a notification - i'd better check that...
After not too long, I found myself sitting in rather uncomfortable positions staring at my phone or laptop screen, jaw clenched tight, watching endless reams of pointless noise and adverts that were distracting me from my day.
The distraction was too easy, available 24/7 and there was only myself to police how long and how often I was spending on it.
I also noticed after a while that I would only log off once I had been irritated by something or distracted for long enough that I had to almost have a word with myself...
I would put the phone back on my desk, get a WhatsApp message and then find myself back on Facebook again...
Each distraction would then cost me precious minutes (probably about 3-5) to get back into what I was doing and to get back into the broken flow of creativity.
A friend pointed out to me that you can see your social media / 'screen time' in the settings part of your phone. I was nearly sick when I saw that i'd spent 21 hours a week scrolling, tapping, 'liking' things. Just imagine if I had put that time towards something more useful... I would never have done a 21 hour shift in one go but regular little nuggets of dopamine hits throughout the day and week seem to have me hooked.
Is It Really Worth the Hassle?
As well as being addicted, I had to take a step back from the platform and look at how I was using it, how my customers were interacting with my page and what I was actually getting from it.
Yes it's 'free' advertising but at to what other costs?
After looking closely at the statistics of my posts, the interactions that were happening on my page and the sales that were coming directly from Facebook, I had a reality check. The time I was putting into creating this content far outweighed the length of time it was on newsfeeds and the time my audience spent interacting with it. This didn't make good business sense and it was a harsh lesson to learn.
Are your customers there?
I also had a good hard look at who was following my business on my Facebook page. Although it was still in the early stages, my audience was only really made up of friends and family members. It was lovely to have that support, but again, does it make good business sense?
Was I wasting my time posting to people who were never going to buy from me or who had seen this content on Instagram/ Twitter / Pinterest already...
Is your page attracting shiny new people or your exact audience? After looking deeper into my audience and who my ideal customers would be, I realised that a lot of them have moved away from the noise of Facebook anyway and use other methods of communicating, I needed to find out where better to spend my time and resources.
Are You Adding to the Noise?
As we are all aware, there is a lot of content on Facebook, you can log on and find anything from videos of surfing cats to a photo of what your mate had for their dinner..
So how on earth are your Facebook posts going to slot into this mass of noise and be picked out as something worth taking note of and clicking further. I'm not going to start blaming algorithms and systems because these sites are designed to be addicted, if your content isn't holding other people's attention - no matter how great it is or how long you've spent on it then it won't be shown to your audience. It's as simple as that.
As my posts weren't getting much engagement, I started to look at other people's content for inspiration. I soon realised that if this new content isn't 'you' and its not coming from your heart, you will very quickly get bored of creating and sharing it - your audience will quickly notice if it hasn't got your soul in it.
Also, as mentioned at the start about business help books suggesting to post 2-3 times a day, I found myself trying to make content from little to no new work. I didn't have the time to make the work, to make the content. Trying to force good content 2-3 times a day is exhausting!
Get Focused Elsewhere
I've now had a few months away from Facebook and I feel great. I decided to keep the Facebook messenger app as it's good to stay in contact with certain people - I keep the notifications switched off to minimise distractions.
I have focused the time I would have spent on Facebook writing blog posts, researching and being creative- without interruption!
Initially I did think I would suffer with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), I was a part of a few useful groups and pages that I enjoyed. I soon realised that I can find these sort of things elsewhere, as humans we are hardwired to find solutions to these social problems - and we managed before Facebook served them up on a plate to us!
My anxieties have calmed down since logging off, I feel like I have a lot more space to breathe and i'm no longer in a constant state of panic. I'm also more aware of the content that i'm consuming on other platforms and i'm more aware of how I react to it. If I'm not enjoying it or if it triggers something in me, I'm much more likely to unfollow it.
Remember: you're a creative business. Get creative and find new and exciting ways to reach your audience!
Have you had a similar experience with using social media with your business? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
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