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Why I’ve Changed My Stance on Social

Do you ever feel a crazy amount of resistance to something everyone says you should be doing to market your business — but you just can’t bring yourself to get on board?

For me, that point of resistance has long been around social media.

Ever since Twitter started its decline (gosh, 5 years ago now?), I’ve been incredibly resistant to marketing my work on social media.

Give me an opening, and I can give you ALL the reasons why I don’t use social media to market my business.

Just for starters…

  • I HATE it when people message me on Facebook instead of emailing me. If you want to reach me, just reply to one of these emails!
  • I also find it weird when someone I don’t know sends me a friend request. Why is that a thing?
  • Back in the day, I was a low-key lifestyle blogger, who regularly wrote about personal development. Now, the idea of turning my every move into a business metaphor gives me hives.
  • My work isn’t consumer focused, so it doesn’t lend itself easily to places like Pinterest or Instagram. I don’t think photos of my cats are going to sell you PR or marketing advice. Actually, on second thought…it probably would!
  • The last thing I want to do is share the same-old inspirational quotes you see everywhere. I’m not against those quotes, but I’m not setting out to be a guru or life coach.

When I sit and really look at this list with an open heart and mind, what it tells me is that the typical formula for social media marketing feels like the absolute least authentic way for me to communicate.

As a writer, I already have a tendency to narrate my life as I’m living it. I don’t care to feed that tendency by taking the things I do for myself — things like hiking or political canvassing — and turning them into marketing lessons.

For the longest time, I couldn’t think of another way to engage, especially in a space like Instagram.

I’m much more comfortable sitting down and writing an email, because I feel like I can be fully myself and not adopt a persona for likes.

I will probably always feel that email is where I show up best, and yet, I’ve also had a breakthrough that has completely transformed how I think and feel about social.

I’ve come to realize that I’ve been thinking about social all wrong…

For most people, social media is a discovery tool. It’s a way to spread your content and your work to more people.

But I’ve come to realize that the way I use social media is to deepen relationships.

There are two recent events that flipped this switch for me.

First up was my realization that I’m constantly advising my clients to share their PR wins, not to reach more people, but to energize the tribe they’ve already gathered.

After YEARS of giving this advice, it finally dawned on me.

I was not practicing what I preached…

That’s when I decided to start sharing more of my client’s press coverage, on the blog, in email but also on Instagram.

Suddenly, I had an authentic, real reason to share content on Insta…to shower LOVE on my clients and the media (mostly podcasters) we work with.

The second event was starting to tune into Instagram stories more, and messaging with friends and clients.

There is one client in particular, where a lot of our communication is through Instagram!

Here I am (in the middle) being silly with a client in stories. 😊Experiencing the way Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon use Instagram has been a total game-changer for me.

In my own company, I talk about how our remote team needs to work extra hard to create “watercooler moments” — spontaneous gathering points like you’d typically see play out in an office. For the past month, I’ve realized that Instagram messages & stories are playing this spontaneous, light-hearted role for my clients and me.

It’s deepening our relationship, now that not every conversation is specifically about the work or a deliverable.

I’m still pretty sporadic on Instagram, but if you’d like to connect over there with me, I’m @brigittelyons.

I won’t even complain if you show up in my messages. 😉

I’ve been doing some deep thinking about how social media might become more integrated into the marketing strategy we do for our clients, but in the meantime, I invite you to reflect on the role social media plays in your business.

How do you feel about social media? Do you use it for your business at all? Is your focus on discovery or depth — or both?

  

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