Today I am making it official:
I quit social media.
I actually quit more than a month ago.
What I mean is:
- I blocked or avoided the news feeds (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).
- I resisted the urge to post “updates” throughout the day.
- I resisted the urge to post links to articles and videos I found interesting.
. . . and life went on.
In fact, I have had more meaningful communication with my readers and with other authors and influencers than I ever had before simply because I shifted my focus wholly to email.
Here are some of the many reasons why I quit social media and increased my focus on email:
Social Media Was a Distraction
The only honest reason I went to “check” the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram newsfeeds was to distract myself from actual important work. I wasn’t seeking to serve. I sought to consume rather than create and often found myself wasting valuable time reading articles or the latest thread of comments that polluted my mind and attention away from my work.
Success through Social Media is Harder Than Ever
With recent updates to the Facebook algorithm and similar changes to Twitter, Instagram, and others, it is becoming increasingly harder for posts to be seen by followers and fans. While I might have the urge to share something, the likelihood that it actually gets seen is smaller and smaller.
Platform = Permission + Promise
A platform is not a number of followers. You have a platform when people give you permission to fulfill a promise to solve a problem with a specific solution. Sharing personal updates might be the promise you make to people on social media. Maybe they like you and want to know what you are doing throughout the day. More likely, however, they are thinking about themselves and the problems they want to solve. They want to have a conversation with you not just know what you are doing. The most effective social media profiles and pages offer a specific promise to their followers. If you went to their pages, you would see consistency. I realized, however, that an email list is much more effective at fulfilling a promise and getting people’s permission to fulfill that promise. It is a more effective platform.
Email Marketing > Social Media Marketing
Without an email list, I would be an unknown blogger. When I travel for speaking events, people introduce themselves and talk about the emails I send to them. I can think of only one instance when someone told me they follow me on social media (or at least she thought so because she wasn’t really sure). People read their emails every day. Or, they choose to ignore emails they don’t have time to read. Either way, they see an email with a subject line (unless, of course, Gmail or other email providers relegate them to a promotions tab or folder . . . that is a topic for another post). I heard Jon Acuff point out recently that no one can give up email for a month. You would lose your job. Yet, people give up social media all the time and life goes on.
Twitter and other social networks really helped me connect with other authors and influencers. I value the relationships I started there. Here is the thing: email works just as well. Send someone a meaningful email and you can begin a relationship with them. Before the Internet authors corresponded with hand-written letters. It worked. Email works just as well today.
I have big goals. I’ve never been more focused on achieving those goals than I am this year. I read and remind myself of these goals every morning. Not one time did I think of social media as the most effective way to reach those goals.
All this is to say look for this image pinned to the top of my professional social media pages and profiles. I’m focusing on what is essential over what is non-essential: