Social media is not very social as it is based on traditional advertising and broadcast models, which force us to “stand out” and get never ending attention and likes. And then there are all kinds of new, cool emojis to keep us hooked into even more metrics that tell our audiences how important we are. Influence is the name of this game and popularity can easily transport us back to our high school days.
What if it doesn’t really matter how many followers we have, how many likes our posts receive or how many people subscribe to our list. Many marketers advise us to keep our posts short and brief. They follow formulas and rarely focus on value or impact. And the platforms themselves have embedded algorithms that drive their bottom line more than what users actually need.
The metrics that are in place are rarely connected to impact and the reason why we write posts or blogs. The word count gets focused on instead of the purpose of what we are creating. It’s a trap to have a social media strategy that is only focused on broadcasting messages without true connection.
Even though we can comment, there’s very little conversation and dialogue taking place on most social platforms. Because the platforms are not built for truly connecting. And we choose to use them in the way they were introduced to us rather than what we actually need.
So, what matters more, how many people follow us or the depth of our conversations and relationships?
Authentic is Not Social
When we focus on what we are creating, being popular is no longer a goal.
There is so much talk and talk and even more talk about being authentic right now. And we have social media experts telling us how to be authentic and ourselves on inauthentic tools. But the tools are not the issue; how we use them takes us to the root cause of the increasing disconnect these platforms are creating.
When we are truly authentic, the numbers and popularity don’t matter. What is key is the value we provide to the people we care about.
Overnight successes are fleeting and depleting. It also becomes addictive to want to keep on growing and have more and more of these success highs.
Gardening requires a great deal of patience as a seed doesn’t transform into a pepper overnight. It follows a natural, organic process of growth.
This is our time to get back to simplicity and the natural cycles of life. So much of what we have created is burning us out because it is unnatural to track these superficial metrics that are meaningless. There are people who may have thousands of followers but that doesn’t translate into anything meaningful for them.
Isn’t it time to stop talking so much about content and become clear on the quality of what we are creating? We don’t need to conform to a length limit of a book, post or video. If it’s valuable, the length won’t matter. I no longer work with the person who advised me to keep my posts short because it has always been about opening hearts for me.
When we are clear on why we engage with social media, we get to focus on what’s important instead of trying to stand out. Do we feel fulfilled with tons of followers or is making an impact in someone’s life our focus?
Meaningful Sparks from the Inside
What if we pick something that lights us up and do it with heart? Sometimes picking up the phone and having a conversation with someone is much more effective than lots of social posts.
To truly listen to our heart and bring who we are to every part of our life doesn’t require formulas. Instead of being distracted by the noise, and even contributing to it, maybe our focus can be on how we are choosing to create meaning in our world?
Here are three questions to consider, and please add your own:
- How do I want to invest myself today: a social post or three, a few selfies, a conversation or a whatever sparks me?
- If there was no like button, what can be done instead that is valuable to me?
- What am I planting in my garden? How am I aligned with the natural cycles of the universe?