This may be the last one – but I’ve got a few more things to air out – so who knows.
So advertising a small business isn’t easy when you’re into doing service oriented work. You can show up at conferences. You do training. You blog and tweet and whatever it is you do to get noticed. This was the year that social media about “did me in”. For those of you outside of the United States – we had an election in case you didn’t notice. So it was almost every day or every other day I’d log into <insert social media Platform> and……
It was quite amazing. I think this is the first year where I generally started lumping people into “buckets” based on social media posts. Even my friends who weren’t on social media were quoting things from social media. 80% of the time it was completely wrong information….but don’t let the facts stop you.
Twitter: Twitter has really turned into a cesspool. I’ve curated my follows and tossed people and done about everything I can to make it enjoyable. I get a great mashup of people and ideas. I felt like I dropped off that one a bit this year. I enjoy twitter. It’s fun. Well – It was fun – until this year.
Facebook: This year marks my one year “return” to Facebook. I used to antagonize people up there and to an extent I will still poke. I at least post a song a day from youtube. I always want people to be (even if they don’t want to be) a little more musically diverse. Overall I started down the path to posting political information and just stopped. I have a business page and I try to post at least one thing there a day. How much does that help the business? After working at this for a year. 0. Zilch. Nada. About one person a month finds the FB Page for the business and looks at my website. One out of hundreds.
Instagram: So I have an instagram account. Why? I really have no idea. I like posting pictures. Pictures of maps? No – just pictures of where I am. It has 0 to do with work to be honest.
Google Plus: I did make a ever so slight return to that platform to try to increase my appearance in Searches. I dig around up there and have 0 clue what is happening. Why google hasn’t killed that off is a mystery. Maybe they’ve forgotten it exists.
So what did work on Social Media?
- Blogging on the website. In general people coming to the website fell a little but not by much. I still have about 1 phone call a month from someone stumbling around up there and having a question on QGIS/GIS/Open Source/Training.
- Word of mouth: That’s the #1 way I find work. Clients pass my name around. That’s it. For all your Facebooking and insta-twittering and Google Plussing – Talking. Human Interaction.
- QGIS users list: I try to participate. I learn. I answer questions. I make myself visible. It helps in general because I feel like I’m at least a positive voice in the community and I’m helping.
Not to say all the other “noise” I make doesn’t work. It all lends itself to making me more visible and pushing me higher in searches. It’s just tiring. There’s little return on time spent. This year I really debated walking from a lot of it. I really feel like Facebook is a major time sync. The year I spent not up there was much better spent I think. I forgot to log into Linkedin for the month of October. Somehow emails were getting tossed into spam and I didn’t miss it at all. It wasn’t until I went “Hey I forgot about Linkedin” did I log in to see what was happening.
I used to keep a running tally of what was providing me with the most views or interaction from a business perspective. In most years twitter won. This year I was so unimpressed with everything I didn’t keep a list. It was that unspectacular. You know what? Overall business was up. So business has no bearing on social media? I’m going to go “yes”.
I removed from my phone: Facebook, Linkedin, and Facebook Messenger. Why? I don’t trust the apps anymore. After Linkedin’s Password leak from a while back I just got to the point I didn’t trust it. I really don’t trust facebook. It’s only a matter of time before it gets hacked (if it hasn’t been already and we don’t know). I keep Instagram for convenience on my phone. My joke this year was “Gimme a flip phone I can hook to my laptop and I might leave it all”. Except I do enjoy the camera on my phone.
Social Media – overall I give it two “Mehs”.