In August 2021 I logged off all of my social media accounts, especially my business profiles such as Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, in search of something I hoped would benefit my mental health and business. I already knew social media was a distraction, a place where I'd scroll aimlessly while procrastinating upon what jobs I was going to start next. My productivity was low, other issues plagued me and my mental health had flat-lined. From a business point of view my successes on social media were cold to lukewarm, I struggled to get any sort of valuable engagement and most of what I did was blind with no real plan of action.
The fact that social media is a distraction and productivity killer is nothing new, but there's a slow growing trend of big firms, celebrities and small business owners ditching the social platforms for a variety of reasons, like improving productivity and focusing on their mental health. So can quitting social media bring business benefits or are we obligated to use these digital spaces for our very survival?
Here it what I discovered in my time away from social media as a business and on a personal level. Pleasae understand this is from my own experience and my own business point of view, it may not suit your business operations.
My business benefits after quitting social media
- Increased productivity - My productivity increased 30 to 40% and I got more jobs done more efficiently.
- Increased enquiries - My business is busier now than it was a year ago, despite doing no social media marketing or activity for the last 12 months.
- Improved existing marketing - I spent time further optimising my own website and blog content, where I saw increases search engine placements.
- Business development - I spent more time developing the business (services/offerings) which allowed me to create 2 new service lines and income streams.
- Feeling of pride - I felt a little bit prouder of my business and who I was once jobs were being completed in good time and clients were happy.
Personal benefits after quitting social media
- Once you turn off the noise, you'll re-discover the silence. Just by logging off you'll soon realise how much more 'head space' you have.
- When your self employed, business is personal. Most customers understand this, some will not care. Don't let the few drag you down. Adopt a mental health policy into your business operations.
Notable disadvantages after quitting social media
- There are initial withdrawal symptoms. I found myself instinctively loading new browser tabs and typing "facebook.com" into the address bar. These subside once you start to fill the void with other activities.
- One day someone will no doubt message you on social media and you'll miss the message, or need to login to read it. Setup auto-responses if you can, or pin a post to direct clients to your preferred contact point.
- Personally, you'll miss out on what your friends and family have been up to, unless you change your social interactions with them. On the flip side this actually builds better relationships with the few.
My take away from quitting social media
It's a serious consideration to small business owners and freelancers, if your time and energy are better invested elsewhere, instead of on social media. I realised that by investing my time, energy and mental capacity on productivity, business development and traditional marketing techniques, instead of (aimlessly) on social media, my business and mental health benefited greatly. I was much more productive, I got jobs done, enquiries still came in and my mind was clear from the noise that echo's across social media and all the impact that comes with it.
If I were to offer advice from my experience, I'd say; exhaust all your direct and traditional marketing techniques first (networking - real world & online, website, blog, email marketing, print media, local advertising), work your business, then when you feel your business is ready to jump on social media, find a local social media marketing professional and outsource your social media management. If you paid them £50 per month and they generated you 2 deals worth £200 each, they would be worth it. However if you feel your time will be valued on social media, at very least contract a social media consultant to help get you started on the right path.
Credits; Cover image, Merakist on Unsplash.