Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real-life examples of the good, the bad, and sometimes wild, in marketing.
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve had a couple of different conversations with different marketers. Not business owners, ironically, marketers, who are wondering whether social media is really worth it. It comes down to this question; should I quit social media? So I wanna talk you through what I talked with them about, because I think that it might be helpful for just the business owners at large to really think through, is this worth it for me?
So I wanna tell you a couple stories before we get into that. The first one is, I have a friend of mine, she runs a marketing agency called Height Strategic Marketing. Shout out to Dominique. They actually took a hiatus from social media. If I remember right, it was over the summer, and they were gonna be very busy. And they also just stated, “Hey, this isn’t really where we’re finding clients and we’re reevaluating whether we should be here or not.”
This came on the heels of my finding out that earlier this year or late last year, Lush Cosmetics also quit social media. They did it for different reasons. It was more because they’re very passionate about the mental health space and they want to see social media change to honor that, but they decided to forgo all of the money that they make off of social media and left. They’re still gone a year-ish later. Who knows whether they’ll be back or not. It’s hard to say. We can’t predict the future, obviously , but it was just really interesting for me to think through.
Different companies taking breaks from social media, and what that means for them, for their companies. And then when I was asked by a couple people what I thought about them taking a break, it just spurred on these different questions that I have. The bottom line is I think that it’s a very personal decision, both for your person and for your business. Personally, I took a, I wanna say two-year break off of social media, and it was one of the best things that I’ve ever done for myself. The only reason, I’ll be honest, that I’m back on is because we run a social media agency, and I’ve been doing social media for a job, and I realized I couldn’t do it for more clients if I didn’t have social media. So that’s why I’m back.
But personally, I go back and I go through ways of being in and out. But this is the problem, is what do we do for our businesses? One of the conversations that I had with somebody was because they’re not seeing the ROI coming from their social media, their return on investments. So the time that they’re spending on social media is not coming back to them with clients.
The other person, she’s just starting out something, and she personally does not enjoy social media, so she was wondering if she even needed to start it in the first place. And so, here is the first question that I come to, especially for existing businesses because you have an easier time measuring whether this is true for you. First, are you getting ROI from social media? Are you getting that return on investment? Are you getting clients? Are you getting leads, et cetera? If you are, you probably aren’t even asking this question. You’re probably not even asking if we should, because you know it’s worth it for you. So that’s my first question.
If you aren’t, that’s where I think the decision comes in. Like I said, I can’t make this decision for anybody else in their business. I’ll be honest, Stratos doesn’t see a direct ROI from our own social media efforts, but we’ve made the decision to still exist on social media and put good content out for a reason. I’ll share that in a minute.
But I think the question that comes after what is the ROI, is why are you doing social media? If you’re doing it simply to get business or customers and you’re not getting the ROI, then you need to take that into account because then it’s probably a good idea to get off. But some other reasons that you could be doing social media is a portfolio. This is really important with people in design spaces, in photography spaces, even physical product spaces. People need to see what they are buying and what you’re offering.
I also think proof of concept, so this is very true for – and this is why Stratos is doing social media, and I think this is true for a lot of marketing agencies, because I know there’s a lot of you who listen to this podcast. Sometimes we need to do social media for proof of concept. We do reels, not because we love them. I mean they are fun, but they are time intensive. But we gotta show people, hey, we know what we’re doing. That’s why we make content. This is especially true for people perhaps in a coaching space doing proof of concept where you’re doing – not live coaching obviously, but sending out coaching tips, things like that, showing your face so people can experience you as a person and see whether they can relate to you.
Guys, I hate to interrupt this podcast, but I wanna share a quick message about a resource we have here at Stratos for you.
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A third reason you might be on social media is for education. If you have an industry with maybe a long purchase process, maybe you need to educate people. Maybe it’s a different kind of product and people are just curious. That would be another reason to be on social media. The last one that I have is the most basic one; making sure people know that your business is not dead. I talk about this a lot because, especially nowadays, it is true. I see it, especially with my peers and my generation. If you’re not on social media, we start wondering whether you are actually a thing and whether you are open for business.
In fact, oftentimes, social media could even be used as a search tool nowadays. For example, I was looking for a photographer for my wedding a few years ago, and I searched hashtags or a Florida wedding photographer because that’s where I was headed for our wedding. So that’s a bit of the factor. So I would encourage you to think through, are you doing it for the portfolio? Are you doing it for proof of concept, for education, or so that people know that you’re alive? And once you figure that out, I think that that can help you inform, should I quit social media or do I just need to pull back?
A lot of our clients who just want proof of life for their business only post once a week, maybe twice a week. I do encourage that if you’re gonna do that, do it more than once a month because people need to see some frequency. If you’re doing portfolio, proof of concept or education, you’re gonna wanna post more. Depending on your goals, if your goal is to grow an audience or you’re seeing ROI, then you’re gonna wanna post even more than that. But those are some of the questions that I would ask myself and my clients.
But if you come back to me and you’re like, “Julia, I don’t really need proof of concept, I don’t need a portfolio. I don’t really need to educate my people, and I do want people to know that I’m still around, but I’m not that committed to social media to doing that, or I don’t have time or energy or the resources.” I came up with this idea for the woman who told me that she wanted to not be on social media because she was starting her business. I think that you have to do what is best for you. So I’ll say that first. So if you decide to leave social media, there is no shame. I think that is really good for you.
But what I would do is still claim your tags, your usernames on Facebook, Instagram, everything, but then put a singular post that says, hey, we actually don’t spend a lot of time on social media, but find us here. Give people a way to know you do exist. It’s still a proof of life, even if it was a year or two later. I think the directness of that is still so unusual that people will say, okay, well, they must still be around, and I can understand that they don’t wanna use social media, but at least I know how to get a hold of them. The worst thing that you could do is claim the usernames and not use them and just have it blink, because then people wonder.
The other thing that you could do is not claim them at all, and then somebody else takes them. And then if a year or two down the road you have more resources and wanna move on to social media, you’re gonna be out of luck. So that’s where I’ve come to, if you really wanna quit social media, I think you can. I don’t think you have to be on there. But I would encourage you to put a very concise and direct post on how people can find you.
Circling back to Lush Cosmetics, when they left last year, they actually deleted all of their original posts. You can’t find them. And now they have a six square, I think it was two by three, or maybe it’s a nine square grid, where if you look at it all in the grid, it’s one image. You know what I’m talking about? I don’t know the word for that. But it basically says, hey, we’re not here anymore, and this is why. They state their reason for leaving, which is wanting to protect people’s mental health and wanting social media platforms to make that a priority, and then they say where they want to be contacted. Again, a really good way to show people, yes, we as a company do still exist, but we’re not gonna hang out here. But here’s how you can get a hold of us.
So hopefully, these are some questions that are helpful to you as you’re making decisions on your social media for your business. For now, we are still on social media. I don’t see us leaving anytime soon because we love it, we love helping our clients do it. And we actually take them through several of these questions as we figure out what cadence of posts they need or how many posts they need a month. We will take them through these questions so that we’re not doing more than necessary, but we’re also not doing less than what is helpful.
Let me know if you are considering this big decision. I think that you’re not the only one. I’ve already had a few conversations about it with people as they’re analyzing their own ROI and their own marketing efforts. So you’re not alone. And if you need somebody to talk this through to explore, hey, why am I doing social media and am I doing well? Let us know. We’re always here to help, even just for a quick consultation. Have a great one, you guys, and I will see you on the socials.
Friends, thanks for tuning into this week’s podcast episode. I am so glad that you have, if you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, I just ask you to subscribe so you know each time we have a new episode coming out. If you loved our podcast and want to give us a rating or a review, I promise we will read each and every one of them. A special shout out to our friend, Carson Childers, who is producing our podcast. We really appreciate him and all the hard work that he’s done for us.
Also, thanks to the Stratos team. They have been behind the scenes doing all of the graphic design, brainstorming, et cetera, et cetera. Really, this wouldn’t be possible without them. I’m thankful for each and every one of you guys. Lastly, listener, we’ll be back next week and I hope you will be too.