It's been awhile since my last anything on social media for Cocktails By Mail. And while part of that is due to a few projects taking up most of my time (including creating the cocktails for the next Cocktails By Mail menu) it is mostly intentional.
I don't like Social Media.
It hasn't always been that way, I used to be quite active on my personal account, and in my last full time role with a company posting & interacting on social media was part of my job.
But since I left that job I have realised that social media, and especially Instagram, have a really negative effect on me personally. And I've been limiting my time more and more, so much that I don't even have the app on my phone anymore. If I need to check the accounts, I have to log in on my computer, which makes it way less addictive.
When I started Cocktails By Mail though, I knew I needed to be present on Social Media.
I told myself it was how I would reach the people!
I would engage and build a community!
I would provide a benefit!
And at first I did this with gusto. Liking, commenting, creating posts. I had told myself because it was the company's account I wouldn't have all the same issues my personal social media usage created.
But surprise and shock! It did.
It made me sad, anxious, worried my business wasn't good enough.
I scrolled endlessly.
I panicked when people didn't like a post quickly.
Instagram was stealing both physical and emotional capacity. I was at a crossroads of what to do. I knew I had to be at least present on Instagram so people would know Cocktails By Mail is a legitimate business. So how much did I need to invest in our social media presence?
It takes time, a lot of time, to have an active social media account. On average a single post, between taking and editing an image, writing the copy, typing it up, having something go wrong on the sh*tty Facebook Creator platform, and responding to comments, takes at least an hour of my day. Four posts a week and I am looking at half a day gone. So not only was social media taking my mental energy, it was also taking physical energy that as the only employee at Cocktails By Mail, I just didn't have.
After talking to a wise friend, she told me something jaw dropping.
You don't have to be active on Social Media to have a successful business.
While you might not think this is jaw dropping, for a small business it's a pretty big revelation. We are often told that Social Media is the only way to reach your audience, be it between posting and paid advertising. I vowed a long time ago to never give Facebook or Instagram any of my advertising money (which many scoffed at), but to not give them any of my time either?
Her point was, use that energy in something that I enjoy and will bring more business. She told me that many of her clients felt the same way I did, and she pointed out to many of them they already had a successful business, so what was social media going to add? Especially as a small startup with limited resouces, she said I had to be even more ruthless where my energy went. Wouldn't I rather spend that hour emailing past purchasers and thanking them for their business?
After all, part of the reason I started my own business is to run it my way, and if that means not being active on social media, that is fine! It would be a drain on my resources to keep posting on there, and I wouldn't be gaining anything from it.
And so I made a decision. While I won't be completely absent from Instagram (I do think having a slightly active presence assures people we are a real company and won't take your money and never send you a product), it will be nowhere near the level of other businesses.
I will occasionally post on Instagram, but for the most part my energy will be spent in the areas I truly enjoy and I think bring the best benefit to the company and customers
Creating the best drinks I can
Finding ways to decrease our carbon footprint
Partnering with other brilliant companies who share the same ethos as me
Writing blog posts about what the hell is going on