I've been social media sober for six months.
Last September I broke up with it for what I figured would be the final time. My plan was to close down every account, but honestly, I was too exhausted. Instead, I just walked away.
I didn't check my Facebook wall once (even on my birthday—and that's sayin' something).
My Instagram account was a breezy ghost town.
And Twitter? Well...we were never that tight anyway.
I expected some type of fallout because if you throw a rock in any direction, you'll most likely hit an "expert" preaching how to ROCK those socials in FIVE EASY STEPS for a SIX-FIGURE launch! Woops...too cynical. But the bombardment of this propaganda is real, my friends. And it confuses a lot of my clients—who are overwhelmed about managing all the arms of there businesses, but feel scared to take anything off their plates in fear of falling behind and missing out.
Here's what happened when I left all my social media accounts high and dry.
Not much changed.
People continued to find me via my published blog posts and happy client referrals. Each time I created an exceptional experience for someone—whether they worked with me as a client or simply visited with me in a free consultation, something good circled back my direction.
I continued writing to my email list.
I sent sweet notes to existing and former clients.
I checked in—just to say hello—with past consults, even if they decided to hire someone else.
And my business didn't suffer.
In fact, I felt happier, more focused, and clearer about my goals—despite many of them being less extravagant than the entrepreneurs running circles around me with their wild claims of financial success.
When my husband became my full-time business partner a few months ago and suggested we begin using social media again (I'm sure you know where this is going) I told him "NO."
But his social media ideas felt refreshing.
Before joining Simple & Soulful, Moses had been a restauranteur. He grew a friend's culinary business idea into a successful barbecue restaurant that often has lines of people eager to place their lunch orders.
How did he nurture the restaurant's reputation, popularity, and growth?
He used Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to share fun things like:
- scenes from his kitchen
- photos of mouth-watering lunch specials
- menu updates he was considering and wanted feedback on
- hilarious things his customers said
He didn't worry about advertising the restaurant.
He didn't try to scare people with lists like FIVE THINGS YOU MUST AVOID AT LUNCHTIME.
He didn't boast over-hyped claims to position himself or his team as a barbecue experts.
They just focused on making the very best barbecue possible and then shared their progress, updates, and stories with people who dug what they were doing.
Eventually I warmed up to the idea of using social media again because the truth is, I missed some of my online acquaintances and our conversations. In my haste to cut social chaos from my life, I inadvertently isolated myself from meaningful connections and interesting groups I once enjoyed.
After many debates (three months worth, to be exact)—I began to feel a softness where I'd once felt brittle and an excitement where I'd once felt depleted.
It was time. But first...
We designed a social media guide to give ourselves structure and keep us sane during times of confusion (because it'll happen).
We're calling it our Social Media Manifesto and we're using it as a compass to remind ourselves:
Who our people are
...because we don't need or even want to appeal to everybody
What our people care about
...so we can be interesting and helpful and cheer them on
What we will post
...which is a very specific list based on what we learned from the social feeds of people we consider uncompromisingly classy
What we will not post
...because we desire our world to feel beautiful, selective, and curated instead of random and excessive
Who we admire
...a list of our favorite feeds—for creative inspiration and direction (especially if we begin to feel lost)
A list of words to remind us how we want our social feeds to feel
...which boils down to: simple and soulful
So far we've loved being back in our social homes. It feels so different this time—probably because we're actively untethering from anything that doesn't spark our creativity; and because we're not heaping pressure on ourselves to promote, sell, up-level, go big, rock it, girl-boss it, change the world, or expand our reach. Hell, we don't even use hashtags (GASP!).
We're just here—in these places...
Doin' our thing. Sharing. Having fun. Giving hearts. And not giving a damn. Because we've learned that social media isn't a make or break variable for us to enjoy: working from home, for people and projects we love, raising our kids, eating good food, paying our bills, and sleeping late on Saturdays.
We're not saying our way is the best way for every business. Your marketing strategy should fit your goals, personality, and reality—even if it means trusting your gut and breaking from the pack. Doing things your way is a lot easier if you keep what's important right in front of you. We created our social media manifesto template to help you with that. Enjoy!