scrap social mediaI’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.

Ready? Okay.

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.

Test yourself

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