OK, I Admit It...
That was a sensational hook to get you in, just like the titles on a magazine cover that promise to dispense the deep secrets of various woodworking topics.
I wanted to post one more entry on social media before I get back to sharing woodworking. Not just because I want to have a bash session on FaceBook and Twitter, both of which I fled like they were a house on fire, but rather to share my results of being on them.
I hope this may help someone else decide if they want to become involved or not, or to bail because they are getting similar results and just haven't quite made their exit.
One thing to keep in mind, what I am sharing are my results and experience with FaceBook and Twitter. Others may have different results.
What You Hear
Grow Your Business - Attract More Customers - Increase Your Website Traffic - Get More Sales. You hear these things about the social networks all the time.
I had both a FaceBook and Twitter account. On FB I had both a personal page, which I set up first, then I started a business page upon the advice of a friend that does websites and business marketing.
When you join a social network community, there is a whirlwind energy that is easy to get caught up in. You see a daily increase of friends and "likes" and people are sharing your Tweets and FB posts and your numbers rise daily. You feel rewarded for your efforts and activity.
For me, I don't even know what my following was at the time when I quit both. But it was growing by the day, and I was actually quite fine with the growth, and my following overall. My goal is to share woodworking and to continually reach more and more people. It felt like that's what I was doing.
The Reality Of It All...
Since my goal was to reach more people, by the numbers at Twitter and FB it seemed that I was doing just that.
But the reality is, that very little of those numbers actually transferred over to my site. In fact, over the last couple of years, my site numbers had declined MISERABLY. Looking at my website stats, FB and Twitter were waaay down the list for referrals. It is not even worth mentioning and even embarrassing to admit it.
But my numbers at FB and Twitter kept growing, and so I came to ignore the real results that I was seeing in my website stats.
What I Came To Realize...and Admit...
Rather than growing traffic at my site, I was growing numbers at Twitter and FB, but that was it. Gaining a following on social media does not mean that you are growing numbers on your site, and that was my exact experience.
Here is a very important conclusion I came to: If you want to cultivate a good following at your website, focus on being a good steward of that site, above all else.
My experience is that good stewardship of your website gains the largest and strongest following. If you have extra time (and that is a strong IF) then you can hone your marketing plan to include social media. But first, and foremost, stick to building a strong foundation for your site.
Efficiency of the Conversation... What is That?
With my website, I can present a situation and good context, which is a setting to offer a solution or share some information. A whole picture is painted that is easy to look at and understand.
With social media platforms, they have serious limitations that cause me to throw out interesting pieces of information, that result in a lot of questions that are extremely time consuming to answer. Had that same information been given in a typical blog post, most of the questions would have been answered within the context of the shared information.
This means that social media is a very time consuming, labor intensive way of sharing.
More Drawbacks of Social Media
With FB and Twitter I was under a constant barrage of emails and notices to pay them to push my posts. But this is what you get with a free platform. The goal is to get you in and then convince you to give them money.
I don't get that behavior from my website platform. I pay for a premium service, they give it to me with great support, but otherwise they leave me alone.
Twitter is just plain painful to carry on a conversation. I wanted to claw my eyes out sometimes it was such a horrible experience. I can't believe I stayed with it for as long as I did...OK I know why, there are some good guys there, and I enjoyed interacting with them. I just hate the Twitter platform.
With my personal FB page, I was constantly administering controls and cutting people off for tagging me in their personal images and requesting I play games with them. I still don't understand why the hell an adult plays Farmville and other FB games. With my website I am in total control and don't have to deal with any of that nonsense.
Finally, the people tagging me in all of their personal photos, and the game requests pushed me over the tipping point and that was it - I was done!
All-in-all, I found the disadvantages of FB and Twitter to be a far greater burden than the positive connections that I made. In the end, the stats show that social media was not worth it.
For me, leaving the social networks was both an emotional decision, because of the aforementioned frustrations, and a business one, since it was costing me time and not paying dividends to help me reach the goals that I have.
For me, both of them were distractions that I allowed to take time away from curating a good website.
I do not see myself ever going back to them at this point. And, for as active as I was on both, I have never gone to check on them, even out of force of habit. It's as if I have rejected them both like a virus.
Is social media right for you? Only you can decide.
Your friend in the shop-
Todd A. Clippinger
Now it's time to get back to "Sharing the Love & Sharing the Knowledge" of woodworking