How disconnected are we without social media

Social media, we are all hearing about it all over the place, may it be instagram, facebook, twitter, tumblr, linkedin for the major players in the industry. I won’t include Youtube, behance, and platforms which can be used with no “social media” intent.  The question is, how disconnected can we become if we leave social media ?

Social media disconnect

I have now taken a break from social media for 7 months. Some of you might argue that it’s not a real disconnect as my website is still publishing, however I use it not as a social media platform, but just as a location to promote as we would on a blog, without using any of the features of Social media or any of the social media pressure. This will soon come to an end as I feel that I should focus even more on my work and on my writing, for what it’s worth.

So how has this affected my work, my life, and how can it affect yours and your business ? What I can say from this is that a lot takes place on social media, with 99.9% noise, and 0.1% interesting stuff. I notice that corporations who target professionals use newsletters, and reach out on a 360° therefore being on social media is not essential. The others are missing out in my humble opinion, by not focusing on a wide spectrum using tools such as mailchimp or other platforms of the same type.

How leaving social media has improved my business ?

After 7 months what I have noticed is that I am more focused. I have not yet reached my target objectives for the year with some dream clients, but am working on it by slowly but surely connecting with people and delivering a message of transmission, sharing, educational purpose articles and talks.

The time not spent on social media is spent answering emails, shooting projects, creating my vision, learning new skills, reading non-photography related books (mainly personal development and business focused), and it has been profitable at this stage.

Freeing ourselves from negativity

The last contacts I have had from social media were from a person who took the time at midnight, to write to me personally to tell me my work sucked, that I had no legitimacy, and that my pictures were worthless, and clearly would drive people away from purchasing gear or trying the shot. It hit me hard, and then I thought… remember where it came from ! It came from someone spending his time, anonymously on social media, sending a message without a name, with a fake email address, with a sole objective of slashing.

Albeit what we do might not be perfect, might not be appreciated by some, it is our work, and we dedicate our soul to it, it is important to note that social media has, as Jaron Lanier states in his book “10 reasons you should delete your social media“, created assholes and negative people, and I have to say that leaving social media has liberated me from these people, and brought me more solid and positive connections.

I write to those artists I love, try to keep in touch with people from the industry I appreciate, even though I must get in touch more with my various friends around the world, and I leave the negative people and negative comments behind. This helps me focus on positive things, great people, inspirational energy and drives my mental force.

How does this affect the brands I am in contact with ?

Some brands might take this as a negative aspect, feeling that they loose an “outlet”, however what I have noticed is that some of my articles have been shared over 10’000 times, yes you have read right… 10’000 times ! So I guess that my work, may it not be on social media per say through me, is relayed through others on the medium, and I don’t need to be on these platforms, my voice being better used taking time to write, and letting those who love social media share the content I write.

Brands can only benefit from this on the long run, they get higher quality content than before, they get more of my time to test and feedback, they get more of my skills during my photo missions, and they don’t take the risk of anything leaking on social media platforms as i’m not on them, even though it wouldn’t have occurred to me to publish anything without consent.

How does this work for you ?

Now how does this work for you ? some of you may feel that you have the pressure of being on social media, that you must be there, that you must publish, and if all this was wrong ? How about you give it a whole new thought and think about it for even let’s say 10 minutes. Here are a few questions you might ask yourself :

  • How much time do i spend scrolling my social media accounts liking articles ?
  • Does this feel robotic ?
  • Do I do it with intent of receiving a like back ?
  • Does writing for my social media and publishing seem like a burden ?
  • Does social media take time away from my family & projects I would like to do ?
  • How many hours do I spend publishing content, creating content, liking and answering ?
  • What is my daily rate for business, and multiply it by number of hours on social media ?

For the final questions, the idea is to see if your social media presence and time spent creating content adds value to your core business, or if it is taking up so much time you’re actually not creating, and you’re spending money in a totally wrong direction. If you’re let’s say earning 100$ an hour, and spend 2 hours a day on social media, 1 hour to create & publish content, that’s 3 hours. 300$ / day * 300 = 90’000$ worth of business time. Does the social media work give you a return on investment of that much a year ? 50% of it ? 25% of it ? think about it… maybe you’re putting your marketing efforts in the wrong place as a small business owner.

Next steps

For me, social media has come to an end, I am working on new projects, linking photography, education, business promotion, and on 31st of december am cutting myself off the platforms by deleting my accounts. By doing so, I will be pursuing my quest and developing my market in the way I want it.

I hope these articles may help you do the same, by just thinking about why you are on social media. I am not advocating you should leave, i’m just advocating you should think about it and see how “visibility” and “engagement” could for many of you, relate to addiction and not to business return on investment.

As usual, you can find me here on my website, through comments or the contact form, through my newsletter (add yourself on homepage of my website) and I look forward to your feedback and interactions.

 

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