This week, after waiting a full ten years for Facebook to prove itself and iron out any teething issues, I finally joined the social networking site. This was in no way due to a sudden realisation that I'd been depriving myself of close friends' skiing pictures for a decade, but everything to do with the fact that I think I'd like to use it for my business. Writing wedding speeches presents itself with some unique problems when it comes to promoting yourself through social media, and that's mainly the fact that nobody wants anyone else to know they've used you. That's the main reason I decided to ignore the platform, and it was a very convenient position to take, because it meant that I didn't have to divert any time or resources to maintaining a presence.
But those days are over, I know that if I'm to keep growing my business then more people are going to have to discover it, and the best way to achieve that is social media. So, there I find myself at the bottom of a very tall social media ladder with zero attention to what I'm doing and no clue as to how to make a stir. I've decided that in order to attract people to my brand and what I'm doing I would run a weekly film about the funny things I come across whilst I'm going about my work, which I've been doing for a few months now, with the idea that people would share it, more visitors would come to the site and link to it, and therefore I would strengthen my organic position.
But then came the problem of which social media network to use and how to use it. I came quickly came to the conclusion that not only was there already a billion decibels of social noise out there, but that trying to join in and get me a slice was going to become a full time job. I might be a newcomer to the scene but I do understand how it works...I just don't understand if it does really work. And to explain my situation I've listed the platforms and how I see them for my business.
The mother of all networks currently celebrating its tenth birthday. This seems to me to be the ultimate digital manifestation of inviting your friends around in the 70's to have a look at your holiday snaps from Tenerife. The problem with promoting a business on FB is that I can only really do that through having a personal page first and then inviting those people to like my business page, which all seems a bit like taking something you've drawn at home into school and asking the teacher what she thinks of it. I understand that Facebook likes are currency but everyone really knows that it's simply case of digital back scratching and that if Network Southeast Rail page has Facebook likes then just what is life all about? On the plus side it's incredibly cheap to promote your business on here to a very specific audience. However, do I post my videos directly on to here on tweet them on to Facebook? It keeps asking me to link to Instagram, but that would just be the videos I've put on Youtube. Help.
The largest search engine outside of Google, but this doesn't make anything easier for me. Since the advent of celebrity Vloggers like Zoella, everyone now wants you to watch the films they shot in their house, and make them a millionaire without ever having to get out of their pyjamas. With so much content on the platform vying for attention is a full time job, and I feel like I'm going around in circles when it encourages me to share the film I've just posted on to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Hang on a minute, isn't that just more people who aren't going to watch it, because I simply don't have the time to build even more digital relationships? Help.
This one really confuses me, and by the look of its media profile recently, it's also confusing a lot of other people too. There is so much noise, naval gazing and speculation on Twitter that making any kind of impact seems a complete impossibility. By far the most infuriating cog in this machine is the bit where you have to pretend to like or be interested in something somebody else said, and then like it or retweet it. This is usually a self serving game of charades designed to get you more followers - I mean just when are you supposed to go through all these millions of Tweets and see what they're all about? I have a family, I don't want to spend my spare time checking out the view from your city break hotel. Twitter is usually where I go through the rigmarole of posting the Youtube videos that I've already sent to Facebook...and the ones I'm thinking about sending to Instagram..and Pinterest. Help.
Pictures and videos - it's as simple as that. But it's not is it? Because I've already sent these bloody films to Youtube, and then to Facebook and then on to Twitter. If you go to my Instagram account you'll just see all the stuff I've hoiked around elsewhere in a slightly different grid pattern. Does this mean I'm supposed to make different content for different platforms? Should I give up sleeping? There was a guy at University who thought he'd discovered the secret of life, and that was: you didn't need to sleep. They wheeled him off one day and he was never seen again.
A digital cork board where you can stick the pictures and videos that mean something to you. You guessed it, it's here that I pin exactly the same old stuff I've stuck everywhere else, and I'm now running out of ideas of how to describe my video in a reasonably funny and engaging way. They've pinned it - great, but does that actually mean vey much unless they have a boat load of followers? I know! I'll promote my Pinterest page by tweeting it to my Facebook followers. Actually, I'll just get my service revolver and go into my study.
The thing is - if I haven't got the time to go through stuff, then who has? Most guys I write for are at the very busiest times of their working lives and they go Route One to Google to solve their problems. I don't doubt that there are whole swathes of the world out there sifting through films and other content relevant to them, but is it worth the time and effort I have to invest in order to find the people who may be interested in my business? Well, I really don't know. I'm now juggling the equation of whether it makes financial sense to employ someone to run all my social media needs. Will I get a return on my money? Will strengthening my organic presence with a social media footprint result in more brand awareness and therefore more sales?
I still have no clear idea but to be honest after working in television for so long and being told what to say by people who are creatively and intellectually stunted, making my own dodgy films and posting them is absolutely brilliant.