You Should Be Spending Less Time on Social Media 2020 (according to a Branding Coach)
I am asked almost once a week by either a prospect, a client, or even a friend why I help health and wellness entrepreneurs with their online business using social media management when social media is so unhealthy.
Trust me, I get it.
I just recently spent a weekend on Salt Spring Island in beautiful British Columbia (where I live) in Canada and when my partner asked a woman if she had any social media handles that we could connect with her on, she flat out said that she actually deleted herself off of all social media about a week ago. Not only this, but when I go on my Facebook feed now, there’s usually at least one friend a week reporting that they are completely going off of all social media entirely.
So, I understand, especially in the health and wellness industry that I live and thrive to operate in, social media itself is being seen as unhealthy.
A recent movie that came out this time of year is The Social Dilemma. The Social Dilemma really highlights all that we pretty much already know about how social media addiction is real.
For the people in the health and wellness space that are highly knowledgable about the effects of dopamine from harmful excessive ingredients like sugar compared to narcotics that are highly addictive like cocaine, it’s not hard to see why, after witnessing the rise of social media in the last 10 years or so, that social media itself may be seen as the enemy of society's ills.
If you are not sure what I’m talking about or if you’re curious to know more about this, think about what it was like when Instagram around 2012 became really popular in the United States and Canada at least. I remember lots of my friends and close people around me, including common Internet opinions talking about how annoying it was that people were taking pictures of their food and putting it all over their social media and posting pictures of funny pictures of cats and other pets of theirs.
Now, I never saw this as the worst thing that could ever happen to the world, but it did seem a little annoying when you were connecting with your friends online and you may have been bombarded by cheesy and really meaningless or irrelevant posts.
Fast forward to now, we are social media has gotten to has been a gigantic social critique of society's pressure to put out a highlight reel. That is, a lot of the reason why we visit our social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and more is that we are looking to indulge in our own vanity.
The main point that I want to agree with most of the social media critics on is that I completely understand that social media addiction is real and that it stems, I think, from wanting to enhance our own self-importance online by only putting up posts on us doing well, traveling to beautiful countries, looking beautiful in our selfie‘s which are usually highly filtered and edited, and generally posting meaningless content on the food that we ate, our skincare routine and much more.
Now, I want to introduce you to, if you are a fellow social media critic that I am speaking of, is that I also see this whole argument from the other side. The other side being that social media is not the enemy.
Why do I believe this?
Because when you really look at the argument for why social media is terrible, it’s not hard to see the bigger picture of why maybe we ourselves as a larger human race has ruined The true, healthy use of social media. Of course, the leaders and company directors of these major big tech organizations want to keep their users online for as long as possible doing as much as possible, however somehow we as a large society have bought into this and it’s not altogether their fault. Let’s look at ourselves for a moment, shall we?
Social media also has several positive uses. Social media has helped long lost family members find each other and reconnect. Social media has allowed us to check in with friends from other parts of the world when natural disasters have occurred and we are not sure what has happened to them. Social media has also allowed us to accelerate our relationships in a way where a long-distance relationship for example has been able to be much more possible and strong due to enhanced technology. So let’s make sure to remember that as well.
Another thing that I share with people who ask me why I am a Branding Coach in an age where social media may be the enemy is that I typically ask them a question back. I ask them, well, do you think that money is the root of all evil or that candy is the root of all evil and we should stop spending money or stop eating candy completely?
Usually, whoever is talking to me looks confused because they’re wondering where I’m going with this and they usually say no, I don’t think we need to completely ban the use of money or candy entirely... Usually, then I help clear up their confusion by saying, that’s reasonable. Social media is not the enemy. Neither is money. Neither is sugar or candy. Neither is alcohol. Now, while all of these substances and items commonly used in our modern culture have often been painted in a negative light and many people are prohibiting their use of some of the things I mentioned entirely, the actual treasure of life to me is how we balance everything in our modern world. Prohibiting alcohol led to the prohibition for example and this led to a lot of illegal and black market activity that increased criminality overall in society. The same would probably happen with sugar and the same would probably happen with social media. It’s not about the substance or thing itself that is wrong. It is the intention with which we bring to it.
Let me repeat that for those of you in the back.
It is not about the substance or thing itself that is wrong. It is the intention with which we bring to it.
What I mean by that is that it doesn’t matter what we ban in the world, there are always people who are going to use the substance or find a way to access what they want in culture even if it’s illegal because legality does not dictate peoples realistic use of something for example.
Now, I’m going to bring us back down to earth and mention why this is important for branding. Once I typically explain all of this to someone who asks me why I still support people building a business on social media, I usually then go into the small business owners and the solo entrepreneurs. These are the people who maybe cut your hair.. or file your taxes... or maybe even coach you on your relationship. This might be your therapist or the author of a book that you really love.
If you’re a millennial, commonly you might hold the vision that you want to be a digital nomad or that you want to live anywhere in the world and continue to make money doing what you love and finding a life-work balance of absolute freedom. Do you know how that’s done? Either being really savvy with online technology or hiring people who are really tech savvy. This does not only mean learning how to file taxes online, sell products and services online, but also market yourself online.
For a single mother for example to be able to post her services as a hairdresser on social media and make money through an entirely free platform because clients and customers see her on Instagram or Facebook is a beautiful thing. She is able to spend not a dime on marketing herself and effectively have a greater chance of making a profit and feeding her family because social media exists. All she has to do is put herself out there and use it.
Now, let’s bring in a question that my prospects typically ask me.
The question is, well does this mean that I have to be on social media all the time?
Whenever I am asked this question from a prospect, I always smile and say not at all.
You actually want to be using social media less than you would as a typical user!
Because if you’re a client of mine, you are a health and wellness entrepreneur who needs to live and breathe your practice. That means if you are a sound healer or meditation teacher, for example, you are almost constantly protecting your energy and mastering your life force so that you can come completely calm and collected to do your job which is usually very healing and health oriented. Being on social media for five hours a day or 10 hours a week, for example, I would say is an indication of social media addiction or symptoms of scrolling and scrolling addiction.
Social media does indeed disrupt your dopamine levels with constant hits and a high that is a fabricated sense of pleasure. I completely agree with that.
I successfully teach my clients to actually spend less time on social media and curb their time on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube etc. because they don’t even need to go on social media platforms to use social media most of the time.
There are several third-party automation services like later.com where you simply create the content that you want to put on your social media and drop it into Later.com to be scheduled for being posted at any time, anywhere. That’s one way. I don’t want my clients in my Wholistic Wellness branding experience and coaching to be spending all of their time on social media like some marketing professionals say. That’s not healthy and not an indication of wellness in my opinion.
Social media marketing is huge and there’s so much money to be made when you market yourself on an entirely free platform like Instagram but that doesn’t mean you spend all of your time on it.
For you to market yourself successfully, you want to be using automation services and batching your content for posting at later times so that you can have more time topping up your wellness like spending quality time with your friends, eating dinners with your family, and catching up on exercise. That’s all!
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