If you’re normal, you must be on at least a couple of social media networks or probably on all of the big four platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram), like I am. If yes, great! Welcome to the club! I’m sure you’re having a great time if you’re one of those who live in one (or all) of these networks.
Since the start of this year, I’ve gradually changed the way I use these platforms, which goes against the grain of most gurus out there — some of them would think I’m committing a marketing/personal branding sin. So be it, I can live with that.
From my perspective, being “active” on a social network is all about creating content that “original,” snack-able, and short. And I hear video and motion graphics do pretty well as far as “going viral” is concerned. But here’s something we all know — everyone is doing it. Go to any platform right now and observe. Scroll down your feed and see the content everyone is posting. You’ll see a pattern there.
On Facebook, the themes are mainly around fun, information, inspiration, entertainment, and even conspiracy! It’s a fluid platform, and I use it for updates, pictures, and check notifications since I’m part of a couple of groups (Leadership and Strength & Conditioning) that are active on Facebook.
On Twitter, you will find every damn thing you can imagine! It’s the source of news for most of its users. I’ve got more than 1000 followers whom I don’t know. And I’m following a 1000 folks, of which, I only know a dozen. (That’s an exaggeration, but you get the point, don’t you?)
On Instagram, it pictures (of course!) people traveling to places, lifting weights, doing a photoshoot, or coffee mugs. My profile is full of pictures of coffee mugs/glasses and food that I’ve experimented with. I don’t know how else to add value. I’m here because people asked me to create an account. So, I did. Don’t expect anything else. Please.
On LinkedIn, which, besides being my go-to platform, is slowly becoming the Facebook for professionals, is loaded with inspiration, thought-provoking content, people are sharing stuff that’s already going viral, and photos of folks delivering presentations. Oh, let’s not forget about titles — everyone is a coach or a trainer or an “expert” or an “influencer.” People have these keywords in their freaking headlines! Heck, one of my contacts’ names, reads “Transformational Life Coach and India’s Best Coach First Name Last Name”!
Honestly, all of this is becoming sickening. Yeah, I know, I can focus on just one platform and go all-in. That’s LinkedIn for me, but there are times when it becomes just damn overwhelming. And that’s precisely why I don’t have any social media apps on my phone. Please, spare me! I’m tired of updates, and all I want to do is work, relax, and live my life.
Speaking of work and living my life — this blog, my podcast, my day job, and my consulting assignments add a heck of a lot of meaning to my life than anything else. Of course, I might be missing out on a lot of “marketing” opportunities, but I’m old school and honestly believe that having the right goals and working earnestly towards achieving them will get me where I want to go.
So, what purpose does Social Media serve in my life as of August 2020? It’s this:
- I think of a social media platform as a distribution network for showcasing one’s work. Period. And I think it’s far more effective to go all-in on one platform than be half-pregnant on 25 others.
- To share content that’s thoughtful and meaningful to me. The likes and shares are irrelevant as it’s not about others, but what I believe is to be accurate and worthy of sharing.
- A chance to find, connect, and strike a conversation with people you don’t know but would like to build a relationship with. Yes, that’s one of the core purposes of a social network, you know. And that’s how you build and grow your business.
That’s it! Pretty darn simple, right? I’m not sure about you, but if you’ve been on the socials for more than a year, I think it’s time to evaluate how you’re spending your time and how are you are benefiting from it. Of course, you can continue to do the stuff you have been — sharing pictures, updates, or other people’s posts because you liked them! The whole idea is to be mindful of it, not mindless.