I was motivated to write this article due to recent discussions with a client who complained about the stress that social media brings these days and how personal boundaries become more and more elusive to the detriment of being constantly ON.
If you know me for a while, you know I was an active user on social media platforms, I posted regularly and showed-up, and enjoyed being there until I realised these platforms were acting like true energy vampires that kept me trapped in the illusion of connection with people, when in fact, it did the opposite.
Here is my honest and personal experience with social media.
I was on Facebook for 11 years…
I joined Facebook in 2007 driven by the main reason to connect with former schoolmates, promote my blog I was running at the time and make new connections. I still remember how excited I was to discover a whole new world, to connect so easily with people, to find new events in my city, and stay updated with all that interested me.
I posted regularly on my business page
I opened a business page in 2008 and I was on the platform every day. I posted regularly, at least once a day, shared my journey with crystals and healing jewellery making and showed-up regularly. People loved my posts, interacted with me, and bought my healing crystals jewellery.
Through Facebook, I was discovered by one of my local Newspapers and TV channel, I gave interviews about my journey and even filmed a TV interview and workshop to teach people how to make jewellery with crystals.
It looked like a promising beginning, and I felt Fb was a wonderful opportunity for me to promote my work and grow my business.
I kept posting on my blog and showed up on social media, learned a lot, met wonderful people and I absolutely loved it. It was like living the dream, too easy, too simple, and too enjoyable.
But, as the say goes:
”If it’s too good to be true, then probably it is.”
A few years later, I think around 2014, I noticed things started to change on the platform. My posts were shown to fewer and fewer people. If in the beginning, around 30 – 50% of my followers were seeing my posts, this figure dropped to only 2%.
This was the time when the Boost post option was launched. Every time I posted new content, the boost post button told me that if I want people to read what I post, I had to pay. This was part of the monetising strategy of the platform and, as time went on, things have gotten more and more difficult.
I tried them all…
I decided to learn how to use the platform properly and update my knowledge about how that was supposed to work. Although I am an avid learner, I like to try and test new things and I put all my heart into running my business, something, however, didn’t feel quite right.
I was active in relevant groups
If you use social media for your business you might be familiar with the advice of being active in groups so people get to know you, and when they need your services they’ll just reach out to you. I was doing this naturally, way before this even started to be a business thing.
I loved the platform and the social interaction that it offered. Also, due to my natural tendency to help people, I was the first to respond to people’s questions, I engaged in conversations, offered support, advice, comfort and I shared a lot from my experiences too. My phone notifications were ringing constantly, and, whether I was working, exercising, or spent some time with my partner anytime I was needed on social media, I responded straight away.
Remember: I was doing all this by choice from my own genuine desire to help people. It was not about business, although social media teachers will now tell you that you have to do it to help you get clients, at the right time.
Did I get any new clients through social media groups?
How many? 4 clients in 4 years.
How many hours did I spend on these groups? At least 2 hours every day (on the groups alone, not to count the other time spent posting, creating images, interacting with people privately).
The cost of getting those 4 clients?
2 hours every day x 365 days/year x 4 years = 2920 hours.
What I could’ve done during those 2920 hours?
Well, it takes me about 8 hours to write a new blog post from start to finish from writing content, editing, finding the featured image, finding the best title and completing SEO settings.
2920 hours equals 365 blog posts that I could’ve written for my own website. No wonder that during that time I wasn’t able to keep up with my writing and the blog got neglected.
I used paid promotion
I learned how to use paid promotion, adverts and all that it took to put myself out there. I’ve done the maths and here is what I found:
It costs me: £100 for £100 new page followers. Remember, from 100 followers, just 2 of them were seeing my posts unless I paid constantly for each of my posts to be seen.
For advertising new workshops I noticed I was charged at the very best the cost of 1 ticket to sell one ticket, with a very carefully targeted demographic campaign.
Does this sound profitable?
My take on using paid promotion is that unless you are a very well established business that makes A LOT of money, it is not something that worth the investment.
For a small spiritual business owner like I am, running the business only by myself, (and this is how I want it to remain), paid promotion on social media was a bottomless pit.
It felt like an abusive relationship
Have you ever been in a relationship and felt that no matter how much you did for the other person, it was never enough? That you were never good enough? That you didn’t do it right? That you should’ve done more? That you should’ve done better? That you should never have time for yourself? That you should never say NO?
I am sure you know what I am talking about.
This is how I felt on social media. I was always present on the platform, always active, always posting. I responded immediately to people, on my business page and personal account. I was the helper, the giver, the healer, the inspiring woman, the comforting friend, the loving daughter, the content creator, and the list goes on.
It took me a huge learning curve and a big self-love lesson to see the damage of this kind of relationship and break free.
I felt I was hooked on the platform in the early stages when everything was simple and easy and I ended up after 11 years feeling that I had to be everything to everyone, whether it was about business or personal life. I thought that if don’t respond straightaway something will go terribly wrong, people will get upset, will feel that I let them down and that I have to be present, active and supportive to show that I care.
On the other side, all my best efforts of posting regularly, engaging with people and showing-up, did not lead me anywhere and did not impact positively my business in any way. On the opposite, I felt that I could’ve used my time wiser, keep a better focus on what was important to me and people I serve, and I could’ve been more creative and productive at the same time.
If everyone tells you need Facebook to grow your spiritual business, but you’re still wondering, here’s my honest thought:
Like you, I believed I needed social media to promote my business despite my intuition constantly telling I didn’t. For 11 years, I didn’t listen.
Despite my best efforts of learning, staying updated with the latest changes, adjusting my strategy while making all efforts to stay authentic, I never saw the results I was supposed to see. Indeed, I gained some new clients, but compared with the many hours I spent on the platform, I can honestly say it wasn’t worth it, and it actually cost me a tremendous amount of time that I could’ve used better.
It’s been 2 years since I deleted my Facebook account: both my personal account and my business page. I have been running my business successfully without social media since then, and I have no regret and no desire to go back.
During these past 2 years, I learned to create a new routine, to raise new healthy boundaries, to focus exclusively on my work and my clients. I deleted old articles that I found poorly written and I wrote a lot of new ones. My writing improved, my creativity reborn, and I even discovered myself being more consistent, focused and patient when I faced difficulties. I created new courses, with more developing on the incubator, and, for the first time, in many years, I felt free.
Social media free
On a spiritual level, my intuition became clearer, I became a clearer channel for divine communication, download and healing.
I am going to post more about these aspects and also share my experience with using and leaving Instagram in a future post. I find that, especially for the spiritual community, it’s so important to learn how to protect your energy these days, and sometimes this involves courageous decisions. It saves you time, money and precious energy that you can direct to the benefit of all and yourself.
Until next time,