“A kind word never broke anyone’s mouth.”
– Irish Proverb
Last week a friend asked what I was giving up for Lent. Typically I give up sweets or adult beverages. But this year, I gave up something different.
I gave up Facebook.
Odd choice for a content marketer who manages social media channels for clients. Don’t worry, I didn’t give up your social media. I just quit my personal Facebook cold turkey a week ago.
I’m so glad I did.
The reason? There are several. First among them being the platform’s transformation from a fun way to connect with friends and customers to a vehicle for personal attacks, criticism and agendas. Regardless of what is posted – including cute pet pics – someone always has something negative to say. Even groups seemingly benign like Friends of New Mexico whose members post beautiful images of the Land of Enchantment elicit negative comments. The Facebook pages of news sites attract a fever pitch of vitriol and back-and-forth insults.There’s a one upsmanship of nastiness that’s hard to ignore.
Whatever happened to the idea, “If you can’t something nice don’t say anything at all?”
The second disturbing thing is the phenomenon of mob rule; the practice of hordes of people attacking companies, organizations, or individuals simply if one disagrees with the other’s beliefs, actions or posts. Today there are organized hit squads ready to attack if anyone gets out of line. How creepy is that? Understandably, companies and individuals are very nervous and reactive to these attacks.
Finally, Facebook, despite the negativity and its assault on privacy (not going there in this post), is addicting and as such, a major time waster. I found myself checking in throughout the day. Not that I was interested. My brain just said, “Do it.” (Sometimes my brain tells me to eat a bag of M&Ms, but I’m able to ignore that directive. Most days.) So I’d jump from work to Facebook. Given the negativity and real world deadlines, why the heck was I doing that?
So I gave Facebook up. Not so much for Lent. For me.
As a communications professional, I can’t give social media up entirely. It’s a powerful, brand and community-building tool. So here are ways how to make social media social again whether you’re posting for clients or for yourself.
Remember a kind word never broke anyone’s mouth. Focus on the positive. Build people up rather than tearing people down.
Find a reason to celebrate others. Take International Women’s Day as an example. What a great opportunity to celebrate women, all women. It can be a campaign for a business or just a random act of kindness that recognizes the good in someone else.
Use it to help others. One thing I love about managing client 48forty’s Facebook page is responding to private messages. People are looking for jobs. Wanting to sell us pallets. Employees have questions about their vacation time or benefits. One guy’s mother messaged us with a question about her son’s health insurance. I enjoy answering questions and helping people out. I think it surprises some people to find a friendly, helpful person.
- Don’t take it too seriously. A client had me run Facebook ads across the country trying to find people who’d been cut scooping ice cream in a dip shop. Random, right? I actually had two people message me with stories of being cut. Wow! I was on a roll. The next day, I got a comment telling me the ad was the most stupid Facebook ad they’d ever seen. I cracked up. Here I was thinking I was doing serious work.
- It’s just Facebook. If you have to or simply want to, get off. It’s not the end of the world.
How do you feel about social media? Is it part of your brand awareness, lead gen and loyalty building strategy? I’d love to talk to you and share stories. Here’s how to connect. You can also check out Lux-Writes’ Facebook.