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A digital creative’s shocking admission about social media

Why I hate social media

The problem with social media

For a digital creative I’m about to admit something quite shocking…

I don’t like social media. In fact, I hate it.

Sure, I have a social media account on every single platform under the Sun. And I check in with them all the time. (Just ask my wife how much.) But no matter what platform I’m on – Facebook, LinkedIn, Pintrest, snapchat or Insta – I find the same thing keeps on happening.

All day long boring content bombards me that I simply don’t want to read.

I get no relief when I turn to my email inbox. In fact, it’s exactly the same thing. Business email after business email that fails to engage me and just sits there, clogging up dark, unread lines on my screen until I do the honourable thing and send it straight to trash.

I rarely, if ever, bother opening, let alone reading anything I receive from any business these days. Instead, I’m more inclined to euthanase a day en masse, checking the box beside each message before clicking ‘Delete all’.

So why do I bother?

But despite my hatred, I can’t bring myself to unsubscribe, to unfollow, to unlike, to un-engage. And the reason for this is simple.

I have a real fear of missing out.

I’m hoping, praying, that the brands I’m connected with will give me what I want. And sometimes – some rare times – I’m rewarded.

Every now and then, in amongst the hate and the blandness and the irrelevance, there’s an occasional piece of gold. Once in a blue moon I get an email, or I find a tweet, or I read a post that changes everything.

I don’t want to miss that next gem if, and when, it ever happens. So my FOMO keeps me hanging on.

Aren’t you a little bit like me?

I suspect many of you are just like me. You’re hoping that the businesses you want to engage with will engage with you – either that or you simply can’t be bothered casting them from your life by clicking unsubscribe. (I know that apathy plays a part in low unsubscribe rates but doesn’t can’t explain everything. )

The problem is that most businesses – and pretty much all SMEs – just aren’t capable of giving us the attention we crave.

But that’s not social media’s fault

You see, the reason I hate social media is not social media’s fault. It’s the fault of the businesses using it.

They’ve taken to their platform only because they think they should. They have no strategy, no plan, no idea of what they’re doing. They just post whatever comes into their heads.

They’ve treated it as a one way transaction. They’ve taken no time to think of what I want to see or read, just what they wanted to tell me.

But social media isn’t about broadcasting. It’s about building a community and involving it in your brand’s point of view. The challenge is not in talking about your products – anyone can do that. It’s about building a content experience that draws in users and gets them to fall in love with your brand.

It’s about moving beyond a simple product message and creating an experience.

 

What makes a business good at social media?

The rare bits of social media I don’t hate – the brands and businesses I’m happy to hear from – share some things in common.

They’re consistent but not pushy.

They’ve taken time to know who I am.

They’re happy to be spoken to, as well as spoken about.

They’ve got personality.

They’ve got flair.

But getting these things right means having a strategy and developing in proper content (both design and words).

It means watching what you’re doing and refining it as you go. It means making sure all parts of your marketing are working properly and everything’s working together to enhance your brand.

It means making a proper investment both in time and money.

Stop now if you don’t want to be one of them

Now here’s a test…

Imagine for one second that you didn’t work for your company and the social message you just sent out appeared in your feed. Would you read it?

The answer could well be no. For instance, it might well be irrelevant or unoriginal. It might lack personality. It might not be very interesting or valuable

If that’s the case with your social media efforts, stop now. Don’t go any further. Your efforts will be half-baked. You’ll make me hate social media even more.

But get it right and you’ll make a difference – not just to me but to your bottom line.

Because the reason I hate social media so much is your greatest reason to use it. What’s out there is usually not very good.

 

In other words, the market is open for you to get into the space and own it, stifling your competitors’ voices and gathering new followers, new customers and new clients as you do.

What kind of business could resist investing in that?

Just make sure you do it properly, or don’t do it at all.

 

And finally?

If you liked this or hated it, get in touch

After all, this is my very point. I posted this because I am keen to know how you feel. How my thoughts made you feel….

This is a conversation, Remember!

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Written By: Michael Menzies