I’m going to put a rather controversial sounding proposal out there. It may seem mad, but bear with me until the end, and hopefully you’ll see my logic.
You should deactivate all of your social media accounts.
I know, I know – crazy proposal, right? I’ve been singing the praises of social media advice for months, so why the sudden u-turn? I know what you’re thinking: ‘Ryan’s finally lost it.’ Perhaps, but hear me out and you’ll see where I’m coming from.
The Logic Behind My Madness
Okay, so open up that one social media account you don’t really use that much. You know, the one where you always forget to post things, and where you only have about four followers? Yeah, that one. Let’s hypothetically say that this social network account is, I don’t know… Google+. Hypothetically, of course (ahem). Hit the deactivate key.
A question for you: how do you feel now that you’ve ditched a social networking website that you never actually used properly in the first place? If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel less burdened. A weight has lifted from your shoulders.
Enjoy that feeling?
Right, now open up your Twitter account…
Hover over the deactivate key…
No, no, it’s not happening. I can’t do it. Twitter is the place where I get the bulk of my traffic. It’s where I connect with readers and fellow writers. It’s where I share useful links and content. I can’t deactivate my Twitter account.
And thus, my point is proven
See that interior dialogue I just had with myself? That is how every conversation should sound when you hover over the ‘deactivate’ button. You see, when I pitched the notion that you should scrap all of your social networking accounts, what I actually meant to say was something along the lines of, ‘scrap all of the social networking accounts that don’t matter to you.’
But of course, in a world of SEO-friendliness and ATTENTION GRABBING HEADLINES, I had to play the game, right?
Parting with what doesn’t matter
One of the biggest misconceptions of social media marketing is that you have to ‘be everywhere’ to succeed. This isn’t true. In fact, being everywhere can be detrimental to your overall success. There are two potential outcomes of trying to ‘be everywhere’ for the average human being:
1. Being everywhere often results in focusing on one or two primary social media websites, and making a half-arsed job of focusing on the rest.
In other words: all focus on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and a neglected looking YouTube page. I have a YouTube page, but I disconnected it from my website. One day, I might return to it, but only when I can promise myself full focus and quality content. Right now, I can’t, so it goes. One less thing to worry about, more time to focus on writing, which leads to the next point…
2. Being everywhere means you spend all of your time marketing and not enough of your time writing.
Sure, it’s good to focus your attention on loads of social networking websites. You have a brilliant looking Facebook page, a snazzy Instagram portfolio, and the rest. In fact, in an ideal world, sure: we’d all ‘be everywhere’ like this. But for the average working human being, it simply isn’t practical. We want to spend our free time writing, and blogging, not marketing.
If your time truly allows you to juggle your ten social media websites, then go for it, and congratulations. Mine doesn’t, so bah humbug.
So, now I’ve given you a bit of context and elaborated on my crazy initial point, I want you to test my hypothesis. Open up all of your social media accounts in different tabs, and hover over the deactivate button on each.
Listen to your mind battle with itself as you get closer to clicking. Hundreds of arguments against deactivating should be flying into your head at that moment. Your stomach should be tingling. Listen to these signs, because that’s your rational mind talking.
If you aren’t met with a series of questions, and find hitting deactivate all too easy, then that’s when it’s okay to scrap the account. Your mind isn’t putting up enough of a fight, so your account probably isn’t relevant. Deactivate, and breathe a sigh of relief.
Have you ever scrapped any of your social media accounts? Which social networking sites are you most active on, and why?
Image courtesy of ahisgett via Flickr
Interesting. I have a Google+ account, but only because I have a Gmail account. That account serves a purpose, so I don’t want to get rid of that. But I spent very little time on G+, often not checking it for days, because I don’t get a lot of value there. I’ve been off-and-on intrigued by Pinterest, but it always comes down to “What would I do there?” so I don’t have an account. I do have a LinkedIn account, but that’s mostly for the day job. So most of my time is spent on Twitter (which I really didn’t expect to happen) and Facebook (although I’m still building the author page). I do think it’s important to realize that not only that you *can’* be everywhere, you *shouldn’t.*
I also have a Google+ account, Mary. I kind of hold onto it because the ‘Ryan Casey is in x circles’ in Google Search looks pretty cool. Otherwise, I have little use for it. Still, I keep it to share blog posts, so we’ll see how that works. It requires minimal effort to maintain, I guess. And for the same reason, I get minimal (if any) traffic through it. Main problem with Google+ is that I don’t actually think it knows what it is itself. Is it a LinkedIn competitor? A Facebook wannabe? Who knows? Can’t help but feel Google have missed a trick with this one. In saying that, hangouts could be a cool feature.
Agreed with Pinterest. I set up an account, threw a few books/films/tv I’m interested in, but I don’t really see how that ties in to my own author stuff. LinkedIn is one I still need to try. How is that?
I agree with you guys. If I had to get rid of any social media account, it woud definitely be Google+. Like you, I don’t know what it’s really for yet, but I like how it helps me in social search. I definitely don’t update it as much as I should and find a lot of spammers there. But I think it could take a turn for the better in the future, especially with the hangouts feature. I think I might take that one off my blog for now.
As far as Pinterest, I’m on there because I love it and because I believe some of my target audience might also be there. If anything, I love to hoard things, and it allows me to do that with my favorite writing links, books, and other neat pictures. I feel it’s a good place to show some of your other interests and quirks.
Great post, Ryan!
I actually deleted my LinkedIn account this morning because I never, ever use it for anything, plus I don’t plan to go to any other jobs, so I don’t see the point. I would definitely get rid of Google+ if I could. I really like using Pinterest for my own reasons–not for everyone to see the stuff, but I like collecting ideas and inspiration for book covers and the like.
Good to hear your views on this, Liz. That sounds like a good use of Pinterest, so I’ll be sure to look into it. Like I say, I have an account, but it just kind of gathers dust.
I should probably get on the GoodReads craze too, as it seems they have some great options for authors with giveaways and such.
Well, today, I deactivated all of social media sites including Facebook, Tumblr,Instagram, and Twitter. I decided to do this because i spend to much countless hours on these social medias while i can be doing something productive with my life. Like taking care of garden, reading to my little brother, looking up scholarships, exercising etc. I did this because I know a person who has no type of social media involved in her life and she is very successful. I am not saying that her reason for being successful is because she does involved in social media sites but because she does not spend so much wasteful hours on the web, she can get more important things done. Most importantly, no ever knows her business unless you actually ask her which I like. I feel different already but most likely, I will have to activate my facebook because of school organizations and it is the only way for me to keep in contact with family around the world..
That’s very interesting. I’d be keen to hear how your experiment goes.
You’re right though — you should balance social media. I’m not sure I could completely black out from it, as I have a lot of fun with my readers on Twitter and Facebook. It’s about learning when to log out and to switch off. It seems like you have identified Facebook as ‘the one’ you rely on most, so perhaps consider signing back up there again. Good luck with your social media experiment!