Happy Tuesday, sweet friends!
I'm talking today about a topic that I've felt passionately about recently. Earlier this year, (March I believe) I deactivated my Facebook account....and it stayed that way for 3 months. 3 whole months away from the non stop scrolling, clicking on unimportant links, and time wasting. Friends, it was amazing. Now, if you've known me for quite sometime you'll know that deactivating Facebook for me is a huge deal. Not too long ago I was addicted. Really addicted. I would take my phone with me into the bathroom, have it under my pillow at night, and I was that person at dinner with friends checking my feed. Yikes! Facebook with OSDIM came to a point of overwhelm with me and that was my tipping point. The constant messages from friends and fellow wedding industry pals and group notifications became too much. So one day I just did it. I hit deactivate and after Facebook asked me one thousand times if I was really sure,(yes I AM SURE) I was off it. That first day, hard. Really hard. Second day? I didn't even think about it. So strange for me, but I found it so worth it. I'm back on it now, but I've changed the way I use it and all other social media platforms. I wanted to share today the little rules I go by to get the most out of my social accounts and the systems I put in place as well as the boundaries that have helped put a little zen back in my life.
Boundaries on SM is hard when you're running a business. Our society as a whole is consumed with distractions and the need of information quickly and sometimes I feel us as creatives are more prone to the constant scrolling. We want to know what our industry peers are up to and what pretty things will pop up on our feeds. We want to post and keep everyone updated with what we're working on (or what we're eating for lunch) It's normal, totally normal. We own businesses who's ideal clients are on platforms like IG, FB, and Snapchat, it's where we have to be, but it's a tricky road though. Here are some things I'm doing to make sure I'm using social media platforms to their full potential for my businesses while minimizing my time using social media.
While I'm not loving being back on it, for me Facebook is where I network with area creatives and have access to business groups that I find helpful. Those things I did miss while I was gone. Instagram doesn't have an events section so while I was off of FB I missed out on a few gatherings I would of loved to attend, but didn't know about them because I couldn't be "added" or "invited"
So what I basically did was took out everything I could that I didn't like. I no longer check messages on there. Regardless of who they are from. One less inbox to worry about. I also unfriended anyone I haven't spoken to in 2 or more years. My feed became a lot less cluttered and more filled with the people I love. I also went and unfollowed about a hundred more people so I don't see them on my feed and did the same with pages I have liked or groups I'm in. I turned off notifications to all but a few groups so I don't get those annoying notifications anymore. Hooray! Seems a little harsh, I know, but my mental health I figured was more important. Since taking a Facebook hiatus I'm not attached to my phone anymore and have even on multiples times forgotten it at home and actually felt relieved about it. That my friends is me living the dream. I also recommend social media free weekends- life changing.
Limiting my time spent on Facebook has been key for me to stop the scroll. I like to "check in" 3 times a day max and for no longer than 10 minutes. Facebook for me isn't where a lot of my business comes from so it's the last thing I post to. I love to keep my business page updated, but it's not a key tool for me in the overall picture. This is just me though. I know some ladies who kill it on FB. Using it as more of an informational outlet and networking tool has worked a lot better for me as far as time and benefiting my business.
So FB, I think I'll stick around. (but please give us a way to disable messaging for personal pages...)
My (and everybody's) favorite platform. I can talk for days about how much I love IG. It's where almost half of my inquiries come from and is such a huge part of my business therefore I spend the most time on it. Instagram is my brand. It's where you get to know me (as well as here on the blog) Some rules I like to abide by are...
1. QUALITY IS MUCH BETTER THAN QUANTITY
Something I've learned this year is that for me quality over quantity is key. I know now that posting a few times a week about things I'm working on, intentional captions, and shots of behind the scenes work is a lot better than posting constantly. Quality of posts is so much more beneficial than everyday multiple times a day for me and my business. I don't have any rules when it comes to what I post (like 5 work posts 1 personal post etc) I just post what feels right. To me Instagram is little snippets of a bigger picture. Mini chapters of the book I'm theoretically writing.
2. CONSISTENT FEED
Instagram is an extension of my brand and my website. I want it to feel like a little nook of my business and I accomplish that my sticking with a similar color scheme, exposure, and content. A pretty feed is a happy feed ! I like to also create little hashtag groups outside of weddings and work (#theschmidtchateau, #onesweetsummerfun) They make great little niches for parts of your life and creates consistency between projects.
3. BE SOCIAL!
I always make it a point to comment back when people write a note on a photo. I also get a ton of emails asking where things in my office are from and I always respond. I think it's important to show that there is a person behind the pretty. I also comment on others photos as much as possible. It's such a good way to break the ice (I've made actual real life friends this way) And it's a great tool for bringing people to your account. Which brings me to my next rule...
4. TAKE RELATIONSHIPS OFFLINE
I learned this one earlier this year. A comment or a few likes are wonderful, but even better is branching out and inviting that fellow creative out for coffee or lunch. This of course really only works if your local, but if not send someone you admire or would love to work with or become friends with a little note. Snail mail is a glorious thing in this day and age. Instagram might disappear at any moment (I really hope not, but you never know!) So it's important to bring relationships you start on IG into the "real "life"
5. IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW MANY FOLLOWERS YOU HAVE OR LIKES YOU GET
Seriously! I'd much rather have 50 likes on a post and interact with 20 of those followers than 200 and interact with 0. Again, it's about those relationships. Focus on the followers you have now and cultivate those friendships and be social with them. Your business should not be solely run on social media and based on how many followers you have. If Instagram shut down tomorrow where would all those thousands of followers be? Nowhere. Start focusing on the ones you have now. (This also works for booking clients, but that's a whole other post..) Also, please don't like your own photos...I promise you the amount of "likes" doesn't matter.
INSTAGRAM STORIES AND SNAPCHAT
Anyone else's jaw drop when IG launched stories 2 weeks ago? Yikes! and Rude. I wasn't sure what to think at first. I'm on snapchat, but admittedly not great at it. We know that Stories is pretty much the same thing, but I quickly realized how much of a great tool it can be. lt's basically snapchat but for my for my IG audience. Gotta love that! So far I don't have any rules or advice for it, but I'm thinking of using it mostly when I'm working behind the scenes on a project or a wedding to give followers an inside look. And a little here and there in everyday life.
if you’re needing help with managing your social media content you can look into apps like CoSchedule and Postso.com. You can also create a social media calendar to really get organized! Buy a separate calendar or planner and schedule out the next month of blog posts, Instagram, and Facebook content. Talk about a weight lifted off your shoulders. Once you have topics and and content figured out you can get to work on bringing those blogs and posts to life so that when publish time comes along, you'll be set and not stressed. High fives all around for that!
There are so many other tools out there to help professionals lead a more organized and stress free life so that we can reach our goals. Everyone and every business is different. Find the boundaries that work for you and the "rules" that take your Social Media game to the next level.