Take a break from social media!!
Why would one do that?!!!
As Business Owner's, we are constantly told that we NEED to be on social media.
That we need to post X amount of times per day or week;
That we need to post at particular times;
To keep up to date with ever changing algorithms;
To be visible;
To engage and interact.
While I know most of this to be true and to be good advice,
I also know that
We Are Just Humans Behind Screens And Keyboards.
Human beings who can’t churn out content like a robot can. Human beings who need a break every once in a while.
But the thing is, we're afraid to take a break!
We worry that if we take a break from social media that we will lose followers and therefore potential Clients or Customers.
We worry that someone will take our spot in the market or that we'll undo our hard work to date and be forgotten about altogether!!
We worry that a break will damage our businesses.
Well, I took a little break from social media recently.
And no, I wasn’t on holidays or taking time off.
I did it because:
I needed to concentrate on other areas of my business and my life;
I just needed the break!
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy social media and I've met so many fantastic like minded people through it BUT I found that recently it had been taking up a lot of my brain capacity and so, the break was a good idea :)
Since I was taking a step back anyway, I decided to conduct a little experiment!
"How Will Taking A Break From Social Media Affect My Business?!"
I was curious to see if our worries are founded.
If we should be afraid to take a break from social media.
What would actually happen?!
And I'm sharing my findings and what I learned with you because I bet you've had these worries too!
So, let's get stuck in!!
Starting out, I had a plan. The idea was to go completely dark, to take a real step back from social media for two weeks.
Here's what I did:
I paused my scheduling queue;
I deleted both Instagram and LinkedIn from my phone;
I would only use Facebook to keep up with the Saviee Community;
I wouldn't post any new blogs:
I wouldn't post on my feeds or stories;
I wouldn't view or interact with anyone else's posts.
Before I went dark, I took note of my numbers, followers, views and so on.
I was anxious about how this break would affect my business and wanted to be able to take note of how much damage the break really did when I got back!
You might wonder, why pause the scheduling queue?
Well, taking a break but having your content scheduler churn out content on your behalf might sound like a great option!
But the truth is, your content scheduler is only doing some of the work on your behalf.
You still need to pop back in to interact.
How It Went:
All in all, it went pretty well!!
I got used to being away from social media and was starting to focus on other things.
During the first week I found myself feeling very relaxed despite the fact that I was having a very busy week workwise.
However, I did have to deviate from my plan a little bit in that first week.
On day 2 I ended up reinstalling LinkedIn on my phone.
I had received an email notification to tell me that I had a direct message.
That direct message contained a Client lead, what sounded like an ideal one.
Hey I'm Still A Business Owner, I'm Not Gonna Turn Down A Client Lead!!
On day 3 I reinstalled Instagram.
The LinkedIn message made me realise that while I might be taking a break, I still needed to be contactable to potential Clients.
I now needed to have that extra bit of will power not to aimlessly scroll through the apps since they were now back on my phone.
Surprisingly, I did it! I had the will power.
I succeeded in taking a two week break from social media.
And if I'm honest, I actually enjoyed it!.
When I returned, it was time to look at those all important numbers and see what kind of damage my mini break did.
LinkedIn and Instagram are the two channels that I use the most for my business so I focused on them for this experiment.
Here's what I found:
LinkedIn didn't miss me!
I was surprised to see that my last two posts there still received reactions and comments while I was gone.
I didn't lose any connections or followers.
My profile continued to be viewed (albeit a little less than usual).
I still received connection requests.
Then, of course, there was the all important Client lead.
Instagram was a little different.
In the first week I lost some followers.
There was no interaction with my existing posts.
In the second week, I gained some followers.
My absence on Instagram didn't go unnoticed and I even received a lovely message from someone checking in because I was off the radar (you know who you are <3).
What I Learned:
LinkedIn doesn't seem to be a platform that you need to worry about taking a breather from. Even though I wasn't posting, my profile and older posts were still visible in others newsfeeds and the interactions that my profile received were pretty much the same as usual.
It might be noticed if you don't post to Instagram but that won't necessarily affect your following. While I lost followers in the first week, the ones that I gained in the second week evened out my follower count. In fact, I ended up with the exact same amount of followers as I had when I started the break!
It is still important to be contactable. Whether that means you have someone checking your socials for you or you are happy that you will have the will power to only check your apps when you receive a notification.
I hadn't realised how often I pick up my phone during the work day until I did this experiment. For the first few days I caught myself picking up my phone and looking for my social apps. I stopped doing that by the end of the first week and now I'm hoping that this is a habit that has now been broken!
By the end of week 2 I had figured out why, before my break, I felt that social media had been taking up quite a lot of my brain capacity. Breakthrough!! This is something I don't think I would have realised without taking a breather. I needed the time to step back and figure it out!
At the beginning of this break, I was worried that I would damage my business by disappearing. That I would "undo" my hard work but it turns out that it is possible to take a couple of weeks off social media.
The World Didn't End, My Business Is Still Here!
What really surprised me is my socials look almost exactly the same!!
While social media a very important part of business, this experiment has taught me that it is possible to miss a post or a blog, to ignore social media for an afternoon or a weekend.
That it is possible to take a break without damaging your business!!
I also think that taking this break taught me some lessons and helped me to come to realisations that I wouldn't have otherwise.
Sometimes you need to take a step back to see the whole picture again.
So, if you have been thinking of taking a little breather from social media but have the same worries that I had before this experiment, I hope that my experience helps you to
realise that it is possible to take a step back and not only is it possible, it might be really beneficial!
Until next time,