Every time you turn around in today’s world, people tell you that you should follow them here, share this, and like their page. With recent censorship, new social media platforms are popping up everywhere, which gives people even more choices to read and share information.
The reality is, if you’re not careful, social media can consume you and become a massive time drain. Most phones have monitors that will tell you how much time you spend on your phone each day, and most people would be shocked at how much time they consume daily. In 2020, Americans spent an average of 5.4 hours per day on their phones. People check their phones 58 times per day, with more than half during working hours. Millennials spend 48 minutes texting per day. That means the rest of the time is most likely surfing social media.
It is true that some businesses have been very successful in using social media to grow sales and profits. Usually, those companies are using paid advertising on platforms like Facebook or YouTube to drive traffic to either a landing page or online store. If your business falls under that category, and you are receiving a positive ROI, then, by all means, keep doing it.
But for the majority of businesses, social media ends up being a time drain. It can even lead to negative press, which no one needs. I fight this battle in my own company all the time, especially with the younger generation. They are so addicted to their phones that they don’t even know how much time they spend every day in mindless use. They try to convince me that the time is well spent because they are communicating with potential prospects and customers. My position is usually one where I want to see the numbers to prove that their assertion is true. In almost every case, they cannot give me numbers because they don’t track them and don’t know. They just know that it feels good to interact using social media, which they think leads to more money in their pocket. (I am talking about the salespeople who should be selling instead of wasting time on social media.)
My advice here is straightforward and pragmatic. During the business day, every single activity that you do should be directly related to moving your business ahead. If you cannot quantify the bottom-line result of an activity, the chances are that activity is not worth doing, is not moving your business ahead. Although social media might be fun, don’t fall into the trap of thinking likes, shares, and follows equal dollars.