Since jumping ship from traditional social medias I’ve experienced a few things I actually anticipated, and others I didn’t. I expected to feel lighter and freer. I knew people would ask about how and why and probably say “but, aren’t you in marketing?”
What I didn’t expect was how long it would take me to break the habit of going to my phone to check social medias right when I wake up and multiple times throughout the day to scroll endlessly and check-in. Or how to explain my decision to people without feeling like I was failing the industry I’m in.
Let’s back up a minute –
Many of you know the story of what happened when I lost my Instagram profile in 2019. It was devastating, really. I mean, I have touted the value of social medias since 2009 and made it my business to do so. Literally. But even before then, I had become disenchanted with Facebook. So, losing my Instagram account and having to fight to get my content back shifted something in me.
It was then that I began slowing down my thoughts and extracting myself from the societal need to generate content daily to feed a machine so that machine would serve me up and keep me exposed to the platform users. (Just typing that makes me cringe today.)
Yes, social media can be a valuable tool and is for all kinds of businesses. I still believe that strongly, so don’t get me wrong.
But, for me and for Propel, I decided to break-up with my over-giving relationship with traditional social medias because when a relationship is so one-sided it can drain you so you have nothing left. What kind of a friend am I if I don’t have anything to give to others or I’m always spending time on my phone, thinking of the next post, etc.
The Why’s –
- Losing my photos and captions, content which I created and are MY intellectual property, got me thinking. If they can do that for no reason at any time, why am I feeding my valuable content to them? Why don’t I own it?
- Inauthenticity, opinion oversharing, outright division, truth twisting, censorship, and social policing has reached all new heights. Knowing what’s real, having freedom of speech, giving the benefit of the doubt, and knowing what’s true is an uphill battle and it’s frankly exhausting.
- Having to “pay-to-play” means they essentially demand your money in order for your posts to be seen, unless you’re publishing enough great organic content in the exact way they want you to. How are either of those options sustainable for the small business clientele I am passionately advocating for?
All of this combined, my mind started scheming and a new idea was born.
The Outcomes –
- I started a micro-blog (which really what Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are anyway) called Propel Social. And guess what? I own my own content, I can post as short or as long a ‘caption’ as I want with as many photos, and never have to worry that my profile will be censored, temporarily disabled, or permanently shut down.
- I post what is happening, timely, inspirational, or important only once per week. Talk about freeing.
- Micro-blogging on my own site is actually a great SEO booster for my website. Win. Win!
- Viewers who are interested in staying in the loop can ‘follow me’ by bookmarking the Propel Social page and checking back when they want to. Or! Better yet, they can subscribe, get it right in their inbox, and get the first look at each week’s post before anyone else.
- It took me four months to break the habit of wanting to see what’s happening on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Four. Months! For the first three, I would open my phone in the morning and actually stare at it wondering what I was looking for only to remember I don’t have to go spend time looking at what everyone else was doing, saying, sharing, or what they have or don’t have.
- As a general rule, Propel is no longer offering social media management services to new clients. We have clients we still serve in this area and we do still offer strategy and planning services. However, managing social communities for solopreneurs and small businesses is no longer a service we can support primarily for the fact that they must ‘pay-to-play’ or publish more content both of which is usually much more than we’ve found their budgets usually allow.
- I do feel lighter and freer. Yes, all my profiles still exist, and I can go check them if needed or desired, but I don’t have to which means my brain has re-patterned itself to not need to.
Here’s to innovation being generated out of experience and necessity. Because I NEEDED to get off the merry-go-round and apparently, become an outlier.
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