If you've ever felt overwhelmed by social media, like it's just a massive time-suck, or frustrated that you have to become a content creator to promote your business, this episode is for you!
Doris Taylor (she/her) shares her own struggles with losing endless time to Instagram both on her personal account, and her new business account. We discuss how to shift to a community focused approach to social media and whether anyone is really choosing a doula because of their "perfect" grid.
Recently I left my career of over 20 years as a Registered Nurse and have started working as a birth and postpartum doula in the Greater Seattle area, Washington State, US. I provide emotional and physical support for a birthing person and their partner during labor and in the transition home with their little one(s). I am also a wellness coach and herbalist making herbal body products helping clients with chronic illness and overwhelm.
I hang out on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexisbushnell/
Find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SocialMediaForHumans
Join the club to learn more about ethical and effective social media marketing: https://socialmediaforhumans.club/
Voice over by Hawke Wood: https://www.spotlight.com/3490-9081-8844
Hello and welcome to Social Media for Humans, the podcast that empowers you to do social differently. Your host, Alexis Bushnell, and her guests discuss their experience of social media as business owners, users and ultimately, humans. With insights and advice to help you find an effective and ethical strategy that works for you, grab yourself a drink and join the conversation.Alexis:
Hello hello, I am here with wonderful Doris, do tell us who you are and what you do.Doris:
Hello, I am happy to be here and thank you for inviting me to be here. My pronouns are she and her and I am a birth and postpartum doula in the Seattle area in Seattle, Washington of the United States and I'm also an herbalist and a wellness coach.Alexis:
Very good and before I hit record you were saying that your sort of big struggle with social media is really like the time management, it's the way it sucks you in and just managing your time, even before you started your business, so can you tell me a little bit about how it was for you before you started your business when you were just using it for sort of personal use?Doris:
Yeah so I would struggle with feeling like I never had enough time between working full-time and family but then I would get on my social media and then like two hours would go by and and it became very apparent to me like if I'm having so much anxiety about my time, about not having enough time in my day to do everything that I wanted and needed to do but then I could spend two hours on Facebook in the evening and, you know, then you're going to bed late and then you're tired the next morning it becomes this very vicious cycle, and it became very apparent to me that there was a lot of problems with how social media sucks you in from the algorithms and how easy it is to scroll and you're like "oh just one more thing," you know, it's one more post, just one more story, and then suddenly hours go by and you're like "what did I just do with my time?" And this is time I'll never get back, this is time I wasn't, I hate to use the word productive, or really relaxing because social media is not truly relaxing as you know, studies have shown it really just, it makes people more anxious, it makes people more hyped up, it hypes up your nervous system, and so it's not truly relaxing, you're not really calming your nervous system, you're not really doing something, it's not really self-care and it's not truly taking care of yourself, it's just a huge addiction and the more you learn about it the more you realise that it's created to be addicting, like they want you on there for eight hours a day and it's hard to manage that sometimes, and I've gone through periods where I will completely take all social media off of my phone because that's the easiest thing, you know, that if I have to log on to it on the computer I'm less likely to actually get on it, so yeah I'll go through periods where I'll take it off my phone and I'll have something like Next Door on my phone and then I'm checking around to see and looking at like the missing cats in the neighbourhood, it is not as enthralling as the other social media apps but it's an addiction because I will find myself it's just that reaching for the phone, I'll just check something for a minute, and then even when I know I don't have those apps on my phone and so once you kind of start stepping back from it, I've realised oh, like this is truly like an addiction, like it's truly an issue but it still becomes a problem and how you manage that and how do you not get sucked in? "I'll just check it for a second" and then 30 minutes goes by and you're like "wait a minute, I'm supposed to be, or I want to be doing something else" but it's so easy just to get so sucked into it and and hours go by and that's been really eye awakening to me and I've realised in my head I started saying "how do I want to be spending my time?" to try to break myself away from being on social media so much because I'll tell myself this isn't how I want to be spending my morning, or this isn't how I want to be spending my evening, and that's become more of a way for me to be able like shut it off, put my phone down and go do something else, because I won't remember in two years what I was scrolling about but if I'm doing something that I find relaxing or beneficial or learning a new skill, that I will more likely remember and will be a benefit to me, versus how much I've spent scrolling on social media or been on Twitter or any of those places, and so I'm getting a lot better, certainly is not perfect but I'm getting a lot better about creating boundaries around my social media use and not checking it first thing in the morning. So easy when you get up to like, I'll just have my cup of tea and scroll on Instagram a little bit and it's like no, that's not what I should be first looking at when I get up, and there's been times where I've been able to get up and not even look at my phone at all and kind of start my day a little bit and then check it, and it's been many years though in creating those boundaries and realising how detrimental it is to myself.Alexis:
Yeah yeah, and I think it's, and I want to say I teach social media and to use social media in a way that like is supportive for you and and is self-caring, I'm still not quote perfect at it. Like there are days that I just cannot get off social media, so you are absolutely not alone and it's a consistent thing, it's something you have to choose to be aware of your usage of it, and you have to choose different things every single day. It's not, I don't think it is, kind of like an addiction, I think it is something that you have to consistently be aware of because it is that awareness that makes the difference, and if you are especially, I think when people are tired or they're stressed, they're feeling a little bit run down, yicky, whatever, that tends to be the time that they think oh I'll just sit down and I'll just scroll social media for a little bit because it's a relaxing thing, and often it's not that relaxing, and there is an issue that when we do that that's when we're not conscious of it, that's when we're not thinking how long am I actually spending on here? What am I actually looking at on here? Is there something else I could be doing that I would like to be doing rather than sitting on social media? Doris: Oh yeah for sure. when when I worked my eight to five, Monday through Friday job I was exhausted all the time and I'd be like "I'm too tired to read, I don't really want to do anything," and on the flip side of that too you're like "oh I deserve a little bit of mental break and so I'm just going to scroll on my social media for a bit," and it's so hard to break out of that because you're like "oh I just deserve a little bit of time to do this because I've been so busy in my day" and so that feeds into oh I don't, I'm too tired, I don't want to do anything else but I can sit on my couch and scroll, you know, that's easy enough and so that definitely plays into like the addiction for it of oh I'll just do it for a little bit because I'm too tired to do anything else. Yeah I think it's interesting that reading is one of the things that I know I'm guilty of this is that I'll think oh my eyes are too tired to read but they're not too tired to scroll on social media, interesting that! [Laughter] Yeah but I do, for me I think the awareness is the the key thing and tends to be what makes the difference for people because, like you say, the algorithms are very much designed to suck you in and even the notifications that you get for it, how the apps are designed, everything is designed to keep you on the platform, but I think when people become aware of that, and I think we saw this a lot after The Social Dilemma came out, a lot of people suddenly had more of a grasp of how social media works and how they are trying to keep you on the platform, and being informed in that way allowed people to see the methods that they're using for what they are, they allowed people to see, oh I've got a notification to say that I've missed five notifications from my friends and instead of thinking "oh I've missed all these notifications" they thought "this is a tool to get me onto the platform again to start scrolling again, it's not about connecting me to my friends." And so for me I definitely think that awareness is really the key thing, knowing, doing a little bit of research and finding out how the social media platforms actually work, I do have some content about that, side note! But then implementing that so that when you see things come up you kind of consciously say to yourself "this is what, this is this is why they're showing me this, this is how this is working," so that you start to see those things for what they are more naturally and you don't have to be as conscious about it then because as you're scrolling you think "oh yes, they're showing me these posts because of this" and that kind of thing. I'm interested as well then how when you, because obviously if you're using social media for business as well there is an element of you have to be on social media then? It's no longer just "oh I'm gonna sit down and relax," it's also I have to use social media, I have to go on this network, I have to do this thing. How did that sort of compound the the time issues that you were that you were having?Doris:
So that's also been a struggle because now there's so much more behind it, because now it's creating a post and figuring out all those little bits and pieces related to like your social media account, link to your web page. And it's even more now, it's even more work to do something, like none of those posts are just easy to do if you want them to look like a certain way, like there's a lot of work that goes into them and and I still haven't figured that piece out. So I don't do well with that, just to be honest, and when I first started my business accounts I took two months off and so they just kind of sat there for two months and so I feel a little disconnected from them and I haven't jumped full force into them to start creating like all these posts related to what I'm doing. And I've had people say "oh you should, you need to be posting all the time to create that content and create those followers," and I just cannot. I just cannot. I can't, I don't have the time or I'm not making the time to do it, and I would like to use it more as a tool for advertising but not like my only way to create interest in my business and my offerings, and it almost feels like I would like to be in a post social media world where we're not so dependent on social media and like kind of step back a decade or two, you know, and figure out how to be connected with your community no matter how that looks but not necessarily through all these social media apps, because like I remember Instagram before it was bought, before Facebook, and I remember you could scroll down to what you had seen before and then you were done, there was no jumping from these different algorithms and you seen something from three days ago to seeing something from an hour ago, it was so much better for you at that time. And then Facebook bought it and that's where you get the time suck from it, and there's a lot of resistance from me even as a business owner to like jump into that and get sucked into it even more because now there's so much more to do on the back end on creating content, and how it looks, and then getting it posted, there's so much more work to it than just taking a picture of me out doing something and then posting it on my social media apps, now there's way more work to try to have it look a certain way, or a certain frequency that you're supposed to be posting, which I don't think there's a magic trick to how frequently and how much many followers you get. It's definitely a struggle though to learn how much work it is on the back end to create these posts and be like "oh this is a lot a lot of work and a lot of time," so then it's even more time than just really what you were doing when it was just for your personal use because now it's make trying to get the photos, and trying to get the font, and trying to, you know, there's so much more that goes into these social media posts that you never realised until you start trying to work a business, and you're like "oh this is actually a lot of work." And to be honest like if you look at my business Instagram and Facebook page that there's not a lot on it, and I certainly have not created those great posts, I've just done some random posts of things that I've been doing because I also know, the algorithm piece is you should show your face because then you get more likes instead of just something else and and it's just, yes definitely a different viewpoint to be on the business side of it too and be like, oh, it's even more time and work and effort than what it had been before because before it's like share your life with your friends and then now it's like it has to look a certain way, and you're supposed to post a certain amount of times a week or a day or, and I'm just, I haven't bought into it, I haven't jumped into it yet to be consistent with any of my business posts.Alexis:
I think a lot of people will relate to that because something I notice when I speak to my friends who don't have businesses but who use social media, their experience of social media is very different, and when I speak to them about like what I do it is like "but how is it taking that long to create a post? But why are you spending three hours doing hashtag research? But what does it matter if you post three hours earlier?" People who aren't using it for business don't understand how much work it is and how different social media is to use it as a business. But I do also think that a common problem that people come up against when they first start using social media for business is the initial advice that you find if you sort of search for "use social media for business," "use Instagram for business," whatever, is sort of "you've got to do video, you've got to post at least once every single day, your grid has got to be perfectly themed, and you must have all of the right hashtags, and you must post stories every day, and you must do this, and you must do that, and you must be on every single platform, you must have a backlog of content that you can share," and there is this long list of things and I think a lot of people think "if I can't do all of those things perfectly, then it won't work," and the reality is actually you can do all of those things perfectly and it is still going to be the long game. Social media isn't a if you get the right post and the right caption, right hashtags and you post at the right time then you will magically make all these sales and gain all these followers, it is a long process to build up, especially if you want to build up a community of followers who are genuinely interested in what you do, they're not just people who saw that one viral post that you put out that wasn't really that related to what you do and now follow you but don't engage on any of your content, and there is a vast difference between those two things, which is why this push for more followers is something that really frustrates me, and the advice that you have to grow your followers, yeah you have to grow your followers but you don't have to grow them fast, you don't need hundreds of thousands of followers to run a successful business, and so I think one of the things that helps especially new business owners, or business owners who are new to social media, is to allow themselves to figure out how to do it for them and what advice doesn't work for them, and one thing I noticed, especially early on with Instagram is very much the idea of the perfectly curated and designed feed and grid is a lot of people are hung up on this like "my grid has to look this way, it has to have the branded colours, and the right font, and they've all got to fit together, and it's all got to be perfect," and actually if you throw that out the window and you allow yourself to post whether it's selfies, whether it's a little bit about you going about your day-to-day life with a caption that naturally lends itself to whatever that is, people will come to you anyway because you're putting yourself out there, and I know that sort of "be authentic, be yourself" is really overused advice but when you're running a small business, especially if it's just you, if you are your business, people are connecting with you as a person. And especially as a doula, people want to know you because you're the person who's going to be there, you're going to be on the end of the phone, you're the person who they're going to be having a close relationship with, and so I would argue most people don't really care about how perfect and fancy your feed is, or the images that you put out are, they care about getting to know you, they care about learning who you are, what you're about, what your experience is, why you do what you do, because they are the things that are going to inform whether they choose to work with you, it's those things. I don't think anybody is out there going "well should I work with this doula or this doula?" And then going "well this one has a much fancier Instagram feed so I'm gonna work with this one." I don't think, I could be incorrect but I don't think anybody has ever made a decision on which doula they're going to use based on how fancy their Instagram posts are. I think a lot of it does come down to allowing yourself to break the rules, I'm putting this in quotes because the rules are not hard and fast rules, there is best practices, there is advice that is generally helpful, but ultimately it depends on you and your audience, and if you don't have an audience yet it depends on the audience you want to reach, and if you want to reach people who care about authenticity and who care about relationships, connecting with people who care about issues outside in the world, who care about the things that are important to you and the reasons that you're doing what you're doing, that's what you have to put out there because they will be looking for that, not oh this person's got a boss babe hashtag and a really pink quote on their feed, you know.Doris:
Right, yeah and I wonder if there's been more understanding from people about how it's not about the amount of followers. And I'm sure there's still people who feel that whether they're in a business, or they're an influencer, or whatever feel that you have to have so many followers before you make it, but I wonder if there's more pushback about how many followers you need or should have because I wonder if there's more of an understanding of how we've been manipulated into thinking that, and how these algorithms play with it or play against it because, like you said, it really sometimes doesn't matter how many followers you have if they're not engaging in your content, and you could have a million followers or 10,000 followers but if they don't see your content, or if they're not engaging your content does it really matter how many you have? And I wonder if at some point that might change the way the algorithms are, or the way social media is used if there's less of an emphasis on how many followers you have and more so even on how much engagement you have from your followers, because really that should be the intent like you said, you want your followers and your community essentially to engage in what you're putting out there instead of just a like and a scroll by, you want them to engage with you and with each other because then you're creating that sense of community instead of feeding into that sense of disconnect that social media has fed into with people, and I wonder what the trend will end up being, because the trend so far has been get so many followers and you will make it and you'll be great and you'll make so much money, and then now I've heard more people, and maybe it's just because of the circles I've been in, it's not so much the amount of followers but it's more how much engagement and building that community organically instead of suddenly, like you said, having a viral video and you get 10,000 followers but then none of them engage with any of the other posts you put out.Alexis:
Yeah yeah, it's been really interesting for me to see the shift actually because the sort of hang up around number of followers definitely is kind of a hangover from when that was one of the main metrics if you were an influencer and wanted to work with a brand, if you wanted to do anything with a brand, or a bigger brand than you, or any kind of collaboration, that was one of the big metrics, but for a long time now actually social media algorithms have prioritised engagement and a lot of people have still been hung up on the follower number and, personally, I have no evidence to back this up but my in my opinion it is very much because we can really easily tie follower numbers to validation, it's much easier to say to somebody "well I've got 50,000 followers on Instagram" than it is to say "well I've got 500 followers on Instagram but they're really engaged with me and they send me DMs and they comment on all my stuff," it doesn't sound as impressive. It is more impressive, I would argue, but it's not that like quick sound bite, look how awesome I am. And I think a lot of people have managed to tie their follow account to how good they are as a person, how good they are at their job, how important they are, and that's not how it works. Doris: Well it's just like being the popular kid in high school, now it's like the popular kid on social media, but ultimately it still doesn't matter as much. I mean as I say like popular kids in high school don't necessarily go on to have very successful careers and do all these great things, and it's the same kind of parallel with social media because you could have a lot of followers but if you're not getting the engagement, but it still is that feel good like "oh I've got so many people and that makes me feel good," because really we're just all insecure about everything. Alexis: And that is what it comes down to isn't it? We all just want that little boost. I think more of us have seen the influences with massive follow accounts as well who have launched businesses, who have worked with brands and not made sales, and that has become big news a lot of times, there have been several news stories over the past year or so, maybe longer actually, that have been this famous Instagram influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers has tried to sell this thing, has opened a business doing this and nobody bought it, or very few people bought it, and I think people are starting to realise that A you can buy followers. And this is something I didn't realise a lot of people didn't realise because I have been in social media for so long that that's just something I knew happened, and there are so many people who just don't realise that fake followers are a thing, that you can buy them. Do not buy followers! My advice, never ever buy followers, it is a bad plan! But it is something that people have used in the past and still do use, you can also buy essentially fake engagement which is a whole other thing. Doris: But they're not gonna buy your products, so you need real people behind those accounts. I've heard a lot about like the bots and people are getting a lot of bots that follow their accounts, but again, that's not the engagement and that's not creating business for what you're doing. I mean it's one thing if you're an influencer and all you're about is the amount of people following you then that's one thing, but if you're actually trying to run a business and create an income and either have products or a service or something that you actually want people to buy it doesn't matter if you have 10,000 followers and half of them are bought or paid for because that's not going to translate into any income. Alexis: Yeah and I think when I speak to people it is a combination of that internal "I need the validation, I am insecure, I need the validation of the follower numbers, or the likes, or whatever it is" and also that being compounded by the generic advice that is out there of "you need this amount of followers, you need to do this, you need to do that," that then fuels the you don't know what you're doing, you don't understand social media, you need to be doing all these things that you don't have the time or the energy to do, and it just comes around in a vicious circle of like you can't do these things so I don't know what I'm doing so I'm insecure and I need the followers to tell me that I am actually okay, and when people realise that they don't need to reach every single person on social media that tends to be like a breakthrough point for people, because that tends to be why people get on social media is this idea that I can reach everybody, I can reach billions of people, and why do you want to? Most of those people aren't your people, you know, do you want to expose yourself to all of those people, most of whom aren't interested in what you do, a lot of whom will just disagree with you on a million different things.Doris:
That's not the engagement you're actually looking for just FYI!Alexis:
But like they're not your people and it's totally okay to let go of the idea that I have to be seen by everybody, I have to be in front of everybody on social media, and say these are the kind of people that I want to work with, these are the kind of people who my stuff can help, that my stuff will resonate with, these are the people I want to be in a community with, and to focus on reaching those people, because how you do that is very very very different to how you go viral, to how you reach everybody on social media, and if you can sort of flip the switch in your brain that says "I want to reach absolutely everybody and do everything perfectly and be this perfect social media person" to "I want to use social media to reach the people that are actually going to be interested in what I do and who I actually want to spend time with and get to know," that can really really help to also shift a lot of the problems that come with thinking that you have to have this amount of followers and this amount of posts and all of that kind of thing, because you start thinking more about creating content and engaging for your people rather than for the algorithm, and that is ultimately what's going to make the difference. Because social media is made up of people, like there's bots on it that's a different conversation, but it is like, there are people out there who want to follow you, who want to comment on your stuff, who want to buy your stuff,. They're actual people with whole lives and ideas and passions and things that they want to talk about, and if you are creating content for them they will find it and they will comment on it and they will follow you because they're interested in it, because they're your people, and that is when you start to make sales because you're reaching the right people. Doris: Yeah I think it really really changes if you're wanting to create a community that you can engage in and that you resonate with, that makes a big difference versus I need so many followers and then that'll turn into an income and I'll be an influencer or whatever, it's a definite different mindset versus oh I need all these people to validate who I am versus I want to create a community and a community space so that I can engage with people that resonate with me and I can also see how it also changes how you want to create your content differently because you want to be more authentic than versus going on creating these perfect social media posts that will resonate with so many different people and they look so pretty but it's not targeted towards the community that you're actually looking for. And that makes a big difference even, like I think there has been a switch and even in my head I'm like oh yeah, because that is the target actually, like I don't want 10,000 followers, I just want to create a community of people who I resonate with and that they resonate with me, and that makes a big difference as to how you think about posting because then it's not oh I have to create this perfect content and it's going to take three hours or whatever to create it for this one post, and then I want to do two posts every day, I mean that's like six hours of work just for social media posts, that's crazy and you're not even doing what you actually want to be doing. Yeah yeah, and I think the other thing is there are people who, because we talk a lot, especially like holistic business spaces, about sort of creating a community, bringing a community around you, and there are a lot of people who don't want to be sort of the hub of the community, they don't want to be creating the community they want to be a part of a community, and I do want to also say that engagement is far more important than creating content, and I bang this drum all day every day but it really really is, and that also means that if you are somebody who doesn't want to be the the leader of a community, or to be the the main person, or one of the sort of top five in that community or whatever, you don't want to be a thought leader if you will, you can still use social media effectively for your business just by being an active member of the community that is already there, and if that means that you spend much much much more time engaging and you put up like one post a month that is like "here are the dates that I am available for work next month," and the rest of your social media time is just posting on other people's content, replying to people, chatting in the DMs, engaging in Facebook groups, joining in Twitter chats, stuff like that, that is fine because ultimately it really is about community, and this is something that has been very lost in the marketing talk around social media is that like I say, they are people on social media you know, you are a person, I am a person, the people following us are real people, and it is a community, that's how it is. You are building relationships and so you don't have to be churning out content and being like the go-to person in that way to build a reputation on social media, you can definitely do that just by being helpful, being involved in the community, supporting other people, sharing your knowledge in other ways, that kind of thing so that people know your name, they see you around, they know what you do, they can direct people if they want to recommend you to your own social profiles where there is sparse posting of various different things so that there is information there for people, but you don't have to become a content creator or an influencer or whatever else to use social media for your business.Doris:
Yeah I almost feel like some of the businesses that aren't putting out a lot of content, I feel that I'm like "oh they're actually doing other work, they're just not sharing it but they're actually like having a life and they're doing other things" and I find that interesting too because then it's like oh but so then you're doing all these other things. But I think there's a blend of that, of putting out some content probably so people can see what you're doing but then not posting you know two or three times a day because if you're doing that then you're not actually doing the other work and when businesses do that it almost makes me feel oh they have a a team to do that, like that's not just them, like you just don't do that on your own, like then you've hired other people just to manage that social media content.Alexis:
Yeah and I think as well that that plays into the relationship that people, like customers, have with brands as well, because there is quite a large and growing percentage of people who want to buy from small businesses and a lot of them will think, like you're saying, oh they have this perfectly curated Instagram feed or whatever, they're doing all the right things on social media, they must have a team, they're not really a small business, I'd rather support a one-person band who is doing it all themselves where I will have more of a difference. And that's not to say that if your brand is sort of very polished and very organised, and I know a lot of VAs do very well with the super organised, super professional social media profiles, and a lot of that is because that's what people are buying, they are looking for somebody who is super organised and knows what they're doing and can plan and sort everything out. So it is also about knowing your brand and your audience, and there is definitely a place for people who whose brand is "I am on it all the time," but that's not everybody by any stretch, so it really comes down to just knowing your audience and listening to them.Doris:
Yeah and but you know the hardest part is, like you said before, when you start being authentic and you're putting those posts out then the people who resonate with you will find you, but when you're starting out it's hard to feel like that's actually going to happen because it feels like oh I've got 10 followers and I'm never going to get over that, like that's as big as I'm going to get and those are all people I know!Alexis:
I think that is where being involved in the community comes in because people will find you, again though it is a slow process. If you are willing to go out there and find your community on those platforms, whichever platform you're on, to find them via hashtags, via Facebook groups, find the people in your industry who you look up to and you respect and follow them and get involved in their communities, that is when you will see faster growth because you are putting yourself out there and people will come to you if you've left a comment, somebody's asked a question say in one of their own social media posts and you leave a comment that's like "oh well here's how I've dealt with this issue when I had it," people are likely to, not just the person who made the post but the other people who see the comments, are likely to hop over and be like "oh you seem like a really lovely person, you're offering really interesting advice that was really helpful, what are you up to? Do I want to follow you?" And so a lot of it is being prepared to put yourself out there in that way, in sort of a community support way, and it always interests me because so many people I speak to hate the idea of putting themselves out there but it's always about creating the content, it's always about putting themselves out there on their own social media, and I think you can put yourself out there just as a community member, that will that will make a big difference, and that's generally, not always but generally, that is less scary to people because they feel like well I'm just helping people, I can do that. I can just go and chat to people, yeah, I can do that! Doris: It's like just having a conversation with someone face to face but now you're doing it on another social media media post and so that's definitely less scary, I can see, than having to create the content and putting yourself out there because again, I think really boils down to so many people are insecure. It seems like there's only a little amount of people who are actually not insecure and most people are insecure, and you're the awkward kid in high school or in social situations so it's hard for people to put themselves out there because you're expecting a lot of pushback when in reality I think there's less pushback, but I think we just have that, we carry that fear that there's going to be pushback, or someone's going to say something against me, but when you're posting on someone else's content then it's more of a conversation like you would have with someone else, it's less "oh I'm trying to come across as the authority figure" and now I'm just having a conversation with someone else. Yeah exactly and I think as well when it comes to, because you were saying that sort of the scrolling and the engagement can also be a time suck and it absolutely can, and I think one of the best ways to do it is to either put it in your diary or calendar, however you work your organisation of your day, so that you say like I'm gonna do half an hour of engagement here on this platform, or I'm gonna do an hour here, so it's actually one of the tasks that you are doing in any given day because I think a hole a lot of people fall into is very much this sort of oh I need to do social media engagement but it's not actually on their to-do list, it's not actually in that planner, so then it's oh well I'm going to make a cup of tea and I'm going to scroll on Instagram and then I've lost half an hour.Doris:
Or half a day! Alexis: Now it's gone cold again. Or you sit down in the evening after your work day to wind down and then you start doing engagement and stuff, whereas if you put it actually in as a this is a task, this is a business task that I am going to engage. Obviously slightly different if you are just using it for your your personal sort of socialising although I would still recommend putting it in your planner as like "socialise on social media" or whatever because then partly your brain sees that and is like, okay, I have this set time to do this, it's no longer a this is something I do when I have nothing else to do, it's a this is something I do at these set points and there is an actual reason and an outcome that I'm looking for. And an end point when you stop because otherwise your 30 minutes ends up being 90 minutes and because your brain's not engaged to where it's going to stop, you're just like "I'll just keep scrolling" but then if you put it on as like a task to do, and I like how you mentioned even if you aren't in a business but you put it on like you're just giving yourself those boundaries of I'm going to do this for 30 minutes, I'll set a timer or whatever's going to trigger me to be like "okay I'm done," and then you can put it down and walk away, because that's the hard part is people haven't created boundaries and I've seen where people completely just go off social media because they're like "I can't handle it," or they're fully engaged in it, and it's hard to find that medium space where you're not completely disengaging from social media or you're in head first of doing it all the time.Alexis:
Yeah absolutely and I do think it helps to have that idea of what you want to achieve. So if it is business then maybe it's I want to leave a certain amount of comments, or I want to make sure that I engage in these specific groups, or I am going to make sure I'm talking to people who are talking about these specific topics in different places. And if it's for personal use you can still do the same thing because you can still say right, well I want to talk about, if it's something so you're worried about you can say I want to find a group or a community or whatever that is talking about this thing that I'm worried about so I can share that, because it's still a community in the same way that you might go to a physical location to connect with people and chat about something, you can do that online, it is ultimately the same thing, there are different factors at play but you can still choose to do that and say well, this is something that I'm really passionate about, I'm going to find some groups, some hashtags and twitter chats that are talking about this thing and I'm going to involve myself in that community because it's something that I'm really interested in, and to see it as a way of socialising in the same way that you might say I am going to go to the cafe for this book club, for example, to engage in social media in that same way can really really help. Doris: Yeah and again you're changing your mindset and you're reframing it as I'm not just scrolling like now I have an intention and I'm engaging as a community and not just mindlessly scrolling, and I think that makes a big difference too because you're changing how you're viewing it and how you're engaging in social media and that makes a big difference. Yeah it really comes down to mindset and making the choice. Making the choice and saying in advance this is how I want to use it, this is what I want to achieve with it, and then actioning that in whatever way makes sense to you, and for some people it won't be putting it in their calendar it will be some other way, you know how your brain works, but finding a way that ties into that where you can say right, okay, I want to use it in this way, this is how I'm going to achieve that. Doris: Right and that would change how people feel about social media because it has lent itself to disengagement and people feeling so isolated, but if you change how you're actually engaging in social media then you're engaging in more of a community mindset or a community space versus I'm just scrolling and I'm not as engaging, I'm just more observing but now I feel isolated because I'm just sitting on my couch, I'm not actually interacting with people, but if you change that mind frame of I'm going to go into these spaces and look for these spaces where I feel like I'm part of a community, that would definitely change how people view and feel about social media because then it is just like going somewhere for a book club, or a community centre, or something where you're feeling part of your community, a part of a community instead of feeling so isolated. Yeah exactly. Do you feel more like you can now go off onto social media and have a little bit more control over how you use it maybe?Doris:
Yeah, I feel. You know for my personal social media I've created more boundaries about using it and I think with my business social media I've almost disengaged from it because I haven't figured out how to do it and I had gotten really caught up into oh you have to have these perfect posts, and you have to do it every whenever, and now it feels more like I could do it organically and have more of a plan to do it instead of well I'm just going to not do it. Because I've kind of gotten to that point where I just I don't want to look like I'm not professional enough I guess is really kind of the the mindset, and so I have disengaged from it. I've got some posts up there but I haven't been engaging and really it's that change of mindset of we'll just do it organically and just post what you're doing, or post about what you're doing and like people will come to you, you'll find those followers and to engage on, like you said, finding people that you like or that you look up to and engaging on their posts as well to then get people engaging in with your own social media accounts, so I definitely feel a lot better about it.Alexis:
Good, good, good! I am very glad, hopefully there have been some action steps that people listening can take as well.Doris:
Yes and I think it's common, it's either you're all in or you're like wait a minute, I don't know how to do this and so I'm maybe not gonna do it because it's hard to find that medium ground of this is what I'm going to do and, like you had said, like look at the long term, look at the long game of it versus I need to have so many new followers every month, it's you're looking at the long game of how to engage your community and build a community versus I just need so many followers, it's how do I build a community, and a community that engages with me instead of that instant gratification of oh I've got so many followers and this is great because that's not necessarily going to hold you up in the long game, and I think that those are definitely different mindsets than I think a lot of people have.Alexis:
Yeah. So if people listening would like to come in and boost your follow count where can they find you?Doris:
So on Instagram I am at HealersMoonLLC and on Facebook it's the same, I'm at Healers Moon LLC.Alexis:
Very good, I will drop the links in the show notes so people can find you very very easily. It has been really lovely chatting to you and I am absolutely certain that this is going to resonate with a lot of people.Doris:
Yes thank you Alexis, I'm super happy to have been on your podcast with you.Hawke:
If you want more regular reminders to find your own way to use social media, follow Alexis on your social platform of choice, all the links will be in the show notes. Until next time, be a human.