I’m using Facebook far less than I used to – fact. Does this mean that for me it’s becoming a much less relevant part of my social media activity? Or have I simply replaced it with another social media channel?
I’ve been thinking about this recently and writing this was prompted by the RSPH Scroll Free September campaign. They are encouraging people to give up, or significantly cut down, on social media use for a month. Now, I need to be careful about encouraging such a thing as I continue to try and build the Yorkshire Dad of Four brand on, of course, social media.
The Facebook bubble
I joined Facebook in 2007, July to be a bit more precise. I was 27, and already a Dad of 2, so I certainly didn’t get into this bubble from an early age – because it simply didn’t exist.
Over the years I’ve had Facebook friends come and go as I fell into the “Friends Reunited” trap of adding old school friends that I hadn’t seen since school. I still use it today, but as I scroll through the absolute bilge on there I often wonder why I bother. I’ve cut down on the pages I follow but that doesn’t stop people from sharing the bilge. I stay on there to stay connected to family mainly as we’ve become much more spread out and don’t see each other often.
Nowadays I run the Facebook page for the Kirkbymoorside 10K and this is one of the key promotion channels for the charity event. In that past, when we ran out our wedding and portrait photography business, we had a page for that too which was also a key (and free) marketing tool. Of course, you can’t operate these pages without having a Facebook account.
I also have my Yorkshire Dad of Four Facebook page too. I wasn’t going to bother with that to be perfectly honest. But, in order to switch my Instagram account to a business profile (simply to get the analytics) you have to link it to a Facebook page. That’s a bit irritating if I’m honest. Of course, Instagram is owned by Facebook.
Replaced with Instagram
As someone who loves making photos and sharing them, I really have got into Instagram. For me, it combines some of the good element of Twitter with the photo posting of Facebook. And it’s also allowed me to connect with other Dad and parent bloggers too and build connections there.
My go-to social media channel is now Instagram. If I am truly honest with myself I probably haven’t cut down on my social media use as my reduction in Facebook use has been replaced with Instagram. But could I cut down if I tried?
Cutting down on social media
If I tried I know I could cut down. But do I WANT to? If I ever felt that using social media was affecting my life or my family then yes I would. I don’t feel like that at the moment but I will always remain conscious of it.
I did once cut out Facebook for a whole January. It was actually a real pain because I was just getting into pushing the marketing for the Kirkbymoorside 10K and really handicapped myself there! This is why taking part in Scroll Free September isn’t for me – as this is the month we start pushing next years 10K event.
Does age matter
I got into social media at a much later age that kids do today. Obviously, because it didn’t exist much before that. I think this matters.
Our generation remembers a time before and after the surge of social media. This makes our view different from that of the average 20-year-old nowadays. They have grown up in a world of social media and as such don’t know anything else. That’s why I always try not to influence their views with words such as “when I was a kid” etc etc because that’s not helpful. The world will never be like it was when we were kids!
Sure, I don’t like seeing them glued to their mobile phones all the time. Maybe it’s just the modern teenager “thing” – I don’t know. But hopefully, as they grow and mature the “real world” will become more important. However, is social media a part of their “real world” now? Now there’s a thought…
What I have noticed with my own teenagers is that, although they have Facebook, it’s Instagram and Snapchat that they use most regularly.
Building my brand
I’ve mentioned before that I am trying to build the Yorkshire Dad of Four brand. Social media plays a huge part in that. This summer we’ve been very lucky to get a number of gifted experiences and with a blog alone and no social media, I don’t think this would have been possible.
Even I don’t know where my brand is going yet. That’s cool. My priority in life is to provide for my family and my job allows me to do that. If blogging social media allow me to supplement that then great if it explodes into something then awesome. I’m not chasing it relentlessly – I simply can’t afford to do that. But using social media allows me to organically grow my brand and that’s what I’m focussing on.
Is Facebook still relevant?
Facebook is HUGE. It’s still the biggest social media platform and has managed to stay on top despite the creation of many rivals. Even the mighty Google with their Google+ social media offering hasn’t been able to topple Facebook. I love Google and we’re all heavily hooked into their ecosystem but G+, for me, was too similar to Facebook to compete. It offered the user nothing new in real terms.
The fact that it has stayed on top and global usage is so much bigger than it’s rivals (you can’t count Instagram as a rival as they own it) that it is absolutely still relevant, for now.
Thanks for reading.