“I’m not okay
I’m not okay
Well, I’m not okay
I’m not o-f**king-kay”
If you know the song, you know the song
David Bellin of SUBS Business Events interviewed me recently about Imposter Syndrome, Authenticity and Dealing With Social Media
In the world of Social Media and zoom networking meetings it’s easy to turn up and front. To say everything is OK and business is going great, whilst in reality everything is an absolute mess
Over the past 7 months I’ve coped remarkably well compared to others. But in the last 2 months with talk of the second lockdown, darker nights and no end to the pandemic I’ve started to suffer. Every couple of weeks I have a day where I just feel like switching off from everything and don’t have the energy, the get up and go or the drive.
In this interview I talk about the stress of keeping up appearances on social media and how you cope with the difficult days and weeks
Sometimes the isolation is made worse by spending too much time watching the news and social media. So how can we avoid the stresses, without completely distancing ourselves from social media?
There’s the saying you are the average of the 5 people you spend your time with
In times of Isolation and this pandemic we’re spending more and more time connected online and you can make healthy choices or unhealthy choices about who you spend your time with online
You have to understand why you are using social media and as this is a business networking meeting we’re predominantly using social media for business
I spend a lot of time on social media due to the nature of the job, but I log on to each platform with very specific objectives in mind and limit my time accordingly
I also, where possible, try and avoid news outlets, politicians, ranters, amateurs and fake BS artists
It’s so easy to be dragged into a cesspit of arguments and misery it’s best to avoid them completely and as such I also mute words like Trump, Brexit, Boris etc
I’m still informed on worlds events as you can’t not be – but when something is breaking I’d rather go to the BBC than hear a Karen or a gammons opinion
Which platforms would you focus on for your business if you find keeping up too stressful?
All platforms have their pros and cons, so you have to view it as both does this fulfil my business objectives and counterbalance that with the stress factor
I generally love Twitter – but I can understand why many find it stressful with the speed of it and also the serial ranters
I like Facebook for friends – but the local Facebook groups are a whole new level of negativity
So on a positivity level you really have LinkedIn and Instagram. I find both the communities on there extremely welcoming and supportive. Both of those places are my happy place and they make me smile, but they also drive my business
Are there any tips you can suggest?
Time block and move on
Break everything you do down into 15 minute chunks
15 minutes to schedule content
15 minutes to engage on a specific platform
15 minutes to reply to messages
15 minutes to reply to emails
And then step away
If something particularly negative is happening in the world step away if it affects you in a big way
Shut down your browser and focus on something for social media, but not actually be on social media. So photography, graphics, blogging, produce videos
If we’re feeling down or low, should be sharing our emotions on social media?
I’m very much into authenticity so I do believe there’s a place for sharing emotions
But if it’s so bad it’s becoming the overwhelming narrative then you need to see a professional
I’m generally a positive person so 90% of what you see on social media is positive. It’s a reflection of real life and like everyone there’s been those terrible days where you literally can’t leave your sofa because of an overwhelming feeling of depression. I think that’s becoming more frequent with all the talk of second lockdown and so on. It has really helped for me to put an honest post out there on either my personal Facebook or a short tweet. And just get that support coming back and the sense you’re not alone
For some reason I shy away from doing it on LinkedIn in that I feel that it’s a professional platform you don’t talk about feelings on. And on Instagram I don’t want to ruin anyone’s day
When things aren’t going great, how can you remain genuine and honest , without coming across poorly?
The thing right now is everyone is going through hard times
Everyone is accepting that business might not be great right now, even if 8 months ago it was fantastic
We all have different levels of honesty with different people
In a room of strangers I think it’s OK to say “things are going ok, but they could always be better”
In a room of people you know like the SUBS group, you might open up a bit more and say “Things are f**king shit and I really need to sort something out. Can anyone help”
I honestly think you only have one shot at the f**king shit point though. If you’re saying that one month and not doing anything to improve the situation then that’s when you come across poorly or come across in a bad light
You need to do stuff as well as say stuff
It’s how you react to a situation
Are there alternative messages we can put out there? (such as positive feedback / testimonials)
100% – embrace positive
There’s a cycle of joy that comes with this – if you share good news people heap more praise on you
Be more American and less English
Share your testimonials and success stories with pride
The main reason people don’t share their success stories is they worry not what their customers will think, but what the competition will think
Ask yourself this question “What are the things your competitors don’t want others to know about you?”
And then Shout about them LOUDLY + WITH CONFIDENCE
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Alex McCann is owner of Altrincham HQ – a social media management and training company based in Altrincham, Cheshire that has worked with 100s of local business developing their social media strategy. Alex has 400+ LinkedIn testimonials and is ranked number 1 for Social Media Marketing in the UK via independent customer reviews on Freeindex.