I was in the midst of writing a different writing blog when this article came to mind, and I had to get my thoughts out. Navigating the dark side of social media as small business owners is getting more demanding and challenging by the day you asked me. A new sub-industry has emerged in the last five years called influencers, whose sole business model relies on their channels’ growth. First and foremost, I have several friends who are influencers, and I have no problem with the industry. It’s the dark side of social media that has arisen because of it.
My Position On Social Media
For almost eight years, I have been preaching, stop putting all your eggs into one basket. The basket being other platforms that they own and regulated. You’re leasing your placement on their platforms that they, in turn, collect your data to make a profit. The small percentage of the money you’re making off Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Clubhouse, and Snapchat is pennies on the dollar to the actual owners.
Smoke and Mirrors of Small Business Owners On Social Media
As a small business owner, I know people who have genuinely grossed a million+ in revenue for their business by leveraging the platform. I know others who use sales tactics to make you believe that. The industries and communities are small, and people talk. When you have your insecurities, it creates the “I am not good as so and so” when you’re just as impressive, they are better are creating false narratives. Don’t get me wrong, there are people on the internet who are winning big time, but they tend to share the whole highlight reel, not just the high points.
Trolls and Haters For Small Business Owners On Social Media
Funny story, I know several online forms target others by saying mean and untrue things. They snark about how others chose to live or share social media as small business owners or influencers. One of the most significant aspects of the dark side of social media is facing small business owners. Yes, we all have opinions, but do they need to share? Do you need to comment under someone’s post, “you were too much makeup,” “wow, your nose is huge, think about getting plastic surgery,” or accidentally send hate DM’s to a friend that shows up in the person’s box such as “she thinks she is so righteous no one asked her” or “woof here child is ugly or who names their daughter that”
You could go live in a bubble and ignore the comments, but it should not be on you. One of my favorite sayings is “hurt people hurt other people,” – and that reigns true on social media. However, my suggestion is to have a substantial block game and limit access to you. In recent years, I started sharing less and less because people are creepy and toxic.
In addition to the smoke and mirrors, it steals the joy of what you’re doing. One of the biggest things you can to navigate the dark side is focus on what you’re doing right and surround yourself with a community of positive people. Comparison is the thief of joy if you’re always looking to the left or right. One of my favorite movies is Keeping Up With The Joneses – it shows you what the world is really like when you do that.
Steps To Take To Correctly Utilize Social Media As A Business Owner
As a means to drive traffic to the platform you own. After taking a couple of google and SEO courses, I learned people’s content lives on social media. If Instagram closed shop today, all that fantastic content would be gone. The reels, stories, IGTV, posts, and followers.
- Create call-to-actions for every post that drives the user to your site.
- Weekly remind followers to sign up for your email marketing list.
- Every hour you spend creating content for social media, take a couple of hours for your platform.
- Foster a community that trusts you and the products you share with them.
- Pick two to three platforms and make content that reflects what is on your current website.
As a consumer and business owner, you have a responsibility to support things that align with your beliefs, thoughts, and practices. Fostering a community will be the most significant push to growing your company of these platforms that allow toxicity. Know that you’re not alone when it comes to navigating the dark side of social media as a small business owner, either. We are all in this together.
Photo by Alexa Williams on Unsplash