January 11, 2018

My Personal Social Media Rules To Live By

photo by Abby Metcalf

As a small business owner, I’ve felt the internal war between soul and flesh over social media. The business side of me says to follow the formula, go go go, show it all, do it all, be all things to all people. The soul side of me says to rest, not take it seriously, and serve others through social media.

I was reading ahead in my goal planner for the year and saw a section titled “my social media mission statement”. It immediately grabbed my attention and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I haven’t quite figured out my mission statement but I have realized some guidelines I like to follow when it comes to social media.

All of these guidelines are opposite of what business blogs will tell you. I am not here to tell you this is how you grow your social following because its not. It is a way to keep your mind healthy, your heart healthy, and your priorities in check…which in the long run could be the best thing to happen to your business!

1. Don’t look at your phone in the morning – Give your mind space when you wake up! I choose to read in the mornings and try to go most of the day without looking at social media.

2. Don’t feel pressure to post – If you have a business account for instagram, every single person will tell you you must post consistently. Meaning daily and often multiple times a day. This is so much pressure! Plus, it forces you to post out of fear instead of posting genuine content you love. I’ve given up this pressure and felt much more free. In fact, I feel like my engagement has gone up because of it since I’m posting things I genuinely care about.

3. Always encourage – This is something I try to do often but I want to grow in. Do you ever see a photo and it resonates with you, or you just have a thought of “the way she styled this is beautiful!” or “the way she writes and speaks truth is so inspiring”…yet kept scrolling instead of saying something?! I’m raising my hand because I do this all.the.time.

I want to take the two seconds and connect with someone and actually put words to share how the photo or words stood out to me. Posting on any social media platform can be a vulnerable thing, I want to speak life and take notice instead of just keep scrolling by. And of course, I want to cultivate this habit offline too.

4. Connect more offline than online – An obvious rule, but worth sharing about. 

5. Don’t post everything about your personal friendships and relationships – keep things sacred. I think this is obvious.

6. Don’t be afraid to unfollow people and don’t get offended when someone doesn’t follow you – You aren’t meant to follow everyone and not every one is meant to follow you. Would you rather go to a party with 10000 strangers that don’t care about you or a gathering of 10 deep friendships? I would choose the latter.

Sidenote: If you feel discouraged or down on yourself after putting down social media, it is time to take a break or unfollow some people. If you feel the pressure to keep buying to keep up, it is time to unfollow. I’m sharing this from experience.

7. Turn off all notifications – I like to keep all notifications off so I don’t have the constant urge to look at social media. It helps me forget about it and come back to social media on my own terms.

8. Never apologize for not being online – A personal pet peeve of mine is when someone apologizes for not posting. I love to notice that people are taking breaks from social media, it shows they care more about their soul and life than what they can project online. So if you need to take a break, I’ve decided to do so unapologetically.

Of course, I still struggle with these guidelines and mess up often. Having them written down really helps me stay focused. Maybe your personal social media rules look a little different than mine. I encourage you to write them out, ask yourself what your goal is and your “why”. I think you’ll fell a little lighter when you do!